BALLin! FlyBy's Formal Reviews Pt. I

That's Adams, for ya
That's Adams, for ya

FlyBy donned our Sunday best every day last week while heading to each house's spring formal. Our guide to the balls being inadequate, a more thorough investigation was necessary.  Below: Winthrop, Cabot/Pfoho, Currier, and Adams.


If Winthrop’s formal—known to House insiders as the “Arbella Ball”—achieved anything last week, it was that it allowed guests to transcend both space and time. No, the event’s theme wasn’t “Take Me to the Moon” (thank God!). But the formal’s bifurcated set up—a dance party inside the JCR with a mildly classy live band and schmooze-fest outside in the Gore Courtyard—made FlyBy feel like  it was teleporting between Junior Prom and a wedding reception.

We give HoCo some credit. There was a little less angst and a little more inebriation in the JCR than at Prom. But throughout the night there were no real signs of a grand old time—no DFMOs, no dirty dancing, not really even too much bumping and/or grinding. FlyBy blames that on the cheesy disco light medley and the jaded turn-of-the-millennium playlist that included hits like “My Boo” and “Numa Numa.”

Outside, the ball’s live band was a nice accent. It was really cool to have the musicians of Soul Boston play at Winthrop… last year. But it was kind of a downer to hear the same neo-soul renditions of “Brick House” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” that we'd all broken it down to the year before.

Props to Winthrop for the open bar and a big shout out to the BAT team for making the drinks surprisingly strong. Pretty good deal considering both the $15 tickets and the fact that we’re in an economic crisis. Take that, Fête and your elitist $50 tickets.

Tips for next year? Hoco: minimize awkward teleportation by keeping everyone together in the Courtyard. Also, get a new band.

As for FlyBy: more time at the open bar.



Though nothing in particular stood out at the Cabot/Pfoho formal, guests dolled up in above-the-knee dresses and well-cut tuxes left the great white tent on Moors Terrace slightly tipsy and reasonably satisfied. The food and drink selection were mediocre, the décor lovely but not especially memorable, and the music—let's just say DJ Strauss made for easy (and impassioned) conversation come Tuesday morning.

But overall, it was a lovely affair to remember. Stag attendees were in the minority, as dance floor participants consisted of couples dry-humping and making out to a barely recognizable Soulja Boy. Props to Cabot and Pfoho for a well planned and executed (p)formal. Too bad Cabot isn't speaking to its superimposed neighbor anymore after Pfoho made off with the remaining $800 worth of alcohol at the sweaty night's end.


Though it was no liquid dream, Currier's House Formal certainly stood out from the rest: democratically elected (via a HoCo house list survey and unlike Leverett) to be "On a Boat," the formal set sail promising to be a revelrous booze cruise. But some parts of the ride were rocky, and the Tree House ended up with a formal that was more standard than stand-out.

First of all, attendees had to make a commitment: the nature of the event meant that partygoers arrived early and had to stay the entire evening. As a result, some angry Currierites were left at the dock, unable to partake in the ball. Even on the boat, Currierites ran into less-than-pleasant circumstances: drizzly weather kept couples from canoodling on the dock, and the more scenic upper level (and bar) was strictly 21+, leaving less-than-legals cooped up in the cabin. And though lines were short and drinks were ample, upstairs was not much better. The drinking level had all the ambiance of a hotel conference room and a less-than-green policy of one drink per cup. By the end of the night, the bar was littered with empty plastic vessels.

The DJ  for the evening was similarly mediocre -- it was, unsurprisingly, his first night captaining the turntables and he began with some country tunes that sounded dug up from the B-side of a minor Reba McIntyre album, and moved on to playing one too many throwback anthems and far too few top 40 hits.

That being said, the sound quality was good, environs were cozy, and those who'd invested in the occasion were intent to party.  Though the formal wasn't perfect, it's safe to say few, if any, Currierites were ready to jump ship.


You've gotta give credit for spirit. Adams likes to go all out on things that involve dining privileges, decorating (stripper poles and cages at the House dance), and dressing up, especially as crazy things (drag night, fantasy night). In line with the Arabian Nights theme, there was a camel. Yes. Someone dressed as a camel to come to formal. There were also Frechmen with machine guns. Again...all out.

Despite being one of the cheapest formals on campus ($15 for a couple, $10 per person), HoCo didn't seem to skimp on anything. There was a fortune teller (yeah...), delicious snacks, and everything was meticulously decorated. After walking over a "magic carpet" to enter, you could go to the "harem"-themed library. Or, just head straight for the relatively empty dining hall to swing dance or the packed upper common room to grind on your date. And everyone else standing near you.


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