As we’re nearing the end of Black History Month, a few more celebrations are being held as the final events take place. The Evening of Elegance commenced at 10 p.m. in the D.P. Culp University Center Ballroom and didn’t end till after midnight. The semi-formal event was free of charge and open to both students and the greater community. DJ Bout It performed the music, which the students could dance to.

“This year’s dance is themed after a masquerade,” said ETSU Multicultual Affairs Assistant Tedra Bennett.

DJ Bout It has been to ETSU on several occasions. He is also the official DJ for African Night and played at the Homecoming celebration. He even played at last year’s semi-formal dance.

“We selected DJ Bout It on account of his musical diversity,” said Bennett. “Having performed all around the world, he can adapt his music to fit the cultured tastes of his audience. He knows how to tailor his music to fit his audience. Whether his guests are made up mostly of Africans, Jamaicans or Americans, DJ Bout It can suit their respective preferences.”

Stress and anxiety are growing epidemics in colleges and universities throughout the United States. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 30 percent of polled college students claimed that stress has had a negative effect on their performance in academia. Furthermore, 85 percent of those students reported that they had experienced a distinct feeling of being overwhelmed at least once throughout the previous year.

“Social events like the Evening of Elegance dance are very important to student life,” Bennett said. “In my culture, we often use the phrase ‘all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.’ Students need the opportunity to strike a good balance between working, studying and fun.”

Though social events are certainly no substitutes for counseling by professionals – many of whom are on campus and more than happy to see students for free – dances like the Evening of Elegance can still provide a much-needed break.

“There have been semi-formal events for many years now,” Bennett said. “The goals behind the Evening of Elegance dance are to unite our students and help them experience a new kind of party.”