Halloween Masquerade Ball is a Thriller for Beginners, Seasoned Dancers

Sophie Reingold • The Student Life

While it only takes two to tango, it takes many more to have a ball. The Halloween Masquerade Ball on Saturday, Oct. 31, saw many guests excited to dance the night away. Hosted by the Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company (CCBDC) at Pomona College’s Edmunds Ballroom, the ball was set to the theme of The Nightmare Before Christmas,” featuring decorations from the movie and music from its soundtrack.

The event started at 8 p.m. with a complimentary tango lesson for beginning dancers taught by Eric Campbell PO ‘17 and Vivian Delchamps SC ‘14. After pairing up and arranging themselves in a circle, guests were taught three main steps of American tango: basic, promenade and fan.

By 9 p.m., the dancing officially began. Guests arrived decked in attire ranging from floor-length ballgowns to outrageous Halloween costumes—and of course, a variety of colorful, ostentatious masks. In one instance, someone dressed as Winnie the Pooh took the floor and began rocking out to the music. The ball was so well-attended that it was tricky to navigate the crowded dance floor without brushing against others, but that made the experience of social dancing all the more exciting. In addition, a variety of music was played, ranging from typical tango and cha-cha music to hip-hop and even the Cupid Shuffle. There were plenty of ways to have fun for both beginners with no experience and seasoned dancers alike.

Behind the scenes of the festivities, the CCBDC put a lot of work and time into the evening to make it a success, and their efforts most definitely did not go to waste.

“I think the event was extremely well-organized,” Ali Wang PO ‘19, a member of the CCBDC who attended the ball, said. “I auditioned and joined the CCBDC this fall, and it has been a pretty great experience meeting and dancing with new people while learning different types of dances. At the ball, I had a great time learning American tango and dancing with other people. It was also a really fun way to showcase some of our top dancers. My favorite part of the night was definitely the different performances from the CCBDC tour team.”

Not only did the Ballroom Dance Company have to organize the event, they also had to rehearse and prepare performances. Indeed, the highlight of the evening involved various performances by members of the CCBDC. Several groups were showcased in rumba, samba and tango. As a conclusion to the performances and a nod to Halloween night, dancers performed a foxtrot set to Michael Jackson’s classic “Thriller,” which certainly thrilled the crowd.

“I really enjoyed watching all of the performances, and the decorations were absolutely awesome,” Oscar Torres PO ’19, another newly-minted CCBDC member, said. “In all, it was very fun being a baller for one night!”

Following the performances came even more dancing, this time for everyone. The plentiful opportunities for social dancing allowed students from all 5Cs to mix, mingle and move. In addition, a photo booth by the entrance of the ballroom gave guests a chance to pose in their outfits and create a lasting souvenir of the night.

Following the Halloween Masquerade Ball, the CCBDC has several other events planned for the coming months.

“We have Dancing with the Claremont Stars and the Winter Wonderland Ball in December, so make sure to be on the lookout for these events!” Wang said.

Like a proper ball, the festivities of the Halloween Masquerade Ball ended at midnight, but the magic of the evening left a lasting impression on all who attended.

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