Girls ask boys: Sadie’s allows females to lead the way

The second semester is largely characterized by “promposals,” a friendly competition of sorts, in which students try to ask their dates in the most elaborately adorable fashion as possible. And this year, with the reintroduction of a winter formal dance for the first time in three years, there are bound to be even more dance proposals on the Carmel High School campus. (That is, if anyone even chooses to ask, which seems to be increasingly uncommon these days).

A winter formal is news in itself, but what is even more tradition-breaking is the fact that there was a significant possibility that the upcoming CHS dance would embody a Sadie Hawkins style, as ASB adviser Aubrey Powers explains. And I, for one, would have been all for it.

According to “The History of Sadie Hawkins Dances” by Casey Lewis, the tradition derives from a comic originally drawn by cartoonist Al Capp in 1937, in which a girl named Sadie Hawkins chased down the men of the town so as to find a husband. This inspired an event the following year in which women asked men to dance, a role reversal from the traditional stereotype.

The concept spread to encompass several areas in the U.S. and Canada, until Sadie Hawkins had spread to nearly 40,000 venues by 1952, Lewis notes.

“We discussed [a Sadie Hawkins’ dance] at length in Leadership and ultimately determined that we thought people would exclude themselves from participating if it was a Sadie’s, because girls would be embarrassed to ask guys and guys wouldn’t go if they weren’t asked,” Powers explains.

I guess this is sufficient reason to replace a Sadie Hawkins dance with a more comfortable and traditional alternative. After all, student attendance is important to the success of the dance and profit for future school activities.

Nevertheless, I am in full support of a Sadie’s dance. Too often I think people are too frightened by the idea of asking someone to a dance. It is no secret that many students choose either to attend dances alone or not go at all, making these events most appealing to couples.

“Will you go to the dance with me?”

It all comes down to these eight words, folks. I wish that someone could tell me why we all make it such a big deal. It’s only a one-night commitment you’re asking of someone. And—believe it or not—it could even be just as friends.

I think it probably boils down to the fear of rejection. Or maybe it’s just the label of “date.” Regardless, a Sadie Hawkins dance would offer us girls the perfect opportunity to show boys how it’s done. To be fair, some girls even ask boys to dances without it being formally titled a “Sadie’s” dance. And to all of those girls, I applaud you.

For the rest of us ladies, a Sadie’s would give us the chance to ask a boy to the dance, without any real fear of the proposal being out of the norm. But even more than that, a Sadie’s would allow all of us girls to muster up some confidence and prove that dance proposals are not as intimidating as they’re cracked up to be.

-Melissa Pavloff