Being a lowly fresher who had never been to a hall ball, I was attacked by shouts of “DRA BALL BEST BALL” by past attendees. Having been hyped up, I entered the marquee with high expectations. And boy, did the ball meet them.
The sultry pink and red hues that misted Lower College Lawn during DRA’s 7 Deadly Sins Ball set the perfect atmosphere for a night of sinning. Taking place only four days after the St Andrews Charity Fashion Show, the committee was still rushing to clean up the Lawn on the day of the ball. They managed to transform it into a delightfully sinful place that upheld the tales of DRA ball being the best ball.
With the place starting to fill up relatively early in the night, the two coatrooms (one of them run by a charity) were helpful in speeding things up. Upon entering the marquee, guests were greeted with a jazzy and seductive atmosphere, and I personally found the sweet voice of Valentine Moscovici (of Me and my Old Men) wafting through the air dryly humorous, as it provided an ironic contrast to the elaborate sections of the tent dedicated to different sins.
If a burlesque club and Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove had a baby (weird analogy, but google Yzma and you’ll see what I mean), the DRAFP Ball would be it. Everywhere you look, people were engaged in a flurry of activities, wrapped up in a pink and purple fog. Gluttony saw guests sinfully consuming the (free) hog roasts, (free) Jannettas ice cream, (free) popcorn, (free) crepes, and (not-so-free-but-beloved) Blackhorn wraps; Pride drew guests in with its photobooth, narcissistically boasting a long line of glamorous people from the beginning of the night till it close; Greed captivated guests with its numerous gambling tables – with no actual exchange of money involved, guests could abandon all control and go all out.
Seeing the wide, ecstatic eyes and gleeful grins of the guests, I couldn’t help but enter into a couple of games of blackjack, trying my luck to the tune of live band Pink Eye on Picture Day.
By the end of the night, ice cream cones and cups and other food bits peppered the floor, much to the disdain of guests who removed their heels for a moment of pain relief. Falling guilty to Sloth’s pull, I sank into a comfortable couch and observed the guests with full stomachs and large smiles dancing their drunken hearts out to the pulsing tunes of DJs Maz Cottam and Ross Smithers. Although most comments about the ball were compliments and cheers, with a consensus that the ball exceeded many other balls in St. Andrews, many complained about the high prices of drinks in the cash-only bar, which went up to £6 for a Pablo.
However, the charity aspect was not lost. Despite the ball having been free in 2015, this year the cheap ball tickets (£5 for residents of DRAFP and £10 for non-residents) are for a charitable purpose, with all ticket proceeds going to the charities of Frontline Fife, Anthony Nolan, and Women for Women.
Kudos to the DRAFP committee. I believe I speak for most when I say that the eighth sin is not attending the ball!