Snake Dance 2011

As soon as school’s over on Friday afternoon, orange and black start creeping in around the campus, first in the form of hats, scarves, shirts, shorts, socks, shoes, and all manner of normal clothing, and then slowly but surely on to eyes, ears, noses and toes…

And then the madness in the houses starts after the basketball game. Someone breaks out paint, and then another person, and another, first walking then running up and down the stairs from one floor to the next, passing each other looking perfectly normal on the way in, but like wild men on the way out! The frenzy builds up, paint is passed around, the floor starts to accumulate overspill in the form of a gooey mass like an oil tanker gone wrong…

Video by Anna Breun, Grade 11


 

 

 

 

 

Some prefer a conservative approach, choosing to swipe some Ridley stripes down the side of their cheeks and muss up their hair a little bit. Others want a more aggressive look, and so sported orange and black daubs over various parts of the body.  The artists within us do handprints, and sacrifice our school neckwear and bowler hats for the cause. And then there’s the approach favored by the large majority, which is the brutally effective but also brutally blunt splattering, smattering, and smearing black and orange paint all over!

The snake is off! Everyone running and trying very hard to scream and shout at the same time, houses joining one by one as the shrill screeches of girls merge with the deep bellows of the boys, and around the fields we go, slipping and sliding through the grass and muddy puddles fresh from the rain, some braving powerslides or even a few strokes in a particularly deep one. Encircling the fire pit, the noise is tremendous, one can’t hear anything but the screams of those on either side. “LIGHT THE FIRE! LIGHT THE FIRE!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eventually, after what seems like an eternity, the torches arrive, and the prefects lead a screaming and shouting and general mayhem session of what is certainly longer than one’s average Sunday morning sleep-in with the help of a hosepipe, and the sheer intensity of the moment, which out-powers even that of the extremely scintillating jazz band rehearsals.

Then, fireworks, everyone still screaming and shouting but completely mute at the same time, on account of their voice having excused themselves until tomorrow morning…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then, slowly and reluctantly, everyone trudges back to their respective houses, ready to begin the long and arduous task of cleaning up themselves, cleaning up the washrooms, cleaning up the trash, and then stuffing down pizza. Water black as the night sloshing about in the basements, laughing at where we’ve failed to scrub paint off ourselves, laughing at which surfaces people actually managed to get paint onto…

So ends another day at Ridley College. That, my friends, is the SNAKE DANCE!

As told by Sam Wolski, Grade 11 student

 

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