Over 100 students donned in festive masks and elegant attire waltzed their way around the J.C. Williams Center Saturday night, March 2, at the Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball.
The event, co-hosted by the Veritas Society and the St. Vitus Social Dance Club, offered lessons in waltz in the Gentile Gallery while the main dance took place in the atrium.
“It was wonderful to see so many students come together for an evening of fine music, dance and fellowship,” said Clement Harrold, sophomore and president of the Veritas Society.
Attendees began trickling into the building when doors opened at 8:30, and within an hour the lower J.C. was transformed into a booming ballroom full of couples twirling around and friends taking photos in their festive gear.
Senior David Forrester, president of the dance club, led the lessons. He showed couples the basic waltz step and a spin, taking multiple attendees as his own partners and encouraging anyone sitting on the sidelines to join.
The night also featured multiple performances by the Franciscan University Pep Band, which allowed attendees to dance to live music.
About halfway through the evening, the music picked up in pace, and the students in the atrium began to transition into swing dancing.
The Mardi Gras theme was incorporated into the night through the colorful streamers hung around the rooms and the bright masks worn by both men and women that were adorned with sequins, feathers and more. While masks could be purchased at the door, most came in with homemade pieces, which resulted in a unique array of styles around the room.
“I thought it was a smashing success,” said Harrold. “We expected it to be awesome, but the reality surpassed even our highest expectation.”
“We’re really happy to be contributing to the culture on campus by co-sponsoring events such as these which serve to promote the good, the true and the beautiful,” said Harrold.