By Krista Shaw
Photos by Elizabeth Kerin and Anthony Garnier
This year’s Winter Cotillion was attended by over 400 students on Saturday. Student Programming at the University of Dallas (SPUD) decided to blend new traditions with the old at this year’s dance, and it proved to be a success. Traditional dancing, complete with dance cards; modern dancing to the music of DJ Matt Wise; and new decorations all contributed to the enjoyable night.
Dave Washburn’s Three Quarters Fast Jazz Band opened up the night with a lively mixture of swing, ballroom and the group’s specialty, traditional New Orleans style jazz music.
This year, the dance had a different vibe and appearance than the past several years. The dance floor was moved from the main dining area to the front dining area, and the entire cafeteria was darkened and lit by pale blue and purple lights.
Senior Maria Jose Herrera, the SPUD socials coordinator who organized the event, applauded the band’s energy and style.
“I think that the fact that the crowd asked for an encore from the band shows that they were greatly pleased with their performance,” Herrera said. “Their New Orleans vibe kept everyone on their feet.”
Herrera also mentioned that the band’s leader, Dave Washburn, was astonished by the enthusiasm of UD students who attended.
“Dave commented that he had never seen, while preforming, so many people dancing for such an extended amount of time,” Herrera said.
Freshmen students attending Winter Cotillion for the first time were introduced to the exceptional UD tradition of swing dancing.
Freshman Mary Brule said she enjoyed her first experience at Winter Cotillion.
“I really didn’t hear anything specific [about the dance] other than it’s really fun and you get to dress up,” she said. “The jazz band played a lot longer than I expected but was extremely charming and unique from (sic) any dance I’ve been to before. It’s one of those things that’s ‘very UD.’”
At around 10:30 p.m., senior DJ Matt Wise seamlessly took over with more modern music and classic hits.
“Matt Wise did a spectacular job transitioning from one style of music and dancing to the next. The dance floor was completely bursting with singing and dancing,” Herrera said. “In my opinion having something for everyone was a key factor for the success of the dance.”
Brule agreed that Wise’s performance made the night enjoyable.
“The DJ was great! I just kicked off my shoes and danced with all my friends,” she said. “I had a good time especially at the end when the music started picking up.”
The modern music and the beer and wine cash bar may have been factors in the larger crowd at Winter Cotillion, Herrera said.
“Everybody had something to look forward to,” she said.
Junior Tommy Joseph, who went to Winter Cotillion for the first time this year, said he was impressed by the event.
“I had never been and it definitely surpassed my expectations,” he said. “I had never seen the cafeteria look that good and the music was great. It was a great time dancing and having fun with my friends.”
The event proved a great time for students to let off the pre-finals steam and enjoy a fun night of dancing with their friends.
“The dancing never stopped! There was music playing for four hours straight and the dance floor was always full and filled with energy,” Herrera said.