On April 21 at 8 p.m., St. Olaf students got decked out in their finest to attend President’s Ball, whose theme this year was “Up, up, and away.”
The formal dance has been an annual tradition at the school since 1979 when student organizers asked then-president Sidney Rand if they could use the name “President’s Ball” for an event in an attempt to curb a trend of low dance attendance.
Whether due to the fancy name or not, this year’s Ball went well.
“As usual, it was crowded but fun!” said Clare Biedny ’19.
“I think my favorite part of the night was the decorations in [the] King’s Dining Room.” – Stellan Quale ’19
The Black and Gold Ballrooms in Buntrock Commons were set up with a dance floor and had live bands playing throughout the night for students to dance to.
There was a wide mix of couples dancing and friends dancing in groups, people who were swaying along to the music or making up their own moves and those who were obviously busting out the skills they acquired through their Ballroom SPM class.
Although the dancing is the main draw of President’s Ball for many, there were other fun activities for people who have two left feet or just needed a break from all the waltzing.
“I think my favorite part of the night was the decorations on the tables in [the] King’s Dining Room,” said Stellan Quale ’19. “The petals and pin wheels decorating the tables added a nice touch and served as a distraction while we listened to awesome music from student bands. I’m also super excited to see the pictures that were taken at the stations.”
The student bands brought a lot of enthusiasm to the event, both in their passionate performances and in the excitement of their friends getting to see them perform. At one point in the night, cheers went up as one of the bands played a cover of the Cantina theme from “Star Wars.”
If there was one aspect of the night that was a little bit disappointing it was probably the food and drink selection. Although the donut holes were plentiful and popular, the cheeses, while delicious and varied, disappeared rapidly. The accompanying fruit and crackers did too, and they
“As usual, it was crowded by fun!” – Clare Biedney ’19
were not replenished often enough to keep up with the rate they were vanishing. Also, while the water definitely did keep up with the demand of thirsty partiers coming off the dance floor, it would have been nice to have some more variety of drink options like lemonade or coffee.
That one small thing aside, this year’s President’s Ball was an absolute success. It provided a fantastic evening for many students who are preparing to duck back into their dorm rooms and favorite nooks in the library as finals season approaches. It’ll be exciting to see what next year’s Ball holds.