BUS hosting ball and pageant tonight

David Yochum

It’s a red-carpet renaissance.

“There will be a red carpet, paparazzi, video clips, blown-up photographs of celebrities, pimped-out glasses for centerpieces and music by DJ Lo-Key,” BUS President Sasha Parker said. “We hired professional choreographers to teach (pageant) contestants their dance performances.”

Black United Students hosts their 37th annual Renaissance Ball and Pageant at 7 p.m. tonight in the Student Center Ballroom.

This year’s theme is “A Red Carpet Event,” which Parker described as a tribute to old Hollywood.

The free event features male and female pageant contestants competing for King, Queen, Prince and Princess of the ball, along with dancing and refreshments for everyone.

Traditionally, Parker said the annual pageant was a Homecoming event for black students, but that is no longer the case.

“It gives everyone a chance to dress up nice and interact with different people,” she said. “In the past we’ve had members from groups like SALSA, PRIDE!Kent and Student Senate there.”

Carla Smith, BUS programming director, said pageant contestants compete against one another in categories of group dance, talent, formal wear and a question and answer interview.

Contestants are judged by faculty, former contestants and representatives from the Center of Student Involvement and the Multicultural Center.

One change to this year’s Renaissance Ball will be the voting format for royalty.

Prince and Princess were voted as a separate category in the past, but second place finishers to King and Queen will now be crowned Prince and Princess.

Contact minority affairs reporter David Yochum at [email protected].