An NYU Shanghai newly established tradition, the Spring Formal was held last Friday night at 1933 Shanghai – a refurbished slaughterhouse, transformed into a warehouse. As the semester comes to a close, the Formal allowed Freshmen, Sophomore and Study Away students to dress up, dance and socialize, in a setting outside of 268 and the Academic Building. The theme was 1930’s Shanghai, meaning students were encouraged to mimic the 1930’s jazz era, and recreate an aura of the “Paris of the East”.

As students arrived, they were pleasantly greeted with a photo booth, a dance floor, and classic music. From R Kelly’s “Ignition” to Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie”, students were able to bond over 00’s and 90’s hits. Students were also treated to performances by SPSM members Samanta Shi, Kiki Shen and Franc Lee, who continued to DJ throughout the night.

For freshman students, the Spring Formal was a change from last year’s Amethyst Ball, which was only made available to freshman students. However, although the event was open to all portal and study away students, there was still a lack of attendance. In addition, many students arrived late or left early, further diminishing the number of attendees.

The dance was an opportunity for all students to socialize before the majority of sophomore students depart in the next three weeks, and the summer break commences. Many students also took the vacant glass floor space outside the dance room to congregate and talk – and take photos of themselves in beautiful formal wear.

In terms of the venue, incoming Director of Student Events Claire Song proposed the location to the Events Committee, as the venue is frequently featured in Chinese movies and TV shows. For Song, “it would have been better if more people had showed up. But it was great to see everybody dress up, it was like a movie.”

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This article was written by Isabella Farr. Send an email to to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Kevin Pham and Daniel Cuesta

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