Formal Dance? Don’t Sweat It!

formal happy danceUgh, yes, once again, formal dance season has arrived. I, myself, just had one this past Saturday, my school’s own version called OLOT. But, yes, here they come again, the Spring Flings and spring formals and all the stress that comes with each one of them.

As a girl, I know the rash amounts of anxiety over the dress, the heels, the nails, the hair, the makeup, the group, and not to mention getting asked to the dance in the first place!

But let’s back up a bit, and let’s have me explain the typical etiquette of my school’s spring formal: OLOT.

  • When: usually the 2nd or 3rd weekend of March.
  • Where: This is the dance where the school chooses an off campus venue, whereas our winter dance, TOLO, is held in our school’s cafeteria. This year, we scored the Pacific Science Center.
  • How is works is that it’s a guy ask girl dance. While at most schools the guy just approaches the girl and says, “Hey, want to go to the dance with me?” the ask is actually one of the most important parts. Usually the guy should come up with a pun or have a poster or bring the girl a baked good.

People have gone all out in the past: renting a pig, scavenger hunts, spelling out the letters “OLOT?” in the windows of a school building, or in my case, an ask imitating the scene from Say Anything where the guy wins the girl by holding up the boom box to the window. (Ok, mine was a little different…him and some of his friends just came up to me carrying the boom box playing The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson and he asked me. But close enough).

I’ll have you know that asking season gets catty, especially amongst the female half of the grade. So here’s my first word of advice: if you can, avoid the asking drama. If you get asked, great! If you don’t, that’s fine too! There’s so much silly high school stigma around not getting asked, but so what! You should still go to the dance. Rally up a group of friends and go as a big group! Also, hopefully your school dances have an atmosphere inviting towards people of all sexual orientations and genders. Ask whom you feel comfortable asking, dress how you feel comfortable dressing, and just be yourself!  It’s supposed to be fun, and it’s a whole lot easier to have a good time if you feel comfortable in your own skin!

My second piece of advice: if you don’t feel like buying a new dress and shoes or you’re on a budget, just re-wear something! I know, your first thought may be that you should never wear the same thing twice to a formal. I can almost 100% guarantee nobody cares, nor are they keeping tabs on every dress you’ve worn in the past to every formal event. People are too caught up as it is in how they look to care about what you’re wearing.formal dance

Now for the shoes on behalf of the ladies: if you want to wear heels, awesome! They certainly do legs justice and look good with most types of dresses, but I recommend bringing a pair of flats once your feet get tired. And trust me, your feet can get worn out within the first half hour. Plus, taking off your shoes and walking around barefoot on nasty, sticky floors is less than preferable.

Lastly: don’t lose too much sleep over a high school dance. It’s just one night, and it’s easy to put an unnecessary amount of energy into a night that is, sadly, most likely going to be pretty anti-climactic. As far as high school dances go, there isn’t much margin to really have a wild night. Instead, just look at it as an opportunity to get dressed up and hang out with friends! Seriously, don’t sweat it. Just do what makes you comfortable and happy, and just go with it!

–Sylvie, Greenwood, Teen Blogger


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