By Eriech Tapia, OK

Staff Writer

Filled with handshaking games, state dance offs and upbeat mixing and mingling, Partying USA style was the theme for Monday night’s dance. “This is definitely getting me in the Blue Ridge spirit,” said Dino Nzanga Jr. of Washington. At the beginning of the party, volunteers made something out of a balloon that represented the Blue Ridge Spirit. Then, three delegates were chosen as the best and received a prize.

“Definitely an honor to win the first award of the night,” said Amber Stull of Indiana, who made a pretzel out of her balloon.

Ashley Kolaya, the host of the dance, led games filled with high energy and dancing, pushing delegates to step outside their comfort zones.

“It seemed like people got to know each other and also got to know somebody from another delegation,” Kolaya said.

A few of the games included getting in groups with other delegates, then meeting somebody within that group and creating a crazy handshake.

“I liked the handshakes and how they played music too,” Casey Bertelsman of Missouri said. During one of the handshakes, delegates had to ask their partners what they would fill a bathtub up with. “If I could fill up a bathtub (with anything), I would fill it up with Nutella and then I would eat all of it, because Nutella is the bomb!” said Anand Macherla of New Mexico. Another game Kolaya introduced to the delegates was a state dance contest. Dancing was the main part of the night with nearly everyone getting the dance moves on between games.

“I was wicked excited to get my moves on,” Julia Oldakowski of Model United Nations said. The annual conference closing dance will be at 8:30 p.m.Thursday and the attire is red, white and denim.