The Binghamton Association for Mixed Students (BAMS) roared through the ’20s Friday night, combining its passion for both diversity and sequined flapper dresses.
BAMS held its annual Mix It Up banquet, offering a variety of food and student talent at the 1920s-themed event.
The night featured performances from the Binghamtonics, the Binghamton Hoop Troop, the Nukporfe African Dance and Drumming Ensemble, a ballroom dancing pair and individual performers David Zhou and Samuel Titus. Zhou played jazz music on the saxophone, and Titus played his singer-songwriter originals on guitar.
Shantal McNeil, president of BAMS, was the head organizer for the event.
“BAMS: Mix it Up is to expose people to things they wouldn’t normally see,” said McNeil, a senior majoring in political science. “There’s a lot of clubs we don’t know about on campus, so we try to bring in things you wouldn’t see on a regular basis.”
The last performance of the night was a display of Chanbara, a Japanese performance art that combines dancing and sword fighting.
“It was good to bring the Asian culture in, because all the other acts were African or then you had general acts,” said Adah Morales, a sophomore majoring in English and a performer of Chanbara. “It was good to get some Asian in there because this is about mixed students, and I’m sure there are mixed Asians in the club.”
Brendan Perkinson, a junior majoring in history, said the Hoop Troop caught his eye at this year’s banquet.
“I liked the hula hoop dancing because A, they seem like a very talented group and B, it seemed like a very creative idea,” Perkinson said. “Especially at the end when they used glow-in-the-dark hoops; it was very fun and exciting.”
The performances were broken up by an equally diverse dinner at intermission. A buffet featured food from Moe’s Southwest Grill, Buffet Star and Turkish Restaurant, rounding out the menu with tacos, fried rice, wings and chinese doughnuts.
With the goal of supporting diversity remaining the same, attendees were asked to “mix it up” in a different way this year and dress in ’20s attire, with many guests coming prepared in flapper dresses and suits.
”We decided on the ’20s theme collectively as an E-Board,” McNeil said. “I thought it would be really cute to have the E-Board get dressed up and to have people who were coming get dressed up.”
Attire ranged from slightly formal to full-out ’20s attire, with girls dressed as flappers with feathered headbands and sequined dresses. Prizes were also awarded for costumes. Katherine McLaughlin, an undeclared sophomore, was voted “Best Dressed” for her 1920s flapper attire.
“I’m totally shocked, I spent hours picking out my outfit, so I’m glad it paid off,” McLaughlin said. “I’m really glad I came; all the performances were fantastic. I was smiling the whole time.”