Ball takes students back in time

Kelly Petryszyn

BUS Renaissance Ball recalls ’20s club

VIEW a photo gallery from the event.

The Student Center ballroom resembled a scene out of a 1920s club last night. Sequins sparkled, fringe swayed and bright-colored satin gleamed as girls walked into the Black United Students’ 40th Renaissance Ball. The guys were suited up in pinstripes complete with fedoras and a feather in true 1920s style. Hip-hop music by DJ Ruckkus rumbled over the speakers as guests entered the ballroom down a red carpet and settled in at shiny, red-topped tables for the show.

The room was decorated to resemble the Boom Boom Room, a black club in the 1920s, said BUS programmer Olivia Ryan. She was very pleased with the event.

“I love it,” she said. “Everyone dressed up a lot this year.”

The ball followed the style of a homecoming dance. There were dancers, a best-dressed contest and pageant. The pageant consisted of a talent and formal contest.

The pageant was a highlight of the event. It’s BUS vice president Dierre Clift’s favorite part of the ball. It “shows everyone’s personality,” he said.

Following the pageant, the king and queen of the ball were crowned. This title is very important because the winners are “an overall example to the black community on campus,” Clift said.

After judges’ votes were tallied, Devontae Ferguson was announced king and Kasai Carter was announced queen. The runner-ups were Lawrence Hudson as prince and Brittany Desatnik as princess.

The contestants have been practicing for the ball over a month and met every day this past week. They were judged on their talent, poise, answer to an interview question and crowd appeal, Ryan said.

The judges were Shana Lee, N.J. Akbar, Jelani Dorsey, Ashley Morgan, Takeisha Reeves and Ashley Newberry.

Junior sociology major Alyssa Terry said she liked the pageant, but was really more excited about seeing what people were wearing. She loves the fashions of the 1920s and tries to incorporate some element of the style into her everyday dress.

“I wouldn’t wear a dress like this to class, but I can wear it here,” she said motioning to her snug black satin dress. Her hair was done in tight curls, pinned off to the side, with black and white feathers sticking out of it in all directions. Long strands of white pearls hung around her neck.

She always enjoys coming to the ball for fun, but this year she came for another reason. Her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., awarded a book scholarship of $150 to the winner of an essay contest. She was the recipient of the scholarship last year.

Ryan, on the other hand, especially liked the best-dressed contest. It “gives people a good feeling” to be recognized for their style, she said.

The ball served as an opportunity to gather with everyone, mingle, listen to music and laugh, sophomore accounting major Jamayka Jones said.

The ball is important to her because it is the only formal dance she attends.

“I don’t go to homecoming,” she said. “I go to the Renaissance Ball – this is our homecoming.”

Contact diversity reporter Kelly Petryszyn at [email protected].