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Flamingo Ball in the jungle starts up Luther’s Homecoming Week

Maya+Evans+%28%E2%80%9819%29+and+Sari+Kroschel+%28%E2%80%9819%29+enjoy+good+company+and+fun+music+at+the+Flamingo+Ball.
Maya Evans (‘19) and Sari Kroschel (‘19) enjoy good company and fun music at the Flamingo Ball.

Maya Evans (‘19) and Sari Kroschel (‘19) enjoy good company and fun music at the Flamingo Ball.

Annie Goodroad (‘19) | Photo Bureau

Annie Goodroad (‘19) | Photo Bureau

Maya Evans (‘19) and Sari Kroschel (‘19) enjoy good company and fun music at the Flamingo Ball.

Gillian Klein, Staff Writer

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The annual Flamingo Ball kicked off Homecoming Week with food, friends, and funky music. Student Activities Council (SAC) Homecoming sponsored the jungle-themed event, which took place in Marty’s on Friday, Sept. 29. The event had approximately 150 attendees throughout the night and featured a special performance from Luther’s Ballroom and Swing Club.

SAC Homecoming’s planning  to secure a date, organize decorations, and find a disc jockey started last April. Co-Chair of SAC Homecoming Miranda Stark (‘19) highlighted the importance of completing each step in the planning process.

“We began planning in April with finalizing the dates,” Stark said. “After the date and venue were chosen, we chose who we wanted to have as a musical guest. We felt Marty’s best accommodated our choice of a DJ. The theme was selected, and after that, it was just getting the decorations, getting the food ready, asking the committees for help, and executing the event.”

The location of the Flamingo Ball changed from the Regents Center gymnasium to Marty’s last year. Previously, the committee hosted the ball in the Regents Center gymnasium for the spacious area. In more recent years, Marty’s has provided the environment that the SAC Homecoming committee wanted for this event. Stark and her co-chair, Filiberto Lopez (‘19), emphasized the reasons why this venue was a more suitable choice for the Flamingo Ball.

“In recent years, since we switched it, we have upped the decorations and publicized it more,” Lopez said. “The venue is more centrally located now and easier for people to access.”

The committee also voted to change the music entertainment to better fit the atmosphere of Marty’s. Lopez and Stark both commented on the reasoning for their decision to hire DJ Ben Nordquist (‘15) for the Flamingo Ball.

Annie Goodroad (‘19) | Photo Bureau
Andrew DuFrene (‘18) and Deanna Grelecki (‘19) dance the cha-cha during Ballroom and Swing Club’s showcase at the Flamingo Ball.

“Marty’s has a big party vibe to it, and it was very fitting for the energy,” Lopez said. “Live performers were the traditional entertainment for the ball, but Marty’s is best accommodated by a DJ.”

With Nordquist in charge of the jams and Marty’s decorated accordingly, the Homecoming festivities began.

Students arrived in Marty’s and were greeted by various jungle-themed decorations, such as blow-up monkeys, palm trees, and flamingos. Attendees were free to hit the dance floor, munch on various snacks, or strike up conversation with other attendees.

An hour into the event, Luther Ballroom and Swing Club showcased several brief samples of competition dances, including the three-step and cha-cha. Luther Ballroom and Swing Club has a history of performing at the Flamingo Ball, which is a strategy the dance team uses to increase interest in auditioning for the team and in their weekly social lessons, according to Stark. 

Luther Ballroom and Swing dancer Deanna Grelecki (‘19) further explained the reason for the swing team’s appearance.

“The Ballroom and Swing team have performed at the Flamingo Ball for the past three years,” Grelecki said. “One of our goals as a team is to make sure we connect to the community and share our love of dance. Flamingo Ball is a great way to do this since the student body can come and enjoy what we enjoy doing so much.”

After Ballroom and Swing club’s appearance, attendees were invited to return to the dance floor. Attendee Annalise Goodell (‘20) walked out of the dance content.

“The atmosphere was energetic and lively plus the decorations added to the overall aura,”  Goodell said. “Overall, the event was a good way to get out and socialize with people I had not met before.”

Returning students were not the only attendees. The majority were first-year students looking to widen social circles and meet returning students. First-year attendee Michael Shaten (‘21) saw his experience as an ice-breaker.

“I attended the event with someone, so I was going to the event to get to know her better,” Shaten said. “As for students who attended to meet new people, it’s a great way, especially as a first-year.”

According to Stark, the Flamingo Ball will most likely continue to be held in Marty’s. The next SAC Homecoming event is Homecoming Jazz Night in Marty’s on Friday, October 6.

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