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Snowball Dance Traditions

By Sarah L. Harrer ; Updated September 15, 2017
The Snowball Dance is an event full of fun traditions and memorable moments.

The Snowball Dance, also known as a winter formal or the Sadie Hawkins dance, takes place at the end of January or beginning of February at high schools. It is often part of Winter Weekend or is thrown to celebrate the end of midterms. The Snow Ball gives students a reason to celebrate halfway between homecoming and prom. It is a much-anticipated event by high school students, especially underclassmen who are too young to attend the prom. Students get decked out, dance with their friends and enjoy refreshments and beautiful decorations in the gymnasium or a rented venue.

Invitation

The Snow Ball is a Sadie Hawkins dance, which is a dance where the girls invite the boys to the dance. This is the opposite tradition of homecoming and prom, where the boys go all out to ask the girls to attend the event with them. Girls leave notes on boys' cars and lockers, or come up with other special ways to invite the boys to be their dates. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors are all invited to attend, but tickets are offered for sale to the upperclassmen first.

Attire

Formal snowball dances require the girls to wear fancy dresses, similar to those that would be worn to the prom. Girls often opt for shorter party dresses in wintry colors such as deep red and blue. The boys wear suits or rent tuxedos. They match the colors of their ties to their dates' dresses. The ladies wear wrist corsages provided by their dates, and the boys wear flowers on their jackets. Schools that throw semi-formal snowball dances only require the girls to wear less formal dresses or skirts with nice blouses, and the boys wear dress shirts with khaki pants.

Court

Students elect a court consisting of students from each class, along with a prince or princess, from the freshman, sophomore and junior classes. The king and queen are members of the senior class, and they are referred to as the Ice King and Ice Queen. The princes and princesses and king and queen wear crowns and sashes to show their newly elected status, and these items serve as souvenirs from this memorable night. The court participates in a special dance in front of all of their peers.

Decorations

Decorate the gymnasium, ballroom or other venue where the Snow Ball is held in a winter wonderland theme. Hang snowflakes from the ceiling, and add icy blue crystals and centerpieces to provide a touch of elegance. Spray fake snow on tables and windows to give the illusion of being outside. Spread balloons in white, silver and light blue around the room. Create an area for pictures with snowman figures or a large, snowflake-shaped arch.

About the Author

Sarah L. Harrer has more than eight years of experience as an editor at Thomson Reuters. She has edited titles such as "Lindey on Entertainment, Publishing and the Arts," and written several continuing education manuals. Harrer's work has also been published in "The Pioneer" and "The Angle." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from St. John Fisher College.