Behind the Scenes of Winter Ball

Erin Tait, Staff Writer (9)
January 25, 2012
Filed under Pitman Life

  On January 7, Pitman High School celebrated its 10th Winter Ball. This year’s event themed “A Night at the Kasbah” was held at the Larsa Hall. Over 500 students were in attendance on a chilly evening, enjoying a variety of musical styles that kept the dance floor crowded the entire evening. The event was organized by Mrs. Pam Campbell and her committee. While the evening was considered a success, much of what goes on behind the scenes of students actually attending the Winter Ball may surprise some.

“Sadie Hawkins” is a term used when a girl asks a guy to a dance. Sadie Hawkins was a comic strip character created by All Capp in the late 1930’s; she was an unmarried woman who chased all the bachelors and “married up” the ones that she caught. The first known Sadie Hawkins dance was held on November 9, 1938. By the year 1952, the event was reportedly celebrated in over 40,000 known venues. This concept spread rapidly throughout the United States and Canada.

  Pitman’s winter formal was meant to be a casual dance that allows the freshman and sophomores to attend because the only other dance is the junior and senior prom. What has the formal turned into? It has turned into a second prom. Since the formal is traditionally a Sadie Hawkins dance, the girls fret over who they will ask for months and create elaborate plans to ask a male friend or boyfriend. Although people use cute and creative methods to celebrate formal, it really only adds unwanted stress on girls, when considering what to wear and also who to ask.

  The thing most females fret about before formal is what they are going to wear. It is all about the dress. So many options—short, long, tight, loose, and let’s not forget the color. It has to be original because nobody wants to wear the same dress. Next they have to pick dress shoes—flat and comfortable, or high and stylish? Many younger girls worry if they will be tall than their respective dates.  

  Next, most students choose a group of friends to attend the dance with. The female has to pick out a group of friends that are compatible with both her and her date. Where will they eat dinner? How will they get there and how much will it cost? These are the questions that echo through a woman’s mind as coordination and organization will make this night a success.

  The day of the big event now arrives. For the young woman it is a total makeover; this is when all those hours of watching makeover shows come into action as hair, nails, and makeup, turninto an all-day affair.

  Let’s swing over to the male’s house. I have firsthand information of what runs through a male’s mind before formal because I have a brother. The day of the formal he spent most of the day on a dirty soccer field. He got home an hour and a half before he had to be at the girl’s house. He then took a shower and trimmed his beard. Then he got dressed, with his tie matching his date’s dress, all thanks to my mom. It would seem that guys have all the luck.

  Let us not forget about the pictures. Pictorial documentation is a necessary requirement for the formal. At several locations, such as houses or the local university, pictures are taken and after dinner, the couples proceed to the dance and get their “groove on”. It is at this point that the female hopes that her date will actually attempt to dance; otherwise, it makes for a very long evening. After the dance, couples usually will attend another activity such as going to eat dessert, bowling, or hanging out at a friend’s house.

  With all the time and effort spent on this magical evening, is formal really worth it? One hopes that the night is spent with a person that he/she enjoys spending time with. In the future however, perhaps the male partner will take control of the situation and plan the event himself. Luckily for many students, Pitman encourages people to attend the Winter Ball and the prom sans date and just enjoy an evening with friends.

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