It’s the first Wednesday night of the school year at St. John’s College. The sun has set, and the Quad is alight with hundreds of tiny glass bulbs, the music has just begun, and pairs of eager dancers have started to file out onto the stage. What’s going on? It’s the Convocation Waltz!
Every year, the night after the freshman register, the entire Polity comes together at 10:00 P.M. to celebrate the beginning of a new year. Freshman will learn what it means to be a Johnnie as they discuss The Iliad, sophomores look forward to embarking on their Bible seminars starting with Genesis, juniors consider the quixotic lifestyle of Don Quixote, and seniors are probably still trying to finish War and Peace. But tonight? All is a buzz of activity and mirth, free from the gravity of class until seminar the next night.
Despite these parties being called “Waltz Parties,” they’re truly swing dances. Not everyone has learned the more sophisticated dips or the infamous “death drop,” but most of the college can at least do the basic, “step, step, rock step” and perhaps a spin or two, and that’s all anyone needs to have a good time. On this particular night, it started to drizzle a bit, but that didn’t stop anyone! We all found ourselves spinning and sliding in the rain, some of us more clumsily than others, and laughing when we fell or almost did.
Waltz parties are wonderful. Whether you’re chatting with old friends about their summer vacations or Hodson internships, getting to know freshman and Santa Fe transfers, or dancing the night away with your classmates, it’s easy to have a great time. It’s important to balance the rigors of academia at St. John’s with some light, carefree dancing. And don’t worry, you’ll definitely get a workout.
I myself met a couple freshman, and I can’t wait to meet more. I already know this school year will be a blast. The best part about being a Johnnie is knowing that no matter what happens, the Polity has your back. We’ve all been there, we’ve all read it, and we all know what it’s like. I’m happy to be home with my St. John’s family!