Jenna Galapia reviews DRA Ball, historically one of the best attended hall balls in the academic calendar.
Attended by hall residents, past and present, and even by students who’ve probably never even set foot in DRA, the DRA and Fife Park ball has always been one of the more inclusive events in the social calendar. Considering the cheap tickets (relative to the small fortune needed for a ticket to other balls and fashion shows) at £5 for residents and £15 for non-residents, the free Jannetta’s, and the extensive lineup of acts, guests are definitely getting a good tradeoff for their money. For myself and some of my best friends, it was a chance to drink to our year in DRA and enjoy getting all dressed up for the night.
From 7 Deadly Sins, A Night in Venice, and even Casino Royale, the eclectic themes of the annual DRA and Fife Park balls have always surprised, impressed, and occasionally flopped. So, when I found out that the theme this year was Atlantis, I was honestly dreading a tacky collection of blue streamer decorations and fake fish around the marquee. Thankfully, the ball committee delivered well on the theme; with a bag of sweets in hand, we entered the marquee into a packed dance floor as the DJ was ending his set. As usual, Bunce and SJM had my friends and I singing along and having a great time on the dance floor. On the other end of the marquee was a tasteful selection of statues and photo spots—very similar to the layout of the ball in the year prior. It was easy to see that the sitting areas were much appreciated by anyone who went to the ball in those torture devices called high heels. As expected, I spent almost as much time in the free Jannetta’s queue as waiting for a drink at the bar, but it was definitely worth it for free ice cream.
While the music played by headliner act James Hype was not my style, it was fun to see people enjoying themselves. I don’t think the students of St Andrews have “put their hands up in the air” as many times as they did in his set. (However, I do have to say that my friend Claire was very concerned that My Humps by the Black-Eyed Peas was not for played longer than 20 seconds.)
Being on DRA committee last year, I know first-hand that arranging a ball, especially one for the largest hall in the university, is a monumental challenge. From the creative aspects of choosing a theme and designing graphics, to the nitty gritty work of booking toilets and first aid, the behind-the-scenes planning involved is extensive and very time-consuming. The time and effort that the committee put behind the ball was obvious from the moment you entered the gates of Lower College Lawn. Big shout out to Mhairi Shepherd and Jodie Costello, and everyone on the DRA committee, for putting together a successful event to be remembered.