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President’s Ball or bust

Pres Ball

Photo: St. Olaf crowd dancing at The President’s Ball. Megan Lu/The Olaf Messenger


The St. Olaf Programming Board hosted the 44th Annual President’s Ball on April 13. The President’s Ball is St. Olaf’s yearly formal dance, where students dress up in their finest wear, various music groups perform, and they dance the night away in the ballrooms. 


There are plenty of fun things to see and do at the President’s Ball, but my favorite is by far the student performances. We are fortunate to have many incredibly talented student organized groups on campus, and the President’s Ball is a chance for many of them to perform pop songs for large groups of their peers.


This year, three different a capella groups performed in the Pause Mane Stage: Agnes Acappella, the soprano and alto group; The Limestones, the tenor and bass group; and Hill Harmonics, the group with all voices. A fourth group, Roofalanche, also performed. Roofalanche is a student band that performs covers as well as originals. I love this part of the President’s Ball because it is a showcase for students to get support from other students. Everyone dances along to the music and cheers each other on, and, in my opinion, this is where some of the best dancing of the night happens.


The Programming Board provided a variety of pastries and refreshments upstairs for students to enjoy while taking breaks from the jungle of a dance floor. I saw eclairs, fruit tarts, and other bite sized treats. The photo booth, like last year, continued to be a popular stop for groups and the line was long as always. This year’s backdrop was floral themed.


Early in the night, the Programming Board hosted corsage making, or so I heard, for supplies were gone by the time I arrived at the formal.


The most popular stop at the President’s Ball was, as always, the steamy dance floor — which was even steamier than normal due to the lack of air conditioning. This year, there was some variety in the types of dance. For an hour, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., swing dancing happened in the Ballrooms. Since most of the rest of the night is pop music, I thought it was a nice variety to be included in the night. Last year, the music was loud and everyone was dancing, making for a great night, but this year, they only let about 200 students in the room at a time, and there was a strict no jumping rule due to the floor allegedly shaking during the dance last year. Whenever people started jumping, they turned down the music until people would stop, which is important for safety, but less exciting than usual. 


The President’s Ball remains an event that is heavily attended by the student body. One of my favorite parts is running into different friends while I’m there. Everyone stops to talk to each other, compliment each other’s outfits, and dance with them before continuing on their way. The President’s Ball continues to be an honored tradition and will be for years to come.

Lauren Hanna
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