‘Cinderella moment’ for guests

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COURTNEY EARLL | The Tartan

Laura Enderson
lenderson@radford.edu

Many Radford University students and their guests experienced a ‘Cinderella moment’ Saturday, April 9. Guests dressed up in elaborate ball gowns or short flirty cocktail dresses and tuxedos or suits to enjoy RU’s first annual RU Cotillion Masquerade Ball.

The masquerade was held in Muse Banquet Hall at 8 p.m. and featured live music from the RU Jazz Band, DJ KO and rappers Vincent Pruett, Andrew Youst and Lewis Mitchell. RU Catering provided the food for the masquerade and it was sponsored by the Men of Standards and Women of Purpose and Power.

“I would like to thank [them],” said senior King Ohene Amponsem. “RU Jazz ensemble, RU Dinning, especially Barbara Griffith, DJ KO, Rek One photography and all the performers.”
The ball was nothing short of expectations.

“I believe the program was exceptional and really it exceeded my expectation,” Amponsem said.  “There were guests from all over the country. Guests from colleges in North Carolina, colleges in Northern Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and District of Columbia. It was really a blessing for Radford University.”

When walking in, guests could hang up their coats, soaked from the rain, and check in. Afterpassing through security and checking in, guests were lead to the beautifully decorated Muse Banquet Hall. The hall was draped with lace, twill and gold and silver and black balloons. Lights were strung throughout the columns and on the ceiling. The center stage, elaborately decorated in gold balloons and strings of lights, hosted a mix of live music and DJ music by DJ KO.

COURTNEY EARLL | The Tartan

After arriving, masked guests flocked to the tables that lined the walls. Even the tables were elaborately decorated, featuring a setting in the center made up of candles in a glass and a multicolored mask. There were stands set up that had refreshments and snacks for the guests as well.

After leaving their coats and purses at the tables, many guests headed to the dance floor. The live performances started, with the RU Jazz Band taking over the stage first. Many guests were swaying to the rhythm of the upbeat jazz music and encouraging the band to play song after song.  Following the RU Jazz Band, rappers Vincent Pruett, Andrew Youst and Lewis Mitchell took the stage. Each rapper had their own style and one by one, they all  amazed the crowd. Many students clapped and cheered each musician on. Some guests danced and others simply swayed to the beat of the raps.

After the live music, DJ KO took over. He played everything from current top hits to old party classics. Guests hit the dance floor. The banquet hall was full of students and their dates crowded in the center dancing the night away. Neon lights flashed while guests shouted the familiar lyrics of popular songs as they danced with friends, dates and fellow students.

Every once in a while, guests would get their group together and pose for photos with Rek One Services and Courtney Earll Photography. Many people were excited to show off their elaborate store-bought or homemade masquerade masks for the camera so they could save the memories of the ball for a lifetime.

When the night began to draw to a close, the dance floor broke out into a dance-off circle. One by one, guests would dance to Michel Jackson hits such as “Thriller,” and other hits such as “Teach Me How to Dougie.” The audience cheered and clapped to the beat, some dancing, others swaying as they watched the competitors dance-off. In the end, all competitors were given a heart-filled cheer and the guests of the masquerade broke apart and continued to dance until it was announced that it was time for the guests to go home filled with joy from a fun night out in Radford.

COURTNEY EARLL | The Tartan

“The masquerade was a lot of fun,” said sophomore Jennifer Werner. “My boyfriend and I went with some friends and had a blast. Of course, it was also nice to have an excuse to wear an evening gown and make a masquerade mask.”

It was promised that the RU Cotillion Masquerade Ball would not be the last one of it’s kind. The Men of Standards and Women of Purpose and Power plan to continue this event annually as a way for seniors to celebrate their last year at RU and give other guests a fun-filled night and never mind an excuse to dress up.
A few guests can’t wait for the next year’s RU Cotillion.

“It was extremely fun,” said senior Ashleigh Benois. “I’m glad someone finally made something like this happen. It’s not every day you can put on a mask and ball gown and go dancing. I’m looking forward to the next one.”