Tea and swing dancing to bridge gap

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Michael Shipma

Staff Writer

Troy University’s Tea for Troy will hold its second annual British Tea Formal at First Baptist Church in Troy on Thursday, April 16, at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the event can be purchased for $5 by either contacting a member of the Tea for Troy staff or messaging one of them on the Tea for Troy Facebook page.

Tea for Troy is a campus organization that engages students in the culture and tradition of tea to bring together students from different backgrounds in a social environment.

Jamie Bennett, a junior English major from Jacksonville, Florida, works with Tea for Troy to put on events such as the formal.

“We are attempting to bring the international and American students together through the commonality of tea,” Bennett said.

The group meets every other Thursday in Hal Hall at 7 p.m. Activities for these meetings include presentations from speakers for the ethnicity that the featured tea represents, as well as drinking tea and games.

Bennett said that the formal seeks to have some of these same activities from their regular meetings in a special, more formal setting. Because space is limited for an event of this size on campus, the formal will take place in the First Baptist Church’s recreation center.

“We had (our first formal) last year, but we honestly didn’t expect the amount of people that showed up,” Bennett said. “Everyone had fun, but we wanted to make sure we had more space for this year.”

That extra space will be used for swing dancing and socializing, as students are given the opportunity to transcend ethnic diversity through tea.

A photo booth will be set up in the rec center for students, as well as a designated area for activities and games for those who may not want to dance.

In addition to tea being provided at the event, there will also be party foods served for those who attend. Free transportation to and from First Baptist Church will also be provided for students in front of Pace Hall prior to the event.

The money collected through ticket sales will be used almost solely for paying for the venue. Bennett stated that money not used for paying for events like this will go to keeping Tea for Troy going and for providing tea for the students.

“We really aren’t focused on making money through events like this,” Bennett said. “We really are more focused on getting the American and international students together to sort of bridge the gap.”

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