Trisha McCormick and John Ausman dance to Marvin Gaye's “Let's Get It On” at the Winter Formal on Sat Feb. 22. The theme of this year’s winter formal at the Pomona Sheraton was “Midnight Masquerade.”
Amidst gold chandeliers, soft lighting and decorated masks on the tables, University of La Verne students felt like royalty at a grand ball during Saturday’s “Midnight Masquerade” winter formal at the Pomona Sheraton.
As some guests arrived at 8 p.m., they snacked on a variety of delicious appetizers, including meatballs, fresh fruit and miniature beef and bell pepper skewers before the music started.
The decadent chocolate fountain, complete with marshmallows, strawberries, brownies and graham crackers for dipping, was the favorite of the selections.
“I really enjoyed the chocolate fountain,” senior Campus Activities Board Chairwoman Michelle Ajemian said.
The five-tier fountain topped off the sophisticated décor of the stately Sheraton Hotel ballroom, where more than 200 students arrived for a night of food, friends and dancing.
Once the first bus arrived loaded with elegantly dressed students, the room began to fill.
Most of the women dressed up in formal gowns and the men wore suits.
Some guests even wore masks for the occasion, which they decorated with feathers, buttons and rhinestones at booths set up on campus during the previous week.
“Everybody loves a chance to dress up like a princess,” junior communications major Ami Smith said.
The dance floor became more crowded as the night progressed and guests began to mingle.
DJ cranked up the music, playing mostly rap and hip hop songs, including Soulja Boy’s “Crank Dat,” which everyone danced to together.
“It was really great to see people come out of their shells,” said sophomore Kaitlin Eckert, a winter formal committee member and psychology major.
The guests all seemed to enjoy the night together, as they congregated in large groups on the dance floor.
“Sometimes we need to let off a little steam and I think everybody did that,” CAB Major Events Co-Chairwoman Naime Laskar said.
Major Events Co-Chairwoman Despina Kritikos said the many hours of decorating and preparing for the event were well worth it once everyone arrived and started having a good time.
“The best part for me is working so hard and then all of it coming together,” Kritikos said.
All of the hard work was evident in the small details and decorations at the event.
“I really liked it because it was really simple, classy and didn’t take away from the theme of the dance by being too extravagant,” liberal studies major Rachel deBos said.
From the romantic quotes at each table to the magnetic frames that people could take home, it was clear that the night was well planned and creatively designed.
“Naime and Despina did a really good job,” Ajemian said. “They put a lot of hard work and effort into planning it over the past two months.”
Aside from the lovely atmosphere, students also enjoyed getting decked out for the fun-filled night.
Most people when they go to a dance or club they dress in casual clothing and do not get dressed up.
“It’s a good excuse to dress up, look fabulous and have a good time,” senior philosophy major Samantha Toia said.
Eckert agreed that it was nice to trade in jeans and T-shirts for elegant attire.
“It was cool to see all of our classmates get dressed up,” she said. “It’s not something you see everyday; people usually just wear sweats.”
By the time the first bus came at 11 p.m. to take students back to campus, no one wanted to leave the dance floor.
Students took advantage of every moment that the event had to offer, from chatting with friends to fine dining and dancing to every song.
The DJ, freshmen Alonzo Moreno, played music for the event until the end of the night.
Many students would have liked to have mingled with friends a little longer, but started to leave when the music ended.
“At the end of the night when it was the last song, people seemed sad that it was over,” Ajemian said.
Jamie Ondatje can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.