Black Student Union to host Sneaker Ball

Allie Keim | The Chronicle

Photo by Allie Keim
Rylee Glover prepares a banner for the BSU Sneaker Ball.

Mason’s Black Student Union (BSU) is putting a modern twist on the classic ball. To avoid losing a glass slipper, students will lace up their sneakers to dance the night away. 

Initially planned for Saturday, November 18, 2023, Mason High School (MHS) and now postponed to a later date, students will gather in the small commons for the first annual Sneaker Ball. With a DJ, food trucks and 360 degree photo booth, BSU hopes to create a fun environment for all attendees.

The idea for the Sneaker Ball stemmed from multiple BSU members who saw students change into their tennis shoes for school dances. Senior Cam Miller, the founder and president of Mason’s BSU, said that the attire for the event is formal wear and sneakers, so all can be comfortable in their choice of shoe. 

“I know some people love wearing Jordans and others love to wear Converse, Filas or Reeboks,” Miller said. “ [At the dance] it doesn’t matter what sneakers you show up in as long as it’s your favorite pair to wear. I think it’s fun getting dressed up and then putting on a pair of shoes that you just love.”

With the dance revolving around sneakers, members of BSU feel that they can express themselves and their culture through their choice of shoes. Senior Josh Sweeney, a member of BSU, said he is excited to see  how people’s shoe choices will represent them.

“Sneakers are a major part of our culture, and one of our [club’s] goals is just to share and promote that culture, to make other people feel included and create a safe space for ourselves,” Sweeney said.

Photo by Allie Keim
Alyssa Martin prepares a banner for the BSU Sneaker Ball.

Sweeney has seen much of the progress throughout the growth of Mason’s BSU and said he wants the dance to represent every component of the club’s momentum. 

“I have been around since the start of the club and everybody’s working so hard to make sure that we get the most attention possible for the dance,” Sweeney said. 

BSU has worked to promote the dance and grow attendance through the usage of social media and flyers. The club has also invited other BSUs from schools in the area to come with an advisor.

One of the main goals for the Sneaker Ball is to promote and market the club itself. Miller said she hopes that through the dance, students can learn more about BSU’s mission and that the club can become an even more inclusive space for students to reflect on their experiences. 

“It’s for everybody that aligns with our mission statement, which is fostering an environment where Black students and students of color feel supported and like they can relate to one another,” Miller said. “If you align with those views, then you’re more than welcome [in this club] and you’re more than welcome at the ball.”

Members of BSU, including sophomore Maddy McCaster, have been actively helping throughout the planning process for the dance. During club meetings, votes have been held over decisions from spirit week themes to types of food trucks. McCaster said that she is excited for each different aspect of the dance BSU has been preparing for.

“I am excited to just dress up, have a cool pair of shoes on, hang out with my friends and just listen to good music,” McCaster said. “I think it will be a good time.”

After weeks of planning and preparation, BSU hopes to make the Sneaker Ball a recurring event for years to come. Miller said she is thrilled to end her last year in the club with this event and set a precedent for future members to find creative ways to promote BSU’s mission. 

“I feel like I’m leaving something that people will look forward to doing every year,” Miller said. “Something that includes not just the Black students, but the high school at large. That will be a great legacy to leave.”