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Occupying the lion's share of Currier Hall's basement is its ballroom, a one-of-a-kind social space on the Williams campus. After Goodrich Hall, the ballroom is probably the second most booked space on campus for social and arts events, and it has played host to all manner of activity.
From the center door facing the Berkshire Quad, a grand staircase sweeps down into the basement, pausing on a landing to offer a glimpse of the ballroom through a semi-circular window. To the left lies remainder of the descent to the ballroom door. Inside is a space like none other on campus: a throw rug covers the middle of the floor, and, if all has not been moved aside for the night's revelry, on it sits an enormous wooden table surrounded by high-backed, plush-cushioned chairs. In the far corner is one of the campus's few grand pianos, which I have heard is kept in relatively good tune.
A large skylight once spanned nearly all of the ballroom's ceiling; alas, for concerns about its integrity it has long had black platforms laid over it so that you would not even notice this feautre unless you knew to look. During daytime, however, large french windows along the east wall cast ample light across the room to mirrors on the far wall designed to mimic their transparant sisters. Even the real windows, however, offer no relief from clammy air during a hot dance: they are alarmed and cannot be opened without special dispensation from Security (which can be obtained by prior arragment, and is worth it for dances and hot days).
The ballroom has seen it all; events of all kinds that Williams students have dreamed up over the years, and every year student groups clamor to reserve the space for more. Arguments between those with scheduling control over the space (recently, House Coordinators) and those who wish to use it have flared in the past, as the ballroom is a space that the campus depends on, but inhabitants of Currier are frequently of a mind to control its use, as noise from events are quite audible to the basement rooms. Thus does Currier's ballroom find herself building a history of torrid flings with events of all persuasions, but always the loyal mother of the Odd Quad, true to them in her own way.
Some events known to have taken place in the ballroom are listed below:
- Perennial plays and one-acts by Cap and Bells, the student theater organization.
- Before it got large enough to need Goodrich Hall, Queer Bash was held in the ballroom.
- Occasional contradances, especially the Valentine's Day and Halloween Contradance, which benefit from the ballroom ambiance.
- Sarah! Croft '04 gathered actors to perform a number of murder mysteries -- some of which were her original works -- that unfolded in the ballroom, to the delight of the Deviants and other friends.
- A resident of Currier held a private party, notable for a hired stripper, during the fall 2003 -- and got away with it.
- A duel of honor, by epee, took place here between John Mugno '05 and Gavin McCormick '05 after the Valentine's Day Contradance of spring 2004. John won by a touch.