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Volunteer Report

A Night with the Stars

By Mary Beth Beckman

Mary Beth Beckman and Colin Frances social dancing
On Saturday, April 19th, Sheer Dance got all dolled up for the University of Minnesota Ballroom Dance Club's annual spring formal. The theme of this year's event was A Night with the Stars, and with performances by such dancers as Nels Petersen and Theresa Kimler, Nicholas Westlake and Neli Petkova, Michael Kasinkas and Taylor Wall, and others, the event certainly lived up to its name.

The dance was held at the North Star Ballroom in the U of M's St. Paul Student Center. I had never been there before and was particularly interested to see the space, since that's where Minnesota Ballroom Blast will be hosted this October. As registrar for that event, I wanted to get an idea of how the event might look. It's a large, beautiful room with a lot of potential, so I'm definitely getting pumped for Blast.

I was thrilled to have an excuse to put on my old ballgown again—the one I wore at my very first competition, dark blue with sleeves and shoulder cut-outs and nice tattoo display. I heart that dress. It was great seeing everyone's finery, especially the ladies in their sparkly gold, fluffy pink, chic black, no two dresses alike.

The evening was very successful. Usually, a four-hour dance starts to drag on a bit by the end, but when 11:00 rolled around, I still felt like I'd just arrived. Most of the Sheer Dance regulars were able to attend—Nic Westlake and me, the founding volunteers; official correspondents Joel Torgeson and Kevin Viratyosin; social media marketing manager Neli Petkova; writers Tyler Bridges, Dan O'Connell, Rosemary O'Connell, and Taylor Wall; photographer Theresa Kimler; advertiser Justin Sundberg; and our new Events Editor Lee Wintervold. There were familiar faces and new ones, people I see all the time and people I hadn't seen in many months. It was a very welcoming social event where everyone danced and laughed and cheered.

A Night with the Stars renewed my sense of wonder at the efficacy of volunteers—decorating, welcoming guests, keeping the punch bowl full, running the music, performing, taking photos, and all the other little things that bring a dance event together. I had a great time, and it was wonderful to see my fellow volunteers out for a night of fun. Thanks to the University of Minnesota Ballroom Dance Club for having Sheer Dance at the formal! We had a sparkling experience.