Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
Hannah Walters, senior dance and psychology major, has started a movement that may become the next Cedar Crest tradition.
The project initially started in the spring of Walters’s sophomore year, when she decided to wear a dress for her twentieth birthday, which fell in the middle of the month. Walters looked in her closet and realized that it was filled with dresses that she seldom wore. She counted all of her dresses, and realized that she had enough to wear a different one each day of April.
Walters says that the project of wearing a different dress each day for the entire month was a great way for her to celebrate her love of dresses, and to make the stressful mood of the end-ofsemester scramble a little lighter.
Carrie Moore, class of 2010, said that she remembers the first year that Hannah wore dresses for April. “I’ve known Hannah for four years (beginning when we both were students – before I graduated and began working at Cedar Crest) and have loved watching her do this over the years,” said Carrie Moore, class of 2010.
The following spring, friends and classmates asked Walters if she would wear her April dresses again. She wore a dress every day that April again. She also took photographs each day to document the month of dresses.
Walters says that this year, her friends were asking her if she’d continue the project as early as the fall semester. She decided that she wanted other people to participate, and created a Facebook group, called “April Showers Bring April Dresses,” which she invited many Cedar Crest students to join, so that they could document a month full of dresses.
“You have all these clothes in your closet, and you never wear them,” Walters says, explaining the common situation that many participants relate to. Walters says that since she is a graduating senior, this April is her last full month on campus, and this final collaboration within the Cedar Crest community has helped her to make the most of it. Making an effort to wear dresses from an existing collection is a way to be resourceful and enjoy clothes that might otherwise go unworn. Yet more importantly, Walters says that the project has brought together a group of students who have enjoyed going through April with a common objective together.
Bryanne Hornung, a communications major, said that she decided to join the group even though at the beginning of the month, she didn’t own any dresses. She wore a dress on April 15, for Spring Fling. “I like getting dressed up for no reason; it feels liberating to look nice for yourself. It’s a great self-esteem and confidence boost.”
Walters says that faculty members have also participated in the April dresses project. Michelle Munno Jacobs, Assistant Professor of Dance, is one professor who has been enthusiastic about the project.
“I teach dance and have to wear dance clothes most of the week, but I participated on the days I could,” says Jacobs. “Last faculty meeting, I quickly changed in between classes to wear a dress. Dresses make me feel good, make the day more special, and seem to catch people’s attention.”
Jacobs also says that the small community which has arisen out of the project, both on campus and online, has been “a great opportunity for female, staff, students and faculty to bond and celebrate spring.”
Walters estimates that approximately fifteen to twenty people have posted photographs of their April dresses on her Facebook group. Kylie Manning, one student whose photos are featured, says, “I joined Hannah’s April Dresses group simply to share my love of dresses and skirts with others. I try to wear a dress on the days I do not work at the theater. Once I have on my outfit, I search for Hannah to take a picture for the Facebook group. If I cannot find her, I take a solo picture to post.”
Several students have said that they hope the April dresses project will continue at Cedar Crest, even after Walters has graduated. Walters also hopes that it continues, so that she can pass down her love of dresses to younger students at Cedar Crest. All of this year’s April dresses participants have agreed that Walters’s project has been a fun way to get through April together. Walters says, “When you dress up, it lifts your spirit as well.”