The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Playing dress up at the ball

2 min read


Imagine walking into a room dimly lit by a brazen chandelier, but brightly glowing with the excitement of giddy girls whose long and eloquent gowns brush the floor ever so gracefully.  Imagine classical music, sophisticated dance, and people robed in clothing that was the fashion statement of the last century.

Welcome, then, to the Victorian Ball, which took place last Saturday evening.

This fantasy became a reality to a lucky few, including freshmen Sarah Bachmann and Jonathan Doblix.

Doblix, an avid lover of history, saw advertisements about the ball, which were scattered around the campus. Immediately, he knew that he would be attending.

“If I’m not dancing, I’m not happy,” Doblix said, who has been dancing for years.

Just as Doblix knew instantly that he would attend the Victorian Ball, he knew the perfect person to take with him.

“He was like ‘Sarah, Sarah! You have to come with me,’” Bachmann said.

Without hesitation, Bachmann, a history fanatic herself, agreed.
“For me it’s any excuse to dress up and go dancing,” Bachmann said.
After enthusiastically accepting, Bachmann went in search of the perfect dress to wear to the Ball. Since the Ball was themed in the Victorian era, Victorian dress was encouraged. While Doblix opted for a traditional suit, Bachmann went all out and rented a striking green gown from a costume shop called Fantasy.

But having the perfect date and the perfect outfit was not enough to prepare for the Victorian Ball. Dance lessons were offered the morning of the Ball. Those who were dedicated, including Bachmann and Doblix, woke up early on a Saturday morning to turn stumbling feet into fancy footwork, Victorian style.

“They actually taught you how to dance!” Bachmann said.
Doblix was also glad to have some practice time.

“The dance lessons helped a lot,”  Doblix said.

Hours later, Bachmann and Doblix, now donned in their fine garb and armed with proper Victorian dance technique, headed over to the Great Hall to spend the evening participating in what can only be found in the history books.

After dancing the night away, which made Bachmann relieved that she chose flats to heels, all of the dancers, including Bachmann and Doblix, headed back to their dormitories.

“We were sad when it ended,” Doblix said.

The ball, which is hosted annually by the Historic Preservation Club, gave students such as Bachmann and Doblix an evening of period music, dancing, and refreshments for only $15, and a night for those who have always wanted to wear a ball gown to put on that Victorian attire.

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