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We'll have a Ball at JASP2023. . .Literally!

One of the best-beloved traditions of JASP is the Regency Ball on Saturday night. Why do we love it so? Well, if you need a reason. . .

Reason No. 1: you have the opportunity to swan about in Regency finery and admire your friends doing the same. No dress/cravat? No problem! JASP has a limited number of rental garments, including accessories, in a variety of sizes and colors at nominal fees (first come, first served). And modern clothing is absolutely acceptable! (in the photo above, you can see several folks having fun in contemporary threads - no one is shunning them!).

Your garb for the ball can look period-appropriate with less trouble than you might think. Don't believe us? One of the women at right bought her dress from Amazon! (the beautiful white frock is one of JASP's lovely rentals)

See this post from 2019 for tips on how to style your hair (note: the salon partnership was limited to that year). And a helpful makeup tip from Ruth Verblunt, one of JASP's favorite costume historians:

"Makeup in this period can be described by three words; Red, white and gray. Participants can plan to bring their own concealer, carmine red lipstick, gray eyeshadow and (optional) black mascara."

Reason No. 2: you get to put your best foot forward in popular Regency dances, some of which we know Jane Austen knew! Two left feet? No fear!

The symposium includes multiple workshops to introduce you to the ins, outs, and allemandes! (And the caller who teaches the lessons will remind us of the steps at the Ball. Whew.)

Reason No. 3: you get to enjoy period music by a live band. Once again, we'll whirl to the dulcet tones of Syllabub, a wonderful English Country Dance Band.

You can find out more about them on their website, where they also have videos of popular dances. They will be joined by veteran JASP Dance Master Jack Maus.

Reason No. 4: you can savor light refreshments to keep your energy up.

Now that you're ready to dance. . .

Before the 2017 JASP Ball, Jenny Abella had handy tips for first-timers. Here's an update:

  • You’ll probably partner up with men and women. The lessons are a good chance to try to learn the men’s and women’s parts of different dances.

  • Be comfortable. You will be moving. Wear clothes and shoes you can move in easily. This year's Ball will be held in the Great Hall of the Student Union, which makes up in creature comforts what it might lack in historic charm (just across the street from the JASP dorm*! plenty of space! hardwood floors! AIR CONDITIONING!). And there is a lovely mural of the Old Well in the lobby that will make a fabulous photo op!

  • Don’t drop out of a dance in the middle of it. No matter how badly you think you’ve messed up, just keep going. You’ll get it in the end. And dropping out in the middle could confuse other dancers.

  • Thank your partner!

  • The dance floor will get crowded. If you’re not planning to dance, make sure you’re not caught in the middle of the floor when a dance starts.

  • Want a breather? We’ll have chairs along the walls and refreshments.

  • If you want a pretty backdrop for outdoor photo opportunities, you'll be spoiled for choices on UNC's lovely and historic campus.


The most important step you can take, on or off the dance floor, is to reserve your spot at JASP2023, June 15-18 at UNC-Chapel Hill

*register soon to snag one of our convenient single- or double-occupancy dorm rooms!


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