The Ring Dance
A tradition dating from 1934, the Virginia Tech Ring Dance symbolizes the transition from junior to senior. Upon entering the dance, each couple receives a pair of ribbons in the Class colors. The lady wears her date's ring on her wrist with the darker colored ribbon, and the gentleman wears his date's ring on his wrist with the lighter colored ribbon. When the time comes for the Ring Exchange, the Corps of Cadets walk into the ballroom and stand in the shape of the Class numerals. As each couple exchanges rings, "Moonlight and VPI," written specifically for the Ring Dance by composer Fred Waring and lyricist Charles Gaynor, is played. As the clock strikes midnight, the evening ends with an elaborate fireworks display on the Drillfield, and the playing of "Silvertaps."
The Class of 1935 held the first Ring Dance on April 27, 1934, where the ring figure, sabre arch, and presentation of the ring by the Junior's date were introduced. Since then, the fame of the Ring Dance has spread across the nation, introducing many memorable highlights. Always, the Dance is a night to remember for those receiving their rings:
"Night after night we "dragged" the rats and learned to flip our sabres correctly. . . Friday finally rolled around and brought our dates... as well as V. M. I.'s ambassadors of good will. The reception at the S. A. B. formally opened our debut and after three years of waiting... the figure - the ring - and the kiss. And we were made men." (from the 1942 Virginia Tech Yearbook)
Halted temporarily during the years 1944-1946 due to World War II, Ring Dance has been a manifestation of fine dining, superior entertainment, and distinctive guests. The entire weekend, which occurs in the spring of the junior year, is primarily for the Juniors and their dates, although the entire university community is invited.
"Traveling through Tradition: A Journey of a Lifetime"
March 24 and 25, 2017
Squires Commonwealth Ballroom
Fireworks on the Drillfield
Saturday, March 25, 2017