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City College students show off dance moves at spring formal

Sunny+De%E2%80%99Vries+Paulson+dances+and+laughs+with+Haley+Kittleson+during+the+American+Prom+for+International+Students+on+Thursday%2C+April+25%2C+2019%2C+at+The+Narrative+Loft+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.%0A
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City College students show off dance moves at spring formal

Sunny De’Vries Paulson dances and laughs with Haley Kittleson during the American Prom for International Students on Thursday, April 25, 2019, at The Narrative Loft in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Sunny De’Vries Paulson dances and laughs with Haley Kittleson during the American Prom for International Students on Thursday, April 25, 2019, at The Narrative Loft in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Nate Stephenson

Sunny De’Vries Paulson dances and laughs with Haley Kittleson during the American Prom for International Students on Thursday, April 25, 2019, at The Narrative Loft in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Nate Stephenson

Nate Stephenson

Sunny De’Vries Paulson dances and laughs with Haley Kittleson during the American Prom for International Students on Thursday, April 25, 2019, at The Narrative Loft in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Brianna Crow, Staff Writer

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City College students danced the night away at the first-ever  “Across the Universe” spring formal on Thursday night hosted by City College Ambassadors.

A recreation of the classic American Prom to let international students experience the tradition is what the Ambassadors aimed for, collecting the money for a charity.

Held downtown in The Narrative Loft, the industrial space was illuminated with colored strobe lights, a backdrop across one wall with galaxy scene and long white curtains on the other side.

Mirrors reflected the dance floor and tables were laid out with refreshments and alien clad masks and headbands.

The intimate space was filled with nearly 100 attendees dressed up in cocktail party wear.

“The best cultural exchange is dance and food,” said Shelby Harrington, international student advisor. “So many people dressed up, they are dancing and are here to have a good time meeting people.”

Most high schools around the world hold dances for the students but are usually elaborate events with elegant dinners, long ball gowns, and formal dancing.

International student Anne Katherine Mikkelsen described the two “proms” they have in Denmark as “more formal” with a big dinner, smoking cigars, and rose giving before the dancing.

“People aren’t as wild [in Denmark],” said Mikkelsen. “They are shy and think you’re weird if you’re dancing around.”

City College student Alma Joene, Mikkelsen’s friend from Sweden, described her experience at the spring formal as “less formal, more relaxed and alive and totally different.”

Alice Bessou, in red, and Stella Sepassipour dance in the middle of a dance circle during the American Prom for International Students on Thursday, April 25, 2019, at The Narrative Loft in Santa Barbara, Calif. The dance intended to introduce international student to the American prom experience.

Nate Stephenson
Alice Bessou, in red, and Stella Sepassipour dance in the middle of a dance circle during the American Prom for International Students on Thursday, April 25, 2019, at The Narrative Loft in Santa Barbara, Calif. The dance intended to introduce international student to the American prom experience.

“It is a good difference,” Mikkelsen added.

When the second DJ of the night took over the spin table, the energy burst in the room, students sweaty and breathless from dancing and forming dance circles.

Alice Bessou wearing her vibrant red jumpsuit jumped in the middle of a dance circle with enthusiasm.

“This was some good dancing,” said Bessou, a dance major from France. “You need to dance otherwise it’s not a party.”

International or not, students had a blast making memories, dressing up and socializing at the event near the end of the Spring semester.

“My prom sucked, this time I have a better date,” said City College student Alyssa Cardenas, pointing to her boyfriend.

City College student Zach Zerman was dragged to the formal because his girlfriend loves to dance.

“I left high school early so I never got to go to my prom,” said Zerman. “This is pretty nice and well put together.”

As students danced on into the night, the City College Ambassadors can look back with a smile on their first successful spring formal.

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City College students show off dance moves at spring formal