Sally Krutzig & Emma Downey
News Editor, Contributing Writer
Even though the spring semester is winding down and final exams are drawing near, students took a night off for an evening of festivities and dancing at the much-awaited Spring Formal. The event took place Friday, April 25. Running from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., the dance was felt by many students to be a dance to remember. By the time that ticket sales closed, 658 students, about half of the undergraduate population,had purchased a ticket to the event.
This year’s theme was “Come Fly With Me.” Senior Madeline Hesse, after learning that the event would take place at DFW Airport, proposed the theme idea, which is based upon a Frank Sinatra song of the same name. However, it was director of student activities Renee Talamantez, senior Catherine Duplant and junior Julia Hines who took the theme and ran with it, ensuring that the invitations and decorations corresponded to the aviation theme.
Many factors were taken into account when the students decided where Spring Formal should be held. The Hyatt Regency, a hotel within DFW Airport was finally chosen.
“I really liked the ballroom style,” said senior Pat Archer, one of the event’s planners. “It focuses on the energy of the night, allows more control over the ambiance and improves the acoustic quality. I know that Spring Formal is about the dancing, so the event was arranged with that as my priority.”
The dance kicked off at 8 p.m. with “smooth tunes and throwback Rat Pack crooning,” so that students could swing dance to the music in tribute to the Sinatra theme. An hour later, though, the DJ, aided by Archer, began to blast more contemporary tunes, causing a wave of students to crowd onto the dance floor.
In a controversial move, SPUD budgeted $20,000 on the evening’s food, which consisted mainly of hors d’oeuvres and baked goods. The food was catered by the gourmet chef Wolfgang Puck, who has appeared on numerous TV shows, including American Idoland Iron Chef America.
The decision to spend this unprecedented amount was part of a negotiated contract with the hotel. It allowed SPUD to waive fees such as those that went toward the dance floor, the ballroom, furniture, decoration supplies, white linens, temperature control, the wait staff, the floor set-up crew, cleaning services after the dance and four different account professionals who handled negotiations with the hotel.
In the end, SPUD stated that holding the dance at DFW Airport saved $10,000. Another benefit of the location was that it was easily accessible from campus, so that students could ride prearranged buses to and from the event.
The event included other features that added to the night’s fun, such as the two bars for students over 21 years of age. And, once again, one of formal’s biggest hits was the photo booth. With its array of props, including feather boas and Viking helmets, there was a continuous line of students waiting to take pictures. Around midnight, the photo booth closed, causing nearly 20 students, who had all been waiting in line, to crowd into the booth for the evening’s final shot.
“My favorite part about Spring Formal was the photo booth, because I left with something I can keep forever,” said junior Kevin Fitzpatrick.
“It really captured the fun and humor of the dance,” he added.
As the final buses rolled out of the Hyatt’s parking lot, tired students could be seen clutching photo strips, painful high heels and lasting memories.