College students in elegant robes and fits twirled throughout the ground because the orchestra took up the beginning notes of the primary waltz — the forty fifth Stanford Viennese Ball had begun. A protracted-standing and beloved Stanford custom, the occasion invitations anybody to take part in plenty of social dances.
Open to Stanford associates and the general public alike, the Ball had 4 completely different rooms devoted to several types of music — swing, Latin, modern and waltz — offering friends loads of alternatives to check out completely different kinds of dance motion. Water stations had been conveniently situated exterior of every room to offer thirsty dancers an opportunity to hydrate.
Excitingly, each the waltz and swing rooms featured stay music by the Saratoga Symphony and Silver Bell Jazz band, respectively. The performances added an air of grandeur to the evening and supplied nice leisure, each for lively dancers and for many who wished to take a seat and relaxation their toes.
As somebody with virtually no social dance expertise, I had been anxious about how a lot dancing I might truly get to do. Nonetheless, I had no want to fret — each pals and strangers had been comfortable to clarify the fundamental steps to completely different dances. Plus, barring the intimidating fixed rotation of the waltz room, most attendees had been extra centered on having enjoyable than mastering technical steps.
Some rooms held dance contests as nicely, giving skilled social dancers an opportunity to indicate off their abilities. Inexperienced social dancers, like myself, acquired the chance to look at and cheer together with their performances. Certainly one of my favourite elements of the evening was watching the Freestyle Social Dance contest that displayed entertaining inventive freestyle routines.
All through the night, pupil teams like Swingtime and Los Salseros de Stanford carried out within the numerous ballrooms — one other enjoyable exercise that helped stave off any monotony. Switching ceaselessly from room to room, I solely had the prospect to catch Swingtime’s efficiency. The group’s enthusiasm and flashy dance strikes had me and the viewers cheering loudly the entire time.
The evening additionally featured scheduled choreographed dances such because the Bohemian Nationwide Polka and the Viennese Midnight Quadrille. Within the swing room, freshmen had been inspired to affix alongside and study as they went. Doing my finest to comply with alongside and laughing with the opposite novices at the back of the room was one other spotlight of my evening .
Scholar teams such because the Stanford Gentle Opera Firm and the Cardinal Ballet Firm featured within the opening ceremony as nicely. The Viennese Ball Opening Committee gave delightfully elegant dances and did a very good job of setting a magical tone for the evening.
Regardless of the opening ceremony’s lovely performances, there have been a couple of logistical hang-ups that dulled the expertise. The ballroom that held the opening ceremony had an unlimited dance flooring, which attendees had been advised to evacuate for the efficiency, leaving them to pack into the slim strips of carpet between the dance flooring and partitions. Company in direction of the again of the group might be heard complaining about their incapacity to see the dance performances.
An analogous situation occurred with the shuttles. The Viennese Ball provided college students the choice of buying a $5 round-trip bus ticket to the occasion — a way more inexpensive various to most different transportation choices to San Francisco. Whereas friends taking the shuttle to and from the occasion had been advised to pick out a bus time for his or her departure, there was no such choice potential for the return journey. As an alternative, a schedule for bus departure occasions was supplied and college students had been advised to get in line no less than ten minutes earlier than the scheduled bus departure time to make sure a spot on the bus. On the finish of the evening, attendees lined up over quarter-hour early for the ultimate bus departure, however the buses shortly crammed up and over 50 college students had been compelled to determine their very own transportation again to campus.
Regardless of the small mishaps at the start and finish of the evening, the occasion was nonetheless executed nicely, and extra importantly, enjoyable. From the various dance rooms to the scheduled dances and pupil performances, the Stanford Viennese Ball was filled with fixed leisure and has shortly cemented itself in my coronary heart as considered one of my favourite campus traditions.
Editor’s Notice: This text is a overview and consists of subjective ideas, opinions and critiques.