14 Sep Shall We Dance?
A Catholic Ball in Chicago
by Meghan Ferrara and Evan Wing
Lovely ladies in elegant Ball gowns. Handsome gentlemen in formal wear. A waltz under a crystal chandelier.
No, it wasn’t a scene from Downton Abbey.
It was very real, this summer, in Chicago. A gala Ball at the stunning Preston Bradley Hall was hosted by the Quo Vadis Young Adults group of St. John Cantius parish.
Recently, one of the founders of the Ball, Dana Byerwalter, spoke to REGINA’s Evan Wing about the experience.
REGINA: How much interest was there in the Ball?
DANA: The interest surrounding the event was huge thanks to the team’s involvement in the Quo Vadis Young Adults at St. John Cantius parish.
REGINA: How many people attended?
DANA: About 200 people attended.
REGINA: How did you spread the word?
DANA: Through promotional efforts around Chicagoland like spreading the word to other young adult groups in person, email, via flyers, business cards, etc.
REGINA: Who attended?
DANA: The demographic was primarily young adults, but the Ball included folks 18+ as well as older people.
REGINA: What was your vision?
DANA: St. John Cantius has a mission to restore the sacred, and this Ball was a concentrated effort to do so.
REGINA: How so?
DANA: The night opened with prayer and a blessing from Fr. Phillips
REGINA: Well, that’s unusual for a social affair like this.
DANA: It also showcased dancers for each set. Through gorgeous waltzes featuring a live orchestra, a stunning venue at Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center, and elegant attire, this event was an experience of a bygone era.
REGINA: Sounds fascinating. But what did you hope to accomplish?
DANA: It was an incredible opportunity to host an evening of true beauty amid a culture more and more interested in other things. It promoted dance among Catholics in the Chicago area, and interest has also spread in the desire for ongoing lessons.
REGINA: Where do you see this going in the future?
DANA: Our vision is to host an annual St. John’s Ball as the inaugural event was such a success. We may rotate location to expose attendees to more beautiful places throughout the city.