The Ouachita Honors Program will host the King’s Spring Ball on Tuesday, March 28, at 6 p.m. in Walker Conference Center.
“Several 18th Century French nobles are putting on a ball, and rumor has it the King himself is attending. You are invited to take a step back into an era of opulence and court intrigue,” the honors program flyer reads, advertising its upcoming event. Adam Wheat, fine arts administrator, Dr. Barbara Pemberton, director of OBU’s Carl Goodson Honors Program, and members of the honors program are planning and facilitating the event, which will replace the organization’s longstanding Spring Fling event.
“The students in my seminar [class] have been learning about 18th Century France, which was a time of a lot of glitz and glamour, but also a time of very specific manners and etiquette,” Wheat said. “If you wanted to curry the favor of the king, or you wanted power, you traded in secrets and that sort of thing. It was a very interesting time that eventually led to the French revolution, which is a pivotal time for many ideas that we have in our western society today.”
The event will combine the skills and information that the students have learned in the course, giving them an opportunity to put it to practical use. “[The honors class] has learned a lot about that period of history and they have learned about event planning, so we are mushing those together to plan this ball,” Wheat said.
He explained how valuable planning is to students and why it is so important that they get to grow this skill. “No matter what job you’re going out to do, you’re going to have some sort of interaction with planning events, so having an opportunity for students to really dig in and work with professionals in the area is a really positive thing,” Wheat said.
The King’s Spring Ball is free and available for all students. The event will provide a great opportunity to take a break from reality, and submerge oneself in a fantastical world. “I think it’s going to be a really exciting event. It’s a chance to step back in time and see what it was like then,” Wheat said. “People can have fun creating their own versions of the costumes and fashion of that time. They’ll also get to experience the dances and some of the food…you get to step into a fairy tale for a little while that evening.”
For those concerned about the cost of dressing up, there is no need to worry. On Friday, March 17, from noon to 12:50 p.m. there will be honors students at Dr. Jacks handing out information and guides on how to dress up for the event. “[The honors students] will talk you through how to make 18th Century French fashion from the stuff in your closet,” Wheat said. They are making sure it is before Spring Break so that students returning home can collect items they might need. “It’s definitely going to be more fun if you do [dress up]…but know that you don’t have to rent anything or make it expensive,” Wheat said.
Another aspect that people need not worry about is the dancing. There will be an instructor at the ball who will teach students the moves . “No one needs to feel like they should know a whole lot of stuff before they get there. Learning will be part of the experience,” Wheat said. “It will be a fun thing to learn a very different style of dance…it’s a very old style of line dancing that will be very unique to learn.”
The King’s Ball will be a fun and educational break from the mid-semester monotony. “The idea of being submerged in a different time…opens up windows to see things from other perspectives, and just have fun with your friends being in a different world for a little while,” Wheat said.
For more information on the event, contact Adam Wheat at email@example.com.
By AJ Stambolie, staff writer