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Sadie Hawkins dance: Wikis


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In the United States, the Sadie Hawkins Dance is usually a less formal dance sponsored by a high school, middle school or college, in which female students invite male students. This is contrary to the usual custom of male students inviting females to school dances such as Prom, in the spring and Homecoming, in the fall.


The Sadie Hawkins dance is named after the Li'l Abner comic strip character, Sadie Hawkins. In the comic, November 13 was Sadie Hawkins Day, where the unmarried women of Dogpatch got to chase the bachelors and marry the ones they caught. The event was first introduced in a strip published on November 13, 1937.

In the U.S., this concept was popularized by establishing dance events to which the woman invited a man of her choosing, instead of demurely waiting for a man to ask her. The first known such event was held on November 9, 1938. Within a year hundreds of similar events followed suit, and the tradition became a permanent fixture in some regional American cultures.

Alternate names

Similar dances, sometimes called Spinsters' Balls, have been organized for adults. The custom of holding Spinsters' Balls has spread outside the U.S., and exists in countries such as Australia.

Within the U.S., a Sadie Hawkins school ball may be called a:

  • Tolo (derived from Chinook Jargon, meaning "to earn" or "to win")
  • Girl Break
  • Sweetheart Dance
  • Beau Dance
  • Girls Treat
  • Snowdayz
  • Ladies' Choice
  • Backwards Dance
  • Vice-Versa
  • Flip-Flop
  • Girls Preference
  • Sponge Dance
  • Turnabout
  • L.P.A or W.P.A. ("Ladies Pay All" or "Women Pay All")
  • T.W.I.R.P. ("The Woman Is Responsible To Pay" or "The Woman is Required To Pay")
  • Morp (Prom backwards)
  • Heart Hop
  • Swirl
  • Sadies
  • Snowcoming (if it is in the winter)
  • Kings Daughters Dance
  • Coming Home (A play on the traditional Homecoming event)
  • King of Hearts
  • Barn Dance

If held during the winter months, the Sadie Hawkins dance may be called the Snow Ball or some other wintry name. In a variation on pure Sadie Hawkins custom, a particular song may be designated a snowball dance by the disc jockey or master of ceremonies.

In that case, also known as "speed dancing" (because of its similarities to speed dating), the DJ picks two people to start dancing, usually to a slow dance. Periodically the DJ will shout, "snowball," signaling that the dancers must find new partners, thus increasing the number of partners on the floor. Half of the people asking new dancers to come to the floor will be girls asking boys, Sadie Hawkins-style. By the end of the song, most all of the people at the dance are on the dance floor. The "snowball dance" is typically used to get the dancing started, as school dances can be notoriously slow to start. In some areas, people chosen to dance cannot refuse, thereby ensuring people get onto the dance floor, and thus the "snowball" gains momentum and grows.

See also

  • Leap year, for traditions on women proposing marriage
  • Powder Puff, an annual high school football game pitting girls against girls

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