Students Dance Into the New School Year at the Annual Back to School Barbecue


Lauryn Butler

Let’s Get Together. Smiling and laughing, students hug each other during the earlier hours of the barbecue. For many, the barbecue is an opportunity to catch up with friends and share summer stories outside of the hustle and bustle of classes. Photo credit Lauryn Butler.

Anastasia Reimann, Editor in Chief

At 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 15, after a long week, students and faculty alike gathered at the annual Back to School Barbecue for food, dancing and fun.

Hosted every year by ASB toward the start of the school year, students savored hamburgers and hot dogs cooked by math teacher Mr. Jeffrey Eicher. It’s a time for students to bond outside the classroom and enjoy each other’s company while dancing to “Cupid Shuffle” or eating a bagel.

At 6:30 p.m., senior Erin Collins summoned students for an impromptu dance-off between the classes. Each grade had 10 minutes to choreograph a dance routine to the song “All Star” by Smash Mouth. While the freshmen did not perform, students witnessed a routine from the sophomore boys, featuring multiple backflips by Luke Mizel, who is continuing a tradition from last year’s barbecue.

“We did it last year so,” from now on, “it’s just going to become a thing for the school [barbecues],” Mizel said.

Rachel Howard
Four Classes, Four Squares. Before the dancing starts, several students play a game of Four Square as a competition against the other classes. Students also played several other available games, including table tennis. Photo credit Rachel Howard.

Classes also competed against each other in rounds of Four Square, and, about two hours after the barbecue began, the dancing started.

Despite the competition, camaraderie abounded. “The environment [is] a little crowded,” senior Rachel Larson said, “but the people are great.”

Larson, who has attended “every single [barbecue] since I was a freshman,” is especially aware of her senior status at her final barbecue. “It just makes me feel nostalgic because … I’m never going to come to another one of these again, and this is going to be my last one,” Larson said.

As the first school social event, the Back to School Barbecue causes students to reflect on the upcoming year, and Larson is no exception. When asked about her goals this year, Larson said, “Since I’m a senior, I’ll probably be going to … every single one of the dances, so … and more school events. Maybe [I’ll] finally go to one of the musical theatre productions.”

Yet, as much as it’s a bittersweet beginning for seniors, the barbecue is also a grand welcome to the school’s new students. Freshman Gianna Mendiola said she came because “it sounded like fun, and I wanted to meet new people.”

Her verdict? “I think it’s really fun, and I love all the dancing.”

Mendiola, too, is looking forward to “being able to see my friends everyday at school, but then also to have some days where you can stay at home.” She is also excited for “all the different activities [in] the school, like the Homecoming Dance.”

Rachel Howard
A Time to Dance. Grouped closely together, students groove to a variety of songs at the barbecue. The dancing started a little after 7:00 p.m., and continued until shortly after 9:30 p.m. Photo credit Rachel Howard.

In addition to dancing and socializing, Mendiola is eager to perform. “I’m on the Flag Team,” she said. “The next home game is on Sept. 22, and … the Flag Team performs at the varsity games.”

Mendiola was on C Track and Coastal before attending CAHS. “I liked C Track [but] … I didn’t really know about anything that was going on, so that was kind of a sad thing about it. I like how at this school everybody knows about things … and you can still come to things.”

Freshmen and seniors alike danced until past 9:30 p.m., the light fading from the sky as they celebrated the dawning of a new school year.