Annual Winter Ball, a French rendezvous


The Student Center Ballroom will be transformed into France’s famed City of Light for the Student University Programmer’s (SUP) 11th annual Winter Ball.

Students are encouraged to get dressed in their best on Feb. 20 for “A Night in Paris,” a semi-formal dance, which will feature dinner for all attendees, a caricature artist, a photo booth and appetizers and drinks served during a cocktail hour.

As per Winter Ball tradition, Classy Casino Night will be taking place simultaneously in the Student Center Pit. This event will be open to all students, though attendees who dress in semi-formal attire will receive extra playing chips for the various games throughout the night, as opposed to those gambling in street clothes.

When coming up for the idea of this year’s Winter Ball, SUP Special Events Director Vincent Colantuoni wanted students to be immersed in French culture while still trying to preserve the enjoyableness of a formal dance.

“I drew inspiration from thinking, ‘What would I want to see if I was in Paris, in this whole new place all alone, experiencing this for the first time,’” Colantuoni said, recalling early ideas for the event. “It’s like a night out on the town, except it’s got a whole new coat of paint and a whole new culture you know nothing about and all you want to do is learn more.”

Colantuoni went on to explain there were originally 28 ideas for the theme, but he ultimately settled upon “A Night in Paris” after narrowing down the list with his co-workers and his committee in SUP.

“Every year the special events committee pulls together a few ideas, they brainstorm, and then they do a vote of everybody’s favorite,” said Carly Samuels, SUP’s director of live events and member of this year’s committee. “Then we pick a top three and then everybody votes again and we get a good feel for it.”

While not every aspect of the event has been finalized, Colantuoni and his committee are in the process of securing the rest of the activities for the event and the night’s DJ, who appeared during last year’s Las Vegas themed Winter Ball.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun, we sell out every year,”  said Samuels. Tickets for the Winter Ball are $15 and go on sale Jan. 29 at 2:00 p.m. The ball will start at 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 20, and according to Colantuoni, knowing the French language is optional.

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