Fox skin fur coats, pin-striped jumpsuits, house slippers and even flannel zebra onesie jammies made an appearance at last Saturday’s College Union Thrift Shop Dance. The only thing missing from the scene was Macklemore himself.
With the sport of thrift shopping made popular by celebrities like Macklemore and Wheaton swim team’s rendition of the song “Swim Shop,” which now has over 25,000 views on YouTube, College Union decided to make thrift shopping the theme of the first dance this school year.
Senior Irving Ruiz, the events coordinator for CU, thought up the idea last summer during Student Development week at Honey Rock. He thought it would be “something new for our campus.” Wheaton has had a wide array of dance themes over the years, but Ruiz wanted to do something more “fresh and creative.”
Students sported a variety of outfits including sequin dresses, floral pants, patterned tights, button-down plaid shirts and M&M suits. The dance featured a costume contest with a walk-off competition, and the top eight winners got free admission tickets. The winners included freshman Mikey Mitchell, freshman Abrahm Duarte, sophomore Allie McDonald, sophomore Camille Frey, sophomore Hunter Hambrick, sophomore Teddy Miller, freshman Erik Veker and freshman Sophia Barnett. They won free tickets to their choice of the Talent Show or the Josh Garrels Concert.
Ruiz, more commonly known as DJ Pandemonium, mixed the sound track for the night. Some popular hits of the night included “Single Ladies,” “Bang Bang,” “Timber” and of course, “Thrift Shop.” There was also a small selection of Spanish-speaking pop singers from Pitbull and Ariana Grande to Don Omar, which brought out some salsa moves among students.
The one complaint heard about the music was that Taylor Swift should have been “nixed.” But, in comparison to other Wheaton dances, the music was well received and age-appropriate. “We’re not going to be dancing to the song ‘Shots,’ but I think ‘Hey Ya,’ ‘Danza Kuduro’ and ‘Single Ladies’ is just fine,” commented senior Jackie Fortier in regards to how a Christian school should select its set list.
Over the years, the cost to attend dances has risen, but this dance’s cost was cut by exactly $1.01 per ticket. According to some students, that reduction was not enough. Fortier figured that “the theme of thrift shop should’ve gone along with thrift shop price … if I may quote a certain rapper, ‘But it was 99 cents.’”
Although Fortier disapproved of the “outrageous” price of the dance admission ticket, she still attended the event and competed in the costume contest.
The main thing CU had to invest in for the dance was a DJ and water. Although it appeared that the set-up costs were minimal, CU thought differently. “Having a dance isn’t cheap, so we hope to make back what we spend in order to keep the awesome events College Union hosts for our campus,” Ruiz said.
It wasn’t just the music and ticket price that some students were unhappy with. Posts from Facebook’s Wheaton Confessions page highlighted a dislike of the dance’s theme.
According to a post on Wheaton Confessions, one student said, “I was not super cool with the CU Thrift Shop dance. Nothing like a bunch of rich kids dressing up in ‘those funny clothes poor people have to wear, probably.’”
“I’ve never seen a ‘poor person’ purposely wear cheetah-print onesies and jorts … for most of the students at Wheaton, I don’t think we had to look far beyond our own closets to find ‘poor people’ clothes. We have some pretty weird fashion choices at this school,” said Fortier.
Who knows who wrote this post, though. It could have been a false sentiment that someone submitted to the page merely to antagonize CU. Whatever their goal was, CU had “no intention to offend people” and would welcome a conversation with the student about the issue, said Tyler Hansen, a member of CU’s cabinet.
Despite some of the underlying issues of the dance, students still enjoyed a fun night with their friends and could still be seen doing snow angels on the ground, the wobble and a variety of other interpretive, modern dance moves.