CIAA 2010: The good, the bad, and the pretty at Tip-Off Thursday

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The Deal: Bestfriendz, Dynasty 5 and Pinkies Up Productions present TIP-OFF Thursday at Whisky River.

The Good: Pinkies Up Productions, Bestfriendz and Dynasty 5 collaborated last night to kick off the CIAA party weekend, and what a kick-off it was. It was immediately clear upon walking in that the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd had arrived with just one focus: to have a good time. No standing around trying to look cute here. Whether you were walking to the bathroom, trying to order a drink or relaxing in a chair at a reserved table, everyone was head-bobbing, shoulder-bouncing and arm-waving to the backdrop of DJing prowess on display by DJ Skillz. He mixed it up, playing a nonstop, body-rocking variety of current hits like the ubiquitous "Empire State of Mind," old school hits like "PYT" by Michael Jackson, and older school hits like "Candy" by Cameo. Despite the somewhat cramped conditions, which actually were decently navigated with just a little bit of patience, there were no attitudes, no altercations and an all around air of good vibes. And for those looking to rip it up on the dance floor, you weren’t out there long before you had a dance partner joining in with you.

The Bad: Major drama at the door is not unusual when you have large demand and limited space for any event. However, we could have easily been spared wasted chunks out of our lives if the doorman, albeit a nice enough guy and the self-proclaimed guardian of “the list,” had just implemented one simple idea: communication. It was evident that the confusion was not the fault of Pinkies Up, Bestfriendz or Dynasty 5. They knew what was going on and who was supposed to be where. All the doorman had to do was ask them — preferably with haste. From several reports, similar confusion lasted well into the night. Though I did not get his name, a big shout-out to the gentleman with one of the party promotion companies who was standing inside the lobby area and worked to clear up the issues and offered a concession. Additionally, Whisky River seemed short-staffed and a bit disoriented, perhaps not ever having dealt with such a massive crowd before. Well, they have a whole year to figure it out. And please, chill the champagne.

As far as the partygoers themselves, the occasional arm grab by those trying to get your attention as you minded your business walking through the club got to be quite annoying, and the apparent butt grope, as experienced by my cousin, was unreal. (Yes, unfortunately at least one person thinks that is acceptable to do). However, most of the people were polite and acted like they had some home training.

The Pretty: My sorors sure know how to throw a party. In addition to those “pretty girls” of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the place was full of beautiful, fashionable people rocking sport jackets and scarves, stilettos and skirts, sweaters and slacks. Although the failed attempts by women in skinny jeans at riding the mechanical bull was, in fact, not so pretty, it was cool that so many dolled up ladies were at least good sports about trying it. All in all, this party was a great way to jumpstart the weekend of festivities still to come. Should Pinkies Up Productions, Bestfriendz and Dynasty 5 repeat this event next year, I suggest you fall through it. Good music. Good people. Good times.

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