Semester two is supposed to be when the fashion shows take over, but the tried and tested method of black-tie, cocktails and a fancy venue never fails to disappoint. The latest in a recent line of balls, DanceSoc tried to put their own spin on Carnival Ball, and were in fact rather successful.
Starting with a punch reception at 20:30, this night of “Venetian-filled celebration” held in Younger Hall was always going to be a talked-about event, due to the sheer amount of entertainment packed into the four hours that the ball ran for. This is my one critique – perhaps an alternative venue would have allowed for a later finishing time, but with tickets at £15 I could hardly complain.
With themed cocktails, priced at £4, it was clear the organisers were keen to embrace the carnival spirit. Both were delicious, and custom made for the event. Carnival Fizz tasted like cream soda and consisted of vodka, gold vodka and lemonade, whilst Masquer-ade was more fruity with peach schnapps, vodka, grenadine and lemonade.
Of course, this being a DanceSoc event, the traditional a cappella performances went out of the window and were replaced by performances from four troupes: the Blue Angels, the Angels Apprentices, the Desert Roses and the Latin and Ballroom Society.
Rebbeca Ameson, the ball organiser, explained: “We got so much variety from them, from jazz, to bellydancing, to a can-can, to samba. It seemed well received from the crowd, and we certainly loved them! Plus it was awesome for EIDSoc [Desert Roses is EIDSoc’s dance group] and Ballads to get involved, we’re all dance societies after all.”
Before the DJ began his set we were also treated to background music from the Big Band. This provided the perfect backdrop for guests to mingle and admire each other’s costumes. While I’m on the subject, some of these were truly fabulous – from flowing dresses to masks and glitter, it was fantastic to see everyone getting so involved with the theme.
Ashton Squires began his DJ set at 22:00, but there were some technical difficulties with the speakers for the first 45 minutes. However, this didn’t stop the dancefloor from filling up, and when the speakers were fixed the party truly got started. Squires played a great mix of Bop-esque pop, more recent music and even a cheeky remix of The Lion King. I don’t think the dancefloor emptied until the end, and even then very reluctantly as the audience hopefully chanted: “One more song!”
The proceeds from the event went to DanceSoc’s elected charity, Children in Hope. Operating both locally and in India, this charity focuses on improving the lives of young people. The founder, Dr Richard Ravi, came to St Andrews to meet with the DanceSoc committee and was then invited, along with his family, as DanceSoc’s guest at the ball.
I asked Rebecca for one last comment: “I still can’t quite believe we pulled it off, but seeing Younger Hall full of people was the best feeling in the world! Plus, you know you’re at a DanceSoc event when an impromptu dance circle breaks out on the dancefloor!”