Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Passionate Outgoing Individuals with Zeal Modeling Group is providing an option to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
On Thursday, POIZ will host its 50 Shades of Red dance from 6:30-11 p.m. in the Hadley Union Building.
Briana Richardson-Jones (junior, English and pre-law), vice president of POIZ, said that the dance is engaging the audience in a number of ways.
“It’s different from other dances because with this we give away free prizes like raffle tickets,” Richardson-Jones said, “as well as there will be free food there and drinks like punch, and we’re getting the audience involved. It’s not going to be like a regular POIZ show where the audience just watches us perform. Everyone will be dancing, too. It’s like a regular school dance with a twist.”
Richardson-Jones also said the dance will include a contest for audience members called the Cupid and Cuppette contest.
For the contest, students entered by uploading pictures of themselves on Instagram and tagging the POIZ Instagram page in the post.
POIZ will put the top three “cupids” and “cupettes” – whose pictures got the most likes on Instagram – on stage at the dance.
The audience will applaud for each candidate, and the “cupid” and “cupette” will the most applause will win the contest.
Safiya Rasheed (junior, fashion merchandising), president of POIZ, explained the purpose of the contest.
“We like to have [the contest] just to incorporate IUP students to
make them feel important,” Rasheed said, “so the event is not just about POIZ. It’s about IUP students as well.”
Rasheed said the contest closed this past week.
The dance will also have a contest similar to “The Newlywed Game.”
“Basically, it’s ‘how well do you know your significant other or your best friend or even your date?’ Rasheed said. “You’ll have a team to your left and a team to your right, and you’ll both get asked the same question, but you have to answer them alike.”
The first 50 Shades of Red event took place February 2014 and was co-hosted by POIZ and Kappa Alpha Psi.
Sharay Price (junior, pre-dentistry), secretary of POIZ, explained the origins of the dance.
“Last year, both the POIZ board and members of Kappa Alpha Psi wanted to have a formal event,” Price said, “so we got together. That’s why it’s 50 Shades of Red because we wear red a lot, and the Kappas are red. It’s just us this year.”
Richardson-Jones said the title was also related to “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
“I know they wanted to have an upscale ball-type of dance,” she said, “and then that was the time that the book was popular, so I know they got the name from the book.”
She also said the dance is mainly going to be Valentine’s Day-themed with “hearts, flowers, red and pink table cloths” and is not going to delve completely into the theme of the book.
Rasheed described appropriate attire for the event.
“Last year, some people wore long dresses, some people wore short dresses,” she said. “As long as it’s not a tight dress that you would wear to the club.”
Richardson-Jones added that students “can’t wear jeans, you can’t wear sweats or boots or sneakers.”
Price said that the event was successful last year, and it looks like it will be a success again this year.
“It was very successful last year because the same day we literally got 5 inches of snow,” Price said, “and a lot of people came out. I think they had a good time. And it’s just really something for people to look forward to.
“This gives you the opportunity to be classy and glamorous for a day,” Price said.
POIZ’s next big event will be their annual big show toward the end of the semester.