Student life: the Waltz Party
Waltz parties are an old tradition at St. John’s – but one that keeps evolving with the changing tastes of Johnnies.
During the 1950s, students would gather once a month for ballroom dancing, often accompanied by a pianist. During the 1960s, Johnnies wore their bell-bottoms, tie-dye shirts, and prairie dresses to waltz and polka as a DJ played LPs. During the 1990s, students began to integrate some swing numbers into the waltz schedule, and now waltzes take a back seat to swing dancing – a popular weekend activity on both campuses.
Still, when freshmen arrive on the Annapolis campus in the fall, the waltz “archon” will lead classes in swing and the old-fashioned waltz, honoring a tradition that goes back to the college’s founding in 1784. Today, however, the music may be coming from an iPod.