On Sundays, Steward Stiles III sits quietly as he beats on the drums while his…
Student reveal their dance moves at the Black and White Ball
Women in ball gowns twirled and men in masks danced at the Black and White Unveiled Masquerade Ball Saturday, April 23. Webster University’s Association for African American Collegians hosted the ball.
AAAC members pushed tables in Marletto’s Marketplace to the side, filled the space with balloons and hired DJs to give Webster University students an end-of-the-semester party.
“It’s just like the prom,” Kearston Harris, a junior marketing advertising major, said. “It’s time for seniors to say good-bye and AAAC to say ‘Look at what we can do.’ ”
There was a cash bar at the ball with $3 beers and margaritas, and long island iced teas for $4. But alcohol wasn’t the only thing that entertained the crowd. The “Just Say Cheez” photo booth took three pictures for attendees, and a box of various hats and feather boas were in the booth for people to wear.
People were encouraged to wear masks and dress in their finest at the ball. Many girls wore medium-length cocktail dresses and sparkly masks. Some of the men in attendance wore full three-piece suits and black masks.
Steward Stiles, a sophomore vocal music education major, wore a Phantom of the Opera-themed mask instead of a glittery one.
“One, I’m not glittery,” Stiles said. “I believe originality is the key. Slim and elegance is a big thing in my fashion, and less is more.”
Victoria Townson, a member of the AAAC, glided through the ball with red gloves to her elbows and took on a Marilyn Monroe style that night.
All-star DJ ran the night’s entertainment with continuous songs that kept people on the dance floor. Several songs had girls dashing to the dance floor as they squealed about how much they loved the song playing.
A red box sat on the DJ booth encouraging donations for victims of the tornado in North St. Louis County that ruined several homes on Friday, April 22. The DJs made an announcement to ask people in attendance to help in any way they could.
Despite light rain Saturday night, people danced on the Marletto’s patio. The thunder and lightening in the sky didn’t scare the party-goers. Instead, people floated in with their arms raised in the air dancing to the music.
Each year, the theme of the ball changes. Two years ago the event was not the Black and White Ball, but was Harlem Nights theme.
Gabriall Moore, the treasurer of the AAAC, said it took hard work and a committee to make it all possible. Moore said they collaborated with the Gospel Choir as well as the Galaxy Radio.
Helen Rowlett, a sophomore animation and fine arts major, saw the signs hanging around Marletto’s and was attracted to the event.
“As I was walking to Marletto’s, I saw signs hanging up and thought it would be a good way to relieve stress,” Rowlett said.
AAAC also made a YouTube video to promote the masquerade ball.
As the evening was coming to a close, people made their way to the dance floor for the last slow song of the evening. Kelly Rowland’s “Motivation” had girls snapping their fingers and boys asking girls to dance. Everyone started to polish off their food and give their last hugs of the night.
“People came out even though the weather was bad and showed support,” Harris said. “I had a really good time.”