The Faces Behind the Fright

At the Fall Dance, students showcased their costumes inspired by the dance’s theme: “Theatre of Terror, A Night of Fright”
Dancing with friends, visual senior Cherise Hightower attends the Fall Dance. Students danced in the gym, walked through the haunted house in the media center, or attempted the escape room.
Dancing with friends, visual senior Cherise Hightower attends the Fall Dance. Students danced in the gym, walked through the haunted house in the media center, or attempted the escape room.
Belen Rivera

A correction was made to this story on 10/16/2023. In the story, Valisa Shmatko’s name was written as Valisa Shmatk. Her name is Valisa Shmatko. This has been rewritten with the correct name.

Hues of purple, red, and green lights reflected off the gymnasium floor Oct. 12 as students and guests arrived in various costumes to dance to songs, participate in conga lines, and visit the Haunted House in Building 5.

From angels to skeletons, students showcased costumes that they either handmade, taking hours or even days to complete, or found online, spending up to $100 on the costumes they decided to wear to the event. Because of the Fall Dance’s limitations – no face masks or fake weapons – students chose to accessorize in different ways, using face paint, handmade jewelry, or attaching things to their costumes. 

“You can be anything you want at (the) Fall Dance,” vocal senior and co-president Ben Levkovitz said. “There’s no limitation. It’s really just students expressing what they enjoy in their life. It’s their hobbies, their interests. It’s all of that coming to life into a costume which is really beautiful.”

Who: Communications senior Angelyna Rodriguez (pictured on right)

Costume: Bedazzled in Blood

Time it took to make: 48 hours

Fun Fact: All of the beads are hand-glued on to the corset and face

“I had a dream of a person covered in blood, and I looked at Pinterest and there was a lot of  inspiration. Last year, I won the Halloween costume contest (so) I was like, I gotta do something great. And I feel like this is something great.”

— Angelyna Rodriguez


Who: Visual freshman Athena Fleming (pictured second from the left)

Costume: Ice King from “Adventure Time

Cost: $80 

Fun Fact: The costume arrived two hours before the dance

“Everyone gets to show what they’re interested in and show up as when they love. I like how you guys came up to me because of my costume, (and) it makes people feel happy that they get to find people with similar interests.”

— Athena Fleming

Who: Visual junior Lily Edmiston

Costume: Joan of Arc, national heroine of France

Cost: $100 

Fun Fact: The tunic was homemade, taking approximately one hour

“My favorite band is ‘My Chemical Romance’. In the past year, they went on tour and the lead singer did a different costume every night and one of the nights he dressed up as Joan of Arc. That’s what this is mainly inspired by.”

— Lily Edmiston

Who: Visual sophomore Valisa Shmatko

Costume: Biblically accurate angel

Time it took to make: Three days

Fun Fact: At the end of the night, Shmatko won a prize given by Principal Bennett for competing in the dance’s costume contest

“I think that everyone can become whoever they want to become (at the Fall Dance.) Nobody (has) to be shy because they’re not themselves, they are someone else.”

— Valisa Shmatko

Who: Communications junior London Sanford

Costume: Bayonetta from the video game “Bayonetta

Cost: $69

Fun Fact: The video game is a 2009 action-adventure title.

“‘Bayonetta’ was one of my favorite games when I was a kid. So I was like, ‘Oh, I gotta do it justice.’”

— London Sanford

Who: Communications sophomores Isla Warriner and Sofia Morgan

Costumes: Barbie and Maleficent 

Fun Fact: They planned their costumes together, deciding to starkly contrast each other.  

“I don’t think we’re allowed to wear costumes like this every day and if we are then people just don’t because they feel like they may be ostracized. So it’s a day where everyone (can) just wear what they want, and feel free to express themselves.”

— Sofia Morgan

“It allows people to show their interests and make friends. If you see someone that’s wearing a costume that’s for something you like, you become friends with them and connect over shared interests.” 

— Isla Warriner


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