On Saturday, December 4, Student Senate and Dance Club members draped Christmas lights on the walls of room M6, hung snowflakes from the blinds, hauled in large speakers, and spread silver tassels and ornaments on the windowsills in preparation for Providence’s annual Winter Dance.
To begin the dance, Libby Barnard, a sophomore at Providence, taught formal dances such as swing and the waltz. After instructions and encouragement to find a partner, students worked to avoid bumping into each other while they made invisible squares with their feet and counted, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 to the music. Freshman Emily DeBoer remarked that she especially liked the swing dance, and Shelli Cammenga agreed that it was “great to learn classic dances.” Freshman Joel Duprey added, “It didn’t exactly come easily to me, but it was fun.”
After a long week of classes, with finals looming not so far in the distance, the dance was a welcome escape from studying. DeBoer said, “It was really good to have a really relaxing evening, especially right before finals.”
The dance provided an opportunity for students to come together and do something as simple and fun as waving arms to the beat of the music and hopping as if the floor was made of hot coals. It was a chance to be crazy, care-free, and possibly look a little absurd.
The Winter Dance caused students to file out of dorm rooms, the library and the A.S.C.C and into an event that showed a different side of many students. Like Jake Fisher, a junior, jumping up and down with his hands in the air, like Sophomore Justin Bond, swing dancing, Sophomore Bryan Punter wearing suspenders, Brad Bosch, also a sophomore, wearing a tie composed of glow-sticks, and Junior Brett Tyler bending over backwards in the limbo.
The Winter Dance, however, was more than just a good study break. It involved more than just getting to know fellow students better by seeing sides of them not usually be seen in the classroom setting. It is a tradition, as the Winter Dance held every year in the middle of the last few busy weeks of school. This tradition joins the memories of years past at Providence, the students who have now graduated, and the excitement of Providence’s future years, dances, and students. “Because every year we have this dance at the same time, it always has the same quality to it, where we’re all busy and getting ready for finals, but we stop to have some fun together and take a break,” said Junior Sara Heitmann. “So when we go to a dance, it isn’t just a break, it’s a reminder of previous years, and of the feelings and joys of every dance come back in the current one.”