Astry Rodriguez/The Daily Northwestern
Country tunes, upbeat folk music and the occasional “yee-haw” echoed through Parkes Hall during an interfaith barn dance hosted by the Catholic Students Association and Northwestern Hillel Thursday night.
With cowboy hats on and heels stomping on the ground, more than 40 students were ready to party at the event. Though CaSA hosted a barn dance in 2019, this has been its first since the start of the pandemic, as well as the first interfaith one.
“We wanted to make it interfaith so that all different faith traditions could come together and celebrate,” CaSA Major Events Coordinator and Weinberg junior Andreas Mozny said.
Many students dressed for the theme with cowboy boots, bandannas and vibrant plaid shirts. Organizers also decked out the space with hay bales, fairy lights and plaid tablecloths. The event also included catered chicken, macaroni and cheese and potato salad from local business Hecky’s Barbecue.
McCormick junior Belise Mbabazi said the event was unlike any others she has attended at NU.
“It’s so much fun,” Mbabazi said. “I see people I know, and we’re having fun. It’s a break in the middle of the week.”
Square dances and line dances were in full swing — dancers had smiles plastered on their faces as they clapped along. For attendees who didn’t know the dances, an instructor attended to make it accessible to all.
The line caller taught the dancers many steps, like “1, 2, 3, kick, ball, change,” then played music for them to show off their new moves.
Weinberg freshman and Hillel Social Justice Chair Emma Kogan said it was fun seeing an event she helped plan for the past month finally come to fruition.
“The tables are so cute with the red and blue patterns, and it was so fun to set up … the lights and the burlap,” Kogan said. “Everyone’s having a good time.”
Mozny said the event was a nice way to end the academic year and celebrate CaSA’s first year back in-person since 2020.
He said he first attended the barn dance in his freshman year in 2019. CaSA brought back the event and theme because it got a lot of positive attention the first time around, he said. The organizations are looking to make it an annual event, Mozny added.
Kogan said Reformed University Fellowship, a Christian organization on campus, also helped set up the event.
“I’m just really excited that we are able to have more interfaith opportunities on campus,” Kogan said. “I see this as just the beginning. I’m excited to work with other groups in the future, too.”
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