Tritonian Salute: Six Students’ Work Make Academy Ball Unforgettable

Clare Ravizza, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

NDA juniors and seniors (as well as a few lucky sophomores and freshmen) recently danced the night away at the 2017 Academy Ball.

The theme of Arabian Nights was evident from the genie’s-lamp-esque dressing boats on the decadent dinner tables to the newly designed prom website, each page with its own complementary Aladdin gif. One highlight was the “magic carpet,” the perfect photo op for a magical night that many students took advantage of.

But how does all of it come together? Surprisingly enough, the incredible amount of work put into planning Academy Ball this year was completed by six dedicated NDA students and a few hardworking faculty members.

Senior Elisabeth Lasecki and juniors Lilly Brada, Ashlyn Fitzgerald, Kiki Kussow, Lily Schumacher and Beatrice Zemelyte comprised the student portion of the planning committee. The committee was moderated by Senora VandenWyngaard and Frau Laaksonen, both also student government supervisors also in the midst of class and student body elections.

In order to complete such a large workload, preparations for Academy Ball began early.

“We started our planning all the way back in February,” explained Schumacher. “At that point, the focus was on picking a theme and just pulling together different things we wanted to see at the dance. We did most of this on Google slides, finding images from Pinterest and Amazon and other places like that.”

Once the team had selected the theme to be Arabian Nights, everything from decorations to color schemes had to be determined, all while balancing the budget.

“Besides picking the theme, we did table decorations, the entrance tent, meal option, table seating arrangements, ticket selling, music, table names, and a lot of small jobs that go kind of unnoticed,” said Brada. “It took longer than you’d think for six girls to cut table runners and fold meal name cards for every student!”

“All these tasks eventually meant we had to work a few times outside of our weekly planning meetings to get everything together,” added Schumacher.

Brada also completely redesigned the Academy Ball website, which was another sizeable time commitment.

“My options were to redo the old website or start completely new. I really love to be in control and go crazy with designs so I started from scratch,” described Brada. “I did use a lot of the old text from other proms because the rules really haven’t changed, but I wanted to make the page really eye catching when it came to format and images and all that.”

According to Brada, however, the website design was the easy part. The real challenge was the “magic carpet.”

Additional time was spent outside of meetings to put together the “magic carpet,” which (with the right backdrop) gave the illusion that students perched atop it were flying through the sky, as Aladdin and Jasmine do during “A Whole New World.” Brada drew up the plans and worked with her dad to bring her idea to life.

Brada, Schumacher and Fitzgerald then worked together to paint the base of the carpet and the backdrop.

Roxanne Knight came in to take pictures of students flying on the carpet, which are available on the prom website.

“When my dad and I started, I didn’t expect it to actually turn out. I was surprised!” Brada exclaimed.

Junior Danielle Lippert was a prom-attendee who appreciated all the hard work. “I loved the magic carpet! The pictures turned out really cool. It was definitely one of the highlights of Academy Ball for me!” affirmed Lippert.

The prom planning committee certainly dedicated a lot of time and effort to making Academy Ball a night to remember.

“Though everything was a lot of work, the results were great and it was fun to see everything that went into it,” Schumacher concluded.