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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Ring Dance to continue ring-turning tradition

The graduating class of 2013 will take over the Memorial Student Center Ballroom on Saturday night for the 78th annual Ring Dance.
Ring Dance director and junior biomedical science major Tony Rosati said Ring Dance is designed to be the seniors’ swansong – their last event together as a class. This event also serves as the senior class final fundraiser with proceeds going toward the class gift.
“Any and all proceeds go to their class gift,” Rosati said. “Ring Dance back in the day started as an event that a few seniors went to and evolved from a prom on steroids to one of the largest contributors to the class gift. It contributes probably the most money.”
Ring Dance has historically marked the first time that graduating seniors turn their rings outward to face the world.
“It’s kind of like on Pull Out day whenever you’re a sophomore and you can finally whoop,” Davis said. “The tradition of Ring Dance started as the seniors’ last formal engagement with the rest of the seniors and at the end of the night they would ring to face outward to the world.”
Jessica Davis, junior biomedical science major and assistant director of Ring Dance, said the tradition of seniors turning their rings outward at Ring Dance has been ‘lost’ in the last five to seven years.
Vice president of communications at the Association of Former Students and Class of 1988 Kathryn Greenwade said the Association initiated the formal turning of the rings ceremony at commencement for students who may not have gotten the opportunity at Ring Dance.
“Several years ago, we added into our induction remarks at commencement from the Association – the turning of the ring because we want to give all graduates an opportunity to have that ring turning moment whether they attended Ring Dance or not,” she said.
Greenwade said that over the last couple of years, the Association began receiving questions about whether the proper time to turn the ring was at Ring Dance or at graduation.
“Really, either one of them is an acceptable and fine time to do that,” Greenwade said. “We will continue to include it as part of commencement but we have no problem with those who want to continue to use Ring Dance as the opportunity to turn their rings.”
Because ring turning has become more closely associated with commencement, Davis said Class Councils is focused on reconnecting the tradition with Ring Dance.
“The tradition has been forgotten, and [Class Councils] are trying to bring it back because most of the seniors are thinking they turn their ring at graduation,” Davis said. “We’ve been working really hard to bring Ring Dance to a new level and reach out to the student body so they can come and realize ‘Oh this is when you turn your ring.'”
Students who have already graduated and turned their rings are also welcome to attend Ring Dance.
Having graduated ahead of schedule in August 2012, Dixie Michalak, Class of 2013, said she is excited to go to Ring Dance this year.
“[Since I graduated,] I’ve been going to Aggie games and tailgating in the fall – trying to do as much ‘Aggie’ stuff as I could while working,” Michalak said. “My last weekend in College Station will be the giant party of Ring Dance and I’m pretty excited about that.”
Although she technically could have attended Ring Dance last year, Michalak said that she preferred to go with her closest friends who are graduating this year – a group of 50 people from her Class Councils organization.
“If I would have been moving far away, I probably would have gone last year,” Michalak said. “I would have much rather waited until this year, when all of my closest friends are going to be there with me for the last time we’ll be together before graduation.”
Aside from Ring Dance being the last all-senior class event, Davis said that people should attend because it is an important part of the Aggie experience.
“It’s an amazing tradition that I hope will never be forgotten at Texas A&M,” Davis said. “It’s one of those things you want to keep true to yourself as an Aggie.”
Tickets can be purchased at the MSC box office or online. Prices are $50 for a single ticket and $90 for a couple’s ticket. Tickets on the day of Ring Dance are $55 for a single ticket.

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