ASB to host “all-inclusive” Sadie Hawkins dance

Chloe Fishman, Author

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Olivia Scola asked Michael Pappas to the dance on the Quad. Her sign reads, "I'd be on could 9 if you came with me to Sadies." Photo by

Senior Olivia Scola asks fellow senior Michael Pappas to join her at Paly’s Sadie Hawkins formal dance. Sadies dances typically encourage girls to ask boys to the dance, breaking the stereotype of boys doing the asking. The formal will be held at 7:30 p.m. today in the Small Gym. Her sign reads, “I’d be on cloud 9 if you came with me to Sadies.” Photo by Reid Walters.

The Palo Alto High School Associated Student Body is making efforts to break gender barriers and stereotypes with its upcoming Sadie Hawkins formal dance at 7:30 p.m. today in the Small Gym.

Unlike typical Sadie Hawkins-themed dances, which usually promote females to ask males to the dance, ASB released a statement in order to address any gender-related issues or concerns that surround the theme.

“Historically, Sadie Hawkins has been a dance that has encouraged females to invite their male peers,” the statement said. “As a body, we [ASB] recognize the progress society has made since the origination of Sadies, as well as the growing conversation related to gender roles and gender identity. ASB would like to emphasize that this winter dance, like all of our events, is all-inclusive. Students of every gender identity and sexual orientation are empowered to ask (or not ask) any person they so desire to this event. We encourage and welcome all students to attend, whether they choose do so with a date, with friends or alone.”

The theme was decided after joint input from an online poll sent out to the student body last month and extensive discussion within ASB. The poll granted students the ability to voice their opinion on the theme for the upcoming dance and garnered just under 300 responses, the vast majority of which indicated for a Sadie Hawkins theme, according to Senior Class President Claire Liu.

Liu expands on how ASB has worked to address stereotypes of boy-ask-girl dances and Sadie’s dances.

“ASB officers are well aware of some of the conversation points Sadie’s as a concept brings up, and we felt this would also be an appropriate time to address some of the gender roles and traditional notions the dance may be associated with,” Liu said. “We really saw this as an opportunity to expand the meaning of Sadie’s, and make efforts to redefine it and make it more inclusive, as shown in our publicity, event page, and press statement.” 

As part of ASB, Senior Class Vice President Olivia Scola is involved in organizing the dance.

“I am anticipating that the winter dance will be successful,” Scola said. “I think that girls have the opportunity to ask anyone they want to any dance we have, but Sadie’s encourages women to ask their friend or special someone even more.”

Sophomore Katie Passarello asked a date to join her at the dance.

“A bunch of my friends and I decided to ask our guy friends in a group because it would be cute and fun,” Passarello said. “I’m a good dancer, so I can’t wait to show off my moves.” 

The dance will be three hours long, from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Additionally, ASB is offering free donuts to all attendees.

Tickets will be sold on the Quad during lunch, on the online web store and at the door according to ASB. Tickets will cost $5 for students with ASB cards and $10 for those without.