Tent Dance returns to Tempel Green
Photo courtesy of Amanda Sanders ’22
Tent Dance, or Fall Ball depending on who you ask, is a Connecticut College tradition that has once been plagued by Eastern Equine Encephalitis (otherwise known as EEE), and Covid-19 is finally back on campus, tent and all, as announced by Dean Norbert in an email on September 29.
“We are delighted to announce the return of the annual tradition of the Fall Ball, our all-campus party under the Tempel Green tent,” her email said, sparking a flood of questions from sophomores. and freshmen who had never been to such an event. Event. Yik Yak was inundated with posts about dress codes, dates and the difference between “Tent Dance” and “Fall Ball”. For those wondering, the answer to that last question is that they are the same.
Traditionally, the Fall Ball is held on the Saturday evening of the fall weekend and is open to students and alumni. To limit the number of people in attendance this year, it took place on October 9, the Saturday following the fall weekend, and was only open to current students.
To attend, Conn’s students were required to follow new security measures to ensure the party was not a superspreader event for Covid-19. Students were asked to complete an RSVP form through Google Forms and take a Covid-19 Binax rapid test on the day of the event between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. According to Dean Norbert, more than 1,300 students attended the celebration. After receiving their test results, the students received bracelets that allowed them to enter the Fall Ball tent. Students who did not have a wristband were not allowed to attend the event. The Student Engagement Office also brought free food trucks to the top of the green, featuring favorites like Munchies, Greekin ‘Out, and Waffle Wagon.
The camels descended on Tempel Green shortly after 11 p.m. in an area warmer than the 63 degrees promised in today’s weather report to dance to music played by DJ GetRight and revel under the purple lights with hundreds of others. students.
For seniors, the last year of class to have been able to attend the Fall Ball in the traditional tent space, the promise of the event is exciting, while some rules are confusing.
“I’m happy that Fall Ball is going, and I think all safety and security measures are good,” said Aquib Akhtar ’22. “I wonder why the guests wouldn’t be allowed when they could surely also take rapid tests. It’s the same level of security. I understand there’s probably more to it than that, but if that’s what was said, it’s a little confusing. Surely if it is a one day event it could be possible. However, I would rather it continue rather than not at all.
Julia Graham ’22 agreed, saying “I don’t have very strong feelings about any of the [the Covid-19 policies], but I’m glad it’s happening, especially since it’s the last year and I feel like what they’re doing with the rapid tests seems pretty smart.
For freshmen, there was a range of opinions for the much-discussed event.
“I don’t really know what I expected Fall Ball to look like because the only things I heard were from the elderly, but it definitely wasn’t what I expected. The tight tent, very cold weather and slow food truck lines made the experience not the most enjoyable. All of my friends and I could think of putting on sweatpants and eating our waffles inside, ”Daviel Schulman ’25 said.
“[I] I didn’t really have high hopes because it had been so long since I had attended a dance before Covid, but I had a great time dancing with my teammates, ”Caitlin Horgan ’25 said on her own experience.
The return of Tent Dance to campus was a long-awaited moment that suggested that our campus could truly bring events back in the safest way possible given the circumstances.
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