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The Ice Ball: A Guerrilla Formal Skating Event

So speaking of snow (there is a blizzard right now in NYC), The Trip Trotter caught up with Sidney Oolong, one of the creators of the Ice Ball, a guerrilla-type event, which occurs yearly at the Bryant Park skating rink. The event encourages skaters of all levels to join, as long as they embrace the formal theme:

Ice Ball 3

Photo credit: Sydney Oolong

TTT: How long has the ice ball been happening and how has it grown?

SO: First: 2010: about 20, 2011: approx 30, 2012: approx 70, 2013: approx 70, 2014: approx 80

TTT: What was the inspiration for the ice ball?

SO: I had bought a full formal evening dress outfit for my "performance" in the Quadrille Ball that year, and began to invent reasons to wear it to get my money's worth. Dooner (another organizer) was holding somewhat regular ice-skating socials, which echoed of the social aspect of the Quadrille rehearsals. To add motivation to attend the ice socials we came up with the idea of a Ball at the end of the season (mimicking the Quadrille) for which the socials would be recast as rehearsals.

Editor's note: The Quadrille Ball is a society ball benefitting the Germanistic Society. The yearly ball features the Quadrille dance, preformed by debutant men and women.

TTT: What was the most outrageous thing that has happened at the ice ball?

SO: Not outrageous, but culturally significant: probably Bill Cunningham
showing up and publishing in NYT's Evening Hours

TTT: What was the most notable outfit?

SO: Basically anyone and everyone who went full formal, or wore something in pursuit of the impression of formality *over* the conduciveness to ice skating.)

TTT: Have you ever had any problems with Bryant park/the police?

SO: Occasionally some guests have snits with the skate guards telling them not to take photos on the ice, and to move along from where they have congregated for group photos.

Iceball 2 Ice Ball 1

Photo credit: Sydney Oolong

Unfortunately, the 2015 ball just passed, but the event does happen yearly, so be on the lookout! 

Read 1647 times Last modified on Monday, 26 January 2015 21:06
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