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Having a Ball

Rocket Life Editor

Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 03:11

Yule Ball

Photo courtesy of Hannah Fish

Students Hong Lee (left) and Joanne Beckwith display fancy footwork at last year’s Yule Ball. This year’s event will raise money for charity and feature “house” competitions.

Music, dance and a little bit of magic will soon fill the halls of UT.

The Third Annual Yule Ball will be held in the Ingman room of the Student Union Building from 8-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

The Harry Potter-inspired soiree is hosted by the UT Ballroom Dance Society, CAP, Student Government, RSA and Mortar Board. It will include dance competitions and refreshments. 

Tickets, which are $8 for singles and $12 for couples, are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union Food Court.

“It is an extremely unique event that brings in a variety of different people,” Hannah Fish, a pharmacy student and UTBDS’s student adviser, said in an email interview.

“There is ballroom dancing and regular social dancing. The music playlist is designed so that anyone and everyone can dance to all the songs played however they wish.”

Additionally, this year’s event will benefit the charity “Reading is Leading,” the national philanthropy of Mortar Board.

“This philanthropy promotes reading and shows the impact it has in every aspect of our lives. ‘Reading is Leading’ is designed for student and community leaders to make an impact [by] improving literacy. [They] do everything from holding book drives to reading to kids in grade schools,” Fish said.

In an email interview, this year’s Yule Ball Chairman Sean Coyle said the charity was a natural fit for the literary-inspired event.

“Because Yule Ball comes from a book, we thought that this organization would be a great one to support,” the senior chemical engineering major said.

The event takes its name from “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” the fourth book in the popular fantasy series. Fish said the ball was created during the peak of the Harry Potter phenomenon, and it also incorporates other elements from the novels.

“We play on the Harry Potter theme by dividing up the attendees into the different houses just as students of Hogwarts are in the books,” she said. “Throughout the dance we play games and award points to houses as part of a ‘House Cup.’ For one example, we divide everyone on the dance floor into their houses and see which house can dance the ‘Cha Cha Slide’ the best and most creatively.”

It was the desire to see more opportunities for dancing which inspired the UTBDS to create the event in 2010, Coyle said.

“We saw that there were really no formal dances on campus that students could be a part of,” he said. “We really love dancing, so we wanted to try to make that happen.”

Fisher said the first ball was also a way for students to reminisce and relax.

“We wanted to give girls the opportunity to wear their prom dresses again. ... We planned to have the dance after Thanksgiving as a way to celebrate the end of the semester and have one last bit of fun before cramming for finals. (Also, it would give girls the opportunity to go home to get their dresses during the break.)

“As members of UTBDS we also wanted a way to ballroom dance outside of our practices and collegiate competitions. So this hodge podge [sic] of an event was created.”

The event has gained popularity outside of Toledo — according to Fish, 15 Michigan State students attended last year’s ball. She owes the increased awareness to the event’s distinct atmosphere.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. And I'm not being biased because I helped to create the event. It is such a unique night that you can't help but have fun. I love getting dressed up, dancing, and seeing all my friends that come. It is a rewarding experience as well to see the diverse student body too. ... Every single person looks like they are having the time of their lives and not worrying about school or finals,” Fish said.

Coyle agreed.

“I was at last year's ball, and helped decorate and set up. I rarely left the dance floor that night. I loved the event because it brought together so many different people who were all able to have fun together. I was also able to talk to a few students this year who say that they think it's a valuable part of life on campus. That's a big part of why I wanted to be a part of making Yule Ball happen,” he said.


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