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SCC throws Gatsby Dance

| Thursday, September 18, 2014

Friday night, the Sophomore Class Council (SCC) will allow students to step out of 2014 and into the world of F. Scott Fitzgerald, at the second annual Great Gatsby Dance.

The dance, co-sponsored by Senior Class Council, Junior Class Council and the Swing Club, is open to all students. Organizers said the dance will embrace some of the themes made famous by fictional ‘roaring twenties’ host Jay Gatsby, including live music, swing dancing, and decor.

The Gatsby Dance is the only dance this fall that will be held on Bond Hall Quad, organizers said. SCC Social Committee chair Chris Gauch said the dance will also feature several unique attractions.

“We’ve got an ice sculpture, a chocolate fountain, a live swing band and a dance floor. I think it’s going to be a great time,” Gauch said. “We also have swing club coming in. It’ll be nice to have students learn how to dance from them, and to see some demonstrations of what was popular during the 1920’s.”

Swing Club president, Saint Mary’s senior Alyssa Lanting, said in an email that the club will be available for instruction throughout the night. In preparation for the dance, the club also hosted a swing instructional session Thursday night in Stepan Center.

“For the event, we only plan to teach East Coast Swing,” Lanting said. “Throughout the night, one may be able to see our more experienced dancers doing other dances, such as triple step East Coast, Lindy, Charleston, and even Blues. Also, we plan to play the Shim Sham, which is a line dance that is easy to jump into, and we encourage others to try.”

As a co-sponsor, the Swing Club also assumed responsibility for finding the band for the dance, The Michiana Jazz Assemblage.

Sophomore class president Noemi Ventilla said the band will play an instrumental role in setting the tone for the night.

“It’s a 19-piece swing band, and they only play music that was actually popular at the time, so it will be very authentic,” Ventilla said.

Ventilla inherited the Gatsby Dance from last year’s Sophomore Class Council, which hosted the inaugural event. NDSP estimated last year’s dance drew more than 2,000 students.

Junior class president Zach Waterson served on SCC last year, and helped this year’s SCC plan the event.

“The Junior Class Council [served] as advisers and mentors to the sophomores as they planned an event of this scale,” Waterson said. “The Sophomore Class Council wanted to take a primary role in the planning of the event, and we were happy to provide auxiliary support to them. We drew on our experience from last year to help the sophomores outline a timeline of deliverables to accomplish and helped connect them with the numerous parties involved in the planning of the Dance. We also helped fund and market the event to the Class of 2016.”

“Last year it turned out to be a great success, so the university administration really pushed us to make it a signature event,” Ventilla said. “There really is nothing else like it; it’s the only dance open across the classes — the entire university gets to go if they want to.”

Gauch said this year’s SCC hoped to put it’s own twist on the evening.

“They did a great job with it last year, so we took the main ideas from what they did and changed some minor things,” Gauch said. “Instead of chocolate-covered strawberries, we’re having a chocolate fountain that will be running the entire evening, we’ll also be having a larger dance floor because last year it did get a little crowded.”

“We’ve got two chandeliers for our tents, sparkling cider in champagne glasses, and rice krispie treats for dipping in chocolate. We’re [also] bringing back the ice sculpture from last year; it really is an extremely unique event,” Gauch said.

SCC Social Committee member Celanire Flagg recommended students come early if they wanted to ensure they can have a chocolate-dipped snack.

“Come early and on time, because the dance opens at 10 and hopefully we won’t run out but if we do, it’s really a first-come-first-serve basis,” Flagg said.

Current forecasts don’t predict troublesome weather, but SCC secured South Dining Hall as its rain location.

“We’re prepared, but it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful night. And the event will be a nice change from the typical night out on campus,” Gauch said.

Ventilla said the dance is so special because it allows students to dress for a different era .

“Boys, if you have a bow-tie, bring it out; girls, put on your dancing shoes, headbands, and fake pearls. It’s going to be ‘the bee’s knees,’” she said.

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About Margaret Hynds

Margaret is a senior Political Science major and the former Editor-in-Chief of The Observer. She hails from Washington, D.C., and is a former Phox of Pangborn Hall. Follow Margaret on Twitter @MargaretHynds

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