Students can dance the night away at Thursday’s winter formal dance

People walk through the Memorial Union quad. 

Vada Shelby, News Contributor

Correction: An earlier version of this story had the incorrect location of the event. The formal dance will be held in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

The Memorial Union Ballroom will come to life with live bands, dance group performances and a formal dance on Thursday night.

A winter formal is being put on by the Memorial Union Fun Team, a school organization that has been around for four years and previously created an escape room and haunted house in the MU, hosted therapy dogs for students during finals week and handed out cake on Oregon’s birthday. Tickets for Thursday’s dance are available at the Memorial Union information desk, and everything is free. There will be beverages and light snacks throughout the night. Fun Team Event Coordinator Morgan Roddick, along with the rest of her team, have worked for months to make this event possible.

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“We started planning the formal right after Halloween,” Roddick said. “We had the entire month of January to work at getting decor and food in line, and the event coordinators downstairs have helped a lot with lighting. After that it was getting performances together and finding props and decor before January was over.”

The dance will go from 6-11 p.m., with different stages throughout the night.

From 6-7:30 p.m., the Ballroom Dance Club will be there teaching lessons, from 7:30-8 p.m. the Cool Shoes dance club will perform and from 8-11 p.m. there will be free dancing with the Hilltop Big Band accompanying.

Larry Landis, director of the Special Collections and Archives Research center, will be playing trumpet in the Hilltop Swing Band. According to Landis, the band will be covering a broad spectrum of music tastes and genres. They will be playing three different sets, each one about 55 minutes.

“We will be playing a broad range of music,” Landis said. “From big band era classics such as In The Mood and Take the A Train, salsa charts such as Dizzy Gillespie’s Manteca, to more recent tunes such as a current arrangement of the Average White Band Pick Up the Pieces.”

Megan Benadof, Fun Team event coordinator, said this formal is unique for many different reasons.

“It will be a fun night to enjoy the company of their peers as well as a great dancing experience, but it’s still something different than just a dance,” Benadof said. “They have the opportunity to get dance lessons and watch dance performances before doing it on their own. It’s so much more than a regular prom or formal.”

Students may be wondering how formal they should dress, but Benadorf says students should not worry too much about their attire.

“The dress code is formal, like something you’d wear to a prom. But if you don’t go super formal, you won’t be excluded. Just dress how you’re comfortable and have fun,” Benadof said.

Benadof and Roddick said they plan to make this formal a yearly tradition to celebrate the season and bring students together.