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In Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the event at which Romeo first sees Juliet and falls in love is the famous Capulet ball. As part of their study of the play, seventh grade English students recreated the ball – designing their own masks and learning the steps to a choreographed masque dance.

After reading and studying the play in class, students designed and created masks – required attire – to wear during the dance. Awards in various categories were given out for these unique creations, including for most colorful, most creative, wildest, best suited to “Romeo and Juliet,” etc. Then the dancing began. Students learned the steps, put them to Renaissance music, and then performed in front of a live audience.

The students really got into this, remarked Steve Williams, Middle School English teacher. Their whole approach to it was very inventive, and I was surprised at how well they could dance!

The Capulet ball is an annual activity for seventh graders and an enjoyable way for them to interact with the play in creative – and memorable – ways.