Though Ithaca College students have long buried their high school prom memories in boxes and closets, the African-Latino Society aims to give students an opportunity to pull out the dresses and tuxedos once again for a night of dance and celebration.
ALS will host the college’s annual Winter Wonderland Ball from 7 to 11 p.m. tomorrow in Emerson Suites. While attendees of the ball in the past have looked forward to it in December, during the holiday season, members of ALS decided to wait until the first week of classes in January.
Sophomore Mia Jackson, public relations official for ALS, said the event has always been a way of giving back to students, which is what drove ALS to change
“The intention of it is to have fun and to do something nice for a general body,” Jackson said. “It’s an elegant evening to relax.”
Jackson and senior David Cruz, treasurer of ALS, said they have come to understand that the reason for a low turnout in previous years has been the timing of the event, when students were more focused on studying for finals than shopping for the right dress or pair of shoes.
“In previous years the ball was right after finals had happened or before finals had happened, and people are stressing out and don’t have a chance to go out and really have some fun,” Cruz said.
He said this year’s ball will not include one of its signature highlights of the past — a musical showcase that has included performances from student groups, such as IC Tap Club and IC Hip Hop, and solo performances from junior Leah Young and Cruz.
“We’re just going to try to take it back to its tradition,” Jackson said. “We just wanted to keep the night simple and classy.”
For the first time, ALS will be the only sponsor of the ball, after co-sponsoring with other campus groups such as Amnesty International and PRISM in the past.
Junior Elizabeth Rodriguez plans to attend the ball tomorrow night and is looking forward to an atmosphere reminiscent of a high school prom.
“I expect the famous cheap photos to document the occasion,” she said.
Senior class president A.J.
Mizes attended the ball last year and said it was a great alternative to the average weekend night.
“To be able to get dressed up and dance the night away with some of the most styling, involved and fun people on campus was priceless,” he said.
Cruz said he hopes students will now have the chance to dress sharp and have fun. Just as prom takes a bit more effort than another dance, ALS hopes students put in extra effort to participate in an elegant tradition.
“A lot of people bring back their prom dresses … That’s the tradition of the event,” Jackson said.
DJ Cam (sophomore Justin Lee) will DJ the event and light refreshments will be served. Photos will be taken from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. and formal to semi-formal attire is suggested.
Cruz said when planning for the event began in September, members of ALS tried to keep students’ needs and interests in mind by changing the date in hopes to encourage more students to attend. He said he also hopes this year’s Winter Wonderland Ball will serve as a stress reliever to start another semester off right.
“It’ll be a big help to ease into the semester,” he said. “If a class didn’t go as well or if you didn’t get into the right class, at least you can go and have fun hanging out and dancing with your friends.”
The Winter Wonderland Ball will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. tomorrow in Emerson Suites. Tickets are $5 at the door.