It’s that time of the year; Thanksgiving is in two weeks, finals are coming up and of course, students are heading to Fall Ball to dance away their stress.
For students new to Seattle University, Fall Ball is a dance that happens in November every year, and it’s an opportunity for students to blow off some steam as the quarter draws to a close.
“I think Fall Ball is a lot different from high school dances or other teen dances that people go to because it’s not so much about bringing a date,” said sophomore film studies and gender studies major Hannah Lang. “It’s more about going with a group of friends, and having a good time, and dressing up.”
This year’s Fall Ball will be particularly interesting because it will be at the Experience Music Project Museum at Seattle City Center.
“I think I’m most excited for… the fact that it’s at the EMP because I feel like some of the hesitation to going to Fall Ball is people don’t like to dance or aren’t into that whole school dance thing,” said Nora Ridgeway, the Fall Ball chair. “The exhibits are open to us, so I think that’s really exciting that we can have people who don’t even like to dance come.”
Students like Lang exhibit a high level of enthusiasm for the venue as well.
“The EMP is such a cool museum,” said Lang. “So many of the exhibits are opened up for us, so not only do we get to learn a lot (supposedly), but we also get to dance, have a lot of fun, there’s gonna be food, and we also get to just have a good time with friends.”
Mr. Nayland Olsen, assistant director of the Center for Student Involvement, adds that the Sky Church at the EMP will make an incredible dance floor.
“[The EMP]’s a spectacular space. There’s this room called Sky Church, and it’s literally an 80 foot screen that is just colors and videos and lights,” said Olsen. “It’s a venue unlike any other in the city, and it’s just a really cool opportunity to get to be in that space at night, with no one but your classmates.”
Along with a spectacular venue, the dance will have an inventive space theme.
“We had so many conversations about different theme ideas,” said Ridgeway. “We didn’t want to do anything that had been done before, or anything that people had probably seen at prom.”
This year marks a shift for SEAC (the Student Events and Activities Council). Olsen explains that they’re trying to get students to interact with their city and to experience what Seattle has to offer, while maintaining the traditions that students know and love.
“This event is so both of those things,” Olsen said. “It’s a premier music museum in the whole country, and an SU tradition, bogged down into one thing.”
Overall, both students and the event organizers anticipate an unbelievably fun event.
“This is a more kind-of thorough and educational experience for students,” said Olsen. “Maybe, instead of when you’re taking a break to go get a glass of water, you also go read a whole thing about Nirvana.”
For students imagining Fall Ball to be reminiscent of Homecoming or Prom from high school, Lang wants to emphasize that it’s far more fun.
“It might seem like a high school dance or something that you’ve gone to before,” said Lang, “but it’s really not about having a date or even what you’re wearing necessarily; it’s about going and having a good time with friends, and celebrating for a night.”
Fall Ball is on track to be a lively and enjoyable experience, and Olsen wants to urge students to give it a shot.
“Even just for the experience to, at nighttime, get to cruise around the EMP, that’s a great reason to go,” said Olsen, “and it’s an important, fun, really social but memorable part of your Seattle U experience. I don’t hear a lot of students talk about how they wish they hadn’t gone.”
Fall Ball will take place November 12 from 8 to 11 p.m., and tickets are available at the Hub desk at the Student Center for $15.
“If you’re trepidatious about going, go. It’s so worth it,” said Lang. “I had a great time last year, and I’m really looking forward to this year, too.”
Josh may be reached at