By Lucy Altman-Newell '17
Claremont College students might be surprised to learn that the weekly parties most are familiar with (think TNC) are not the only ones out there. In fact, one can easily experience a completely different atmosphere than the norm of the typical college party; one good source of “alternative” parties is the Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company (CCBDC).
CCBDC hosts several weekly informal social dances, as well as three big parties each semester. Step it Up: Havana Nights, a Salsa-themed party which had more than 300 students in attendance, and the Masquerade Ball, the much-anticipated, annual Tango-themed party which raised money for the House of Ruth in downtown Claremont, had great success earlier in the semester.
The final big dance before Winter Break is the annual Black and White Ball, which will run from 7:00pm to 12:00am on the night of Friday, December 13th in Edmund’s Ballroom on Pomona’s campus. This event, like all other CCBDC dance parties, is free and open to the public. As such, it attracts people from all over the Claremont community.
The Black and White Ball will begin with an hour-long social waltz lesson so that beginners can get a feel for the style before the social dancing part of the evening begins and so that more advanced dancers can work on their technique and offer assistance to newcomers.
This Ball also involves a large performance aspect. Says Etta Lannaccone ’14, CCBDC President, and Executive Planner for the Black and White Ball, “the Ball is our big performance opportunity for our dancers in the fall. Along with having performances from our Campus and Tour teams, we host a Dancing with the Claremont Stars event and have DJ-ed social dancing. Members of our team have spent the semester teaching a faculty or staff member of the 7C’s a dance and they are performing at Black and White Ball.”
The night will also feature a photo booth, a slideshow recap of CCBDC’s semester, Community Awards, a silent auction, and, of course, snacks and nonalcoholic drinks.
This formal and “classy” party is different from the “typical” 5C parties in that it is alcohol-free. In addition, those in attendance try hard to make sure everyone feels welcome and is enjoying learning new dances. Says Julius Torres-Kellinghusen, Major Events Planning Team Leader, “there is zero hook-up culture associated with our events.” Everyone is encouraged to attend the Black and White Ball on December 13th, experienced or not! “We like to get as many new dancers as possible at all of our events,” says Torres-Kellinghusen. “And at CCBDC events, you can never have a bad time.”