Cupidís arrow strikes at dance
February 13, 2006 —
Romance was in bloom Friday during the first ever Cupid's Masquerade formal dance held in the historic Temple Theatre Ballroom in downtown Saginaw. The event, sponsored by the Student Association, featured a dinner, entertainment and music.
Open to all SVSU students and their dates, the evening began with dinner, followed by an act from Illinois-based magician John Measner. Measner entertained the crowd with various sleight of hand tricks and illusions featuring fire, doves, and a toy poodle. Measner also got the crowd into the act, inviting two SVSU students on stage to assist him with his tricks.
Jim Kovalcik, 23, of Flushing was invited on stage to learn the "secrets" of magical Chinese linking rings while Andrea Farmer, 22, of St. Charles participated in an illusion where Measner put a sword through her neck.
While the magic show provided entertainment and comedic relief, the majority of the night consisted of music, dancing, and a few romantic surprises.
Getting an early start on Valentine's Day, couples spread out across the dance floor in celebration of the romantic holiday. Saginaw native Jason Vogel was one such student. The 18-year-old freshman attended the masquerade with his girlfriend of 10 months, Heritage High School senior Sara Davis. The couple said that attending the event was the most romantic thing they had done besides prom with Vogel adding, "It is romantic and cheap."
Bay City native Hilary Ortner was also attending the dance with her significant other. The 22 year old attended with her boyfriend, Courtney Rau, and said at the beginning of the evening that she was enjoying herself.
"It's good to have a dance like this for college students," she said.
Ortner's attitude towards the dance seemed to improve even more when Rau proposed to her later that evening. Ortner was sent to the stage, where Rau appeared, microphone in hand, and dropped to one knee. Rau and Ortner were the first of two couples to get engaged during the evening.
"I was alright until I got on stage and got down on one knee," Rau said of his proposal. "Then I started shaking. That's when the nervousness set in."
Rau had just recently decided to take advantage of the masquerade and pop the question. He had sought out the DJ as soon as he got to the dance to make sure they were on the same page.
"She kind of expected it and knew something was up," Rau said. "But it didn't matter. It was awesome."
While the event did cater to couples, it also provided an opportunity for those without Valentine's Day dates to enjoy the evening. Jackson native Jennie Hill, 19, went to the dance with her girlfriends but said that she still enjoyed herself.
"It would be more fun if you had a valentine," Hill said, "but it's always fun to come to a dance with a bunch of girlfriends."
One of Hill's friends was SA representative and Bruce Crossing native Chelsea Robl. The 18 year old said she was enjoying herself and that, overall, she was happy with the event.
"We're really pleased with the turnout," she said. "Out of the 250 tickets available ... only nine weren't sold. We're really pleased and everyone seems to be really enjoying the entertainment."
One thing that contributed to the event was the location itself. Held on the third floor of the 79-year-old Temple Theatre, the event drew a great number of compliments from students regarding the decor and overall atmosphere.
"I like that it was off campus," said SA President Emily Hammerbacher. "It gave students a chance to see downtown Saginaw."
Beth Schafer echoed Hammerbacher's comments. The SA Campus Events chair believed that the Theatre added a great deal to the event but also pointed out that the event went well overall.
"I think that the dance was a huge success," Schafer said. "It was wonderful to see SVSU students enjoying a great evening in a historical location. I am sure that is an event that people will look back at fondly for years to come."