The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Great Hall Masquerade Ball: Renaissance Club Dances the Night Away

2 min read


This past Friday night, Great Hall was transformed back to the medieval ages.  The UMW Renaissance Club hosted a Masquerade Ball to celebrate Halloween and participate in general fall reveries.
The chandelier emitted a romantic glow on the masked attendants below. The white and black checkered floor matched the costumes of the flamboyant jesters and the whirling capes of attendees.
Admission costs at the front door consisted of canned goods which will be donated to the Fredericksburg United Methodist Food Pantry.  Raffle tickets were given to all attendants for a chance to win homemade masks.
The costumes ranged from leftover Halloween pirate costumes to homemade princess gowns and flowing capes.
Freshman Rachel Frederick won the costume contest by a round of applause.  Her “Midsummer Night’s Dream” fairy costume was a homemade concoction of green skirts, ivy vines, and flowers.
Also a member of the Fencing Club, Frederick stated “I have made a lot of friends in both groups. I’m going to start coming to more meetings now.”
The party of 45 collaborated on the dance floor in the giant Circle Dance to songs from artists like Bride’s Mediaeval Baebes.
Every year the club holds a themed party during the fall. In previous years, they have modeled the Labyrinth and Wings & Glow Sticks which were held in the Underground.
“The club comes up with themes every year and then we vote” says Morgan Riley, the club’s president.
Riley is a senior and has been heavily involved with this club since freshman year.
Riley explained that masquerades were elaborate balls thrown by the European court of the 15th century and were considered to be important social gatherings.
During the fall season, the club also makes special trip up to Annapolis, MD to see the Maryland Renaissance Fair.
This Renaissance Club is linked with the local Society for Creative Acronyms, a group of community members who specialize in reenactments, similar to the Masquerade Ball.
These members often come to meetings on campus and teach trades to the club members, such as sowing.
The club practices Medieval trades and crafts, such as making chain mail by hand. They will be hosting calligraphy lessons next week.
The Club is looking forward to their Spring Semester Elizabethan Feast where a medieval meal will be provided by Sodexho.
There will be different entrees all characteristic of the Medieval period, such as root vegetables, goblets of grape juice, French bread, and turkey legs.
The Renaissance Club meets every Sunday night at 8 p.m. in the parlor of Ball Hall and is open to anyone interested. Go check out the other great events that the club will be hosting!

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