Q: “What is the age requirement to attend the Formal?”
All students must be 14 years old by the beginning of the school year (September 1). We also require that every student attending the formal, whether a registrant, an invited guest, or a date, to be no more than 19 years old on the day of the formal.
Q: “Can I invite a friend who is not homeschooled?”
Our first priority is always the homeschooling community. Non-homeschooled students must be invited guests and will be allowed to register for the formal and will be reviewed by the coordinators on a case by case basis. Please contact us if you would like to invite a friend who is not homeschooled.
Once the non-homeschool student has been accepted, he/she must follow the same Code of Conduct and Attire Guidelines, and attend dance lessons.
Q: “When should I register?”
We open formal registration in late January of each year. Graduating seniors will have one week of priority registration, and then registration will be open to all other students. To ensure your student is placed at the top of the waiting list, please register your student ONLY when his or her session has opened. If you register too early, your name will be removed from the waitlist. You may then re-register when your session opens. If you register late, you may not be able to attend.
Q: “When is the last day to register?”
No registrations will be accepted after March 1. However, to prevent overcrowding and to ensure a safe and enjoyable event, the formal coordinators will close the registration when the full capacity of our venues (both the ballroom and the dance studio) is reached. To ensure a desirable spot on the waitlist, we highly encourage you to register as soon as your session opens up. Do not wait! Graduating seniors are strongly encouraged to sign up during their priority week in late January. Graduating seniors who miss this window and sign up later will not be given priority over younger students. Due to overwhelming interest in the Formal, we strongly recommend that students who are not graduating sign up on the first morning their session opens.
Q: “How to I make changes or update my formal options?”
To make changes or update your previously entered information such as adding a date, special dietary needs, seating preferences, etc, please log into “My Account” at the top menu. Please make changes to your account before the registration deadline. After the deadline, please contact us directly using our contact form.
Q: “I would like to sit with my friends at dinner, how do I send in a request?”
On the registration form, you may enter one to three friends you would like to be seated with. We will make sure that you have AT LEAST ONE of your friend selections at the table with you. If you are with a date, that date will be seated with you. In many cases, we might accommodate more than one friend on your list, but we cannot guarantee it.
Q: “What if I have food allergies or dietary restrictions?”
In most cases, food allergies and dietary restrictions can be accommodated, but we need to know in advance. Please indicate the dietary restrictions on your student’s registration form or contact us, we will contact you for details and work with the catering staff to make sure your student’s needs are met. In the past we have been able to accommodate specific food allergies and supply gluten free, and dairy free meals as well as medical needs like diabetes.
Once we have worked out the details with the hotel staff and completed our seating arrangements, the wait staff will be notified as to the table numbers of students with special dietary requests. In most years, the wait staff will ask at the table “Who has a gluten-free meal?” (for example), and the student will need to raise their hand to let the waiter know.
Q: “What is a dance card, and why do you use it?”
There are three reasons dance cards are used.
- Dance cards ensure that each student meets new people at the formal.
- Dance cards are used to help guys and girls be more comfortable on the night of the formal. Guys are free from the fear of rejection when asking girls to dance, and girls are free from the worry that they might not get asked.
- Dance cards help to ensure that dancing is the primary focus of the evening. Everyone will be participating throughout the entire night. This makes the Formal fun and memorable for everyone in attendance.
Dance partners are assigned on the card, and students are required to dance with their assigned partner. Even if you don’t like the person, you can be a gentleman or a lady and graciously give three minutes of your time to help someone else have a nice evening. There are plenty of unassigned dances where you may choose your own partner, take a break to get a drink of water, or just get off your feet and watch.
Q: “Is there a policy about bringing a date to the formal?”
First, please know that the formal is structured in such a way that bringing a date is not necessary for having a fun evening full of partnered dancing. You will have multiple opportunities to ask a certain person to dance, even if he or she does not appear on your dance card. You and your friend may also request each other as your first seating choice without being registered as dates.
That being said, students who will be 16 years old or older at the time of the event are permitted to register as dates. However, please remember that students with dates will still receive dance cards and are required to dance with all their assigned partners on the designated dances. Dates will be guaranteed to sit together at dinner and will be assigned more than one dance together on their dance card. They can also dance together for all free dances. Dating couples must also follow all the rules of the dance classes, which include the requirement to rotate partners frequently as directed by the instructor. You may not dance exclusively with your date at dance classes or at the Formal.
Students younger than 16 as of the day of the event may NOT register as a date, even if they are asked by an older student.
Parents are required during registration to give permission for their student to attend as a date if he or she is under 18. Parents of both students must give their approval in order for a couple to be attend as dates. Students who are 18 or 19 can register themselves. A student over 18 cannot register his or her date who is under 18. The parent must register the student under 18.
Gentlemen, if you would like to invite a date, we recommend that you do so in a timely manner. We will do our best to make sure all dates are moved off the waiting list promptly, but if an invited date signed up for the Formal and does not pay for the registration fee promptly, and we have exceeded our girl/guy ratios or our attendance limit, we may not be able to accommodate your date.