The Ring Dance

A tradition dating from 1934 beginning with the Corps of Cadets, the Virginia Tech Ring Dance symbolizes the transition from junior to senior and the presentation of the highly anticipated class ring.

Upon entering the dance, each couple receives a pair of ribbons in the class colors. One student wears the date's ring on their wrist with the darker colored ribbon, and the other student wears the date's ring on their wrist with the lighter colored ribbon.

The university president presides over the ceremony. Announced by a bugler's call, Corps of Cadets juniors march into the ballroom to a drum beat and  form 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 sung. 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. The women wore white dresses and this became a tradition that has lasted for years.

While every color of gown is found on the dance floor, the women of the Junior Class Leadership Team wear white gowns. Since then, the fame of the Ring Dance spread across the nation, broadcast by radio, introducing many memorable highlights. Always, the dance is a night to remember for those receiving their rings.

Halted temporarily during the years 1944-1946 due to World War II, Ring Dance has been a manifestation of decorations, superior entertainment, and tradition. The entire weekend, which occurs in the spring of the junior year, is for the juniors and their dates. With the increase in size of the classes, the dance is now held on two evenings with juniors selecting one night to attend.

The Ring Dance at Virginia Tech: A Ribbon through Time Video

The Class of 2019 Ring Dance Video

Black and white photo. A sabre arch by cadets with a line of women in white dresses ready to process under the arch.

Only juniors who have purchased rings will have the opportunity for tickets to ring dance.   

For information on tickets, eligibility and attire please contact ringdancetickets-g@vt.edu.

Class of 2021 Ring Dance


March 27 and 28, 2020 at
8 p.m.

Squires Commonwealth Ballroom

Fireworks on the Drillfield
Saturday, March 28 at
11:15 p.m.