Yule Ball provides enchanting night for Potterheads

Geneseo’s chapter of Dumbledore’s Army had its fifth annual Yule Ball event on Nov. 19 at the Knight Spot. The Ball began around 10 p.m. and lasted until 1 a.m., with people trickling in and out throughout the night. This year’s event brought over 70 people.

As Geneseo’s premier Harry Potter-centric club, DA hosts the Yule Ball every year to bring together Potterheads and non-Potterheads alike for a fun-filled evening. Members of DA and Geneseo Late Knight coordinated by playing music for the dance floor, supplying food from a Campus Auxiliary Services grant and holding a raffle for Harry Potter themed prizes.

Ball goers could win raffle tickets through a Quidditch themed beanbag toss, and contestants could collect as many as three tickets, winning one for each successful toss. The DA offered prizes like socks with the insignias of the Hogwarts houses, a figurine of Dobby the house elf and multiple packets of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.

Additionally, throughout the night people danced to perennial favorites like the “Cotton-Eye Joe,” the “Cupid Shuffle” and “Ignition (Remix).”

“It reminds me a lot of high school dances, but in a way that I like more since they don’t censor the words,” physics major sophomore Lydia Philhart said. “It feels kind of like we’ve got a community here, and it feels very close.”

Many of the Harry Potter fans could be easily spotted by their clothing. Some attendees wore robes or draped themselves in Hogwarts house scarves, while others wielded their very own wands.

DA president and biology major senior Catherine Martensen spoke about how the event is a mainstay of DA’s yearly programming.

“It’s just something we’ve always done,” she said. “It’s a really fun get-together for everyone, and integrating other people on campus with Harry Potter is always fun because I know a lot of people like it, but they’re not part of our club.”

Beyond the Ball, DA has other plans for the school year. Each year, the club chooses a charity to fundraise for, according to Martensen. This year’s charity is Partners In Health, which aims to provide healthcare for people in impoverished countries.

“We’re hopefully doing a joint fundraiser with PIH soon,” she said. “In the spring, we’re doing our annual egg sale, where we sell eggs filled with little prizes for [PIH]. I’m sure we’ll come up with other things, but that’s all we’ve got planned for now.”

Only an hour into the event, most of the food was gone, but people stayed for the friendly atmosphere and for the prize raffle at midnight. Following the raffle, many people left sleepy and satisfied, while some stayed until the end of the night.

Those who enjoyed the Yule Ball were not limited to Geneseo students. Manchester Community College student Nick Briggs voiced his own approval.

“I actually think it’s pretty great,” Briggs said. “As far as I was concerned, a Harry Potter club would be more along the lines of awkwardly standing around, but everyone was into it, the music was good, and there was a good vibe.”