The English Academic Society will host their annual Jane Austen Yule Ball, a dance celebrating the Regency-era culture of Austen’s classic work, Pride and Prejudice, on Dec. 7 from 7-9 p.m. The activity will take place in the MC 201 dance studio and includes music, dancing, games and food.
For several years, the Yule Ball has been a tradition in the English Department. Students attend three practices where they learn four Regency-era dances and wear clothing typical of that time period.
“I think the English department is a diversified department,” said Mila Argueta, a senior studying English. “We have this large range of people, but what unites us is a love for literature and recreating stories and ideas. Imagining you’re back in Regency-era is kind of fun.”
In past years, the Yule Ball was considered a campus event. This semester, however, the event was missing some of the main supporters who had organized it in the past. Rather than let it die, members of the English Academic Society decided to come together and put it together themselves.
“We were bummed about it,” said Argueta, who is also the vice president of the society. “We were going to try to cancel, but then we talked to the people who asked me if we could have it and we said ‘Hey, we can’t do this with three people, so if you want this to be done you need to help us.’ They wanted to go through with it, so we did.”
The society members organized the dance practices, food, music and decorating with their own budget. Rather than a campus event, the ball is an English Academic Society activity, though anyone is welcome to attend.
“I’m really excited for it,” said Ben Teames, a sophomore studying nursing. “This is my first year that I’ve gone. I’m excited to try to find period clothing and dress up really nice.”
The society practiced four dances in preparation for the ball. Argueta made a point of saying, though, that you don’t need to be a good dancer to come.
“I cannot dance at all or learn to dance or be coordinated enough to dance,” Argueta said. “But they’re more like country dances, so just basic footwork. It’s not that big of a deal if you mess up.”
In addition to the Regency-style dances, the ball will have tables set up with games along with a variety of music and snacks. The ball will combine Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice theme with a Christmas theme.
For more information about this year’s Yule Ball, as well as photos and videos from past events, visit the BYU-Idaho Jane Austen Yule Ball Facebook page.