Definition of Society Balls

society dances invitation

“Definition of Society Balls” is a continuation of the How To Be Classy
series. It introduces society balls, charity balls, social dances and galas which comprises of the society social calendar.

As I have related on my previous page,
Dictionary.com defines society as the social life of wealthy, prominent, influential or fashionable persons.

It also says that society can be defined as a body of individuals living as members of a community.

They have common interests, are invited to and attend similar functions, want to get acquainted with each other
because they think they have common interests and characteristics in more ways than one.

People in Society are very social. They realize there is a way to push their agendas by meeting new “birds of a feather”,
and want to connect with people, or attend events to do so.

Perhaps, they are on board with a charity organization whom they want to try to get a very
important person on board as a sponsor of their charity to raise funds.
They want to get some socialites or celebrities involved to gain free publicity.

Some want to have more friends to spend time with pursuing similar interests that not
many people have access to, launch a fashion career, a new club, open a hip new restaurant in
down town.

No matter what it is, these society balls are important. Some say these social events are in fact,
“the definition of society”

This is especially in charity balls, where society folks feel a “noble obligation”
to contribute to charity as some do feel slightly guilty about their privilege.

Definition of Society

Differences between Balls and Dances

At some point in your life, you might be invited to one.

So first of all, you must know the differences between
balls and dances.

At a dance are approximately at similar ages, whereas a ball consist of people from a wide array
of ages.

Dances in general are smaller, with decorations and refreshments less elaborate and formal compared to a ball.

You may say that a ball is one of the most elegant social event of all social events.

Spring Ball in 1934
Look at how elegant and beautiful everyone is! Photograph Date: Spring Ball in 1934, Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M University

Definition of Society

History of Society Balls & Dances

As we have established that a ball is the most elegant social event, therefore it is also costly. Thus many
quetion the purposes and practicality of balls.

My opinion of the rarity of balls?
Bring them back! Where else will be get to adorn our best jewels and dresses? 🙂

I like to trace the wonderful social event of balls back to Jane Austen times where balls
were given by private families of individuals.

Usually they are given in honour of a new neighbour,
or a new neighbour has hosted it to warmly receive the gracious welcome of all the members in the community.
In from their end, everyone in town feels extremely happy to attend.

here was not many options for entertainment back then, as we do now with the internet,
ready access to books, movies, numerous restaurants so dancing, dances, and balls were the highlight of society.

Balls also help establish new friendships, was a way to meet new business associates, get inducted into the community, meet potential marriage partners in a safe and fun environment, build stronger relationships and was an integral part of society (and this society I mean – community).

Ball in the 1959
Definition of society indeed.
Photograph Date: 1959, Balls & Dances – Cotton Ball, Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M University

The ladies and gentlemen had a chance to dress up, look their best, and mingle with everyone in that community and town. Everyone will be there, talking about it, even perhaps engage in a little gossip of who’s who, mothers competing to introduce their daughters to the most eligible bachelors. It would literally ‘be talk of the town.’

Balls were often held in someone’s home and they didn’t have the industrial toilet facilities, plus etiquette was very keenly observed so no one ventured into the private rooms and toilets other than the allocated areas. There was very limited drinking because once if they had to use the washroom, that meant that they had to go home and home was too far away to come back. So it was literally dancing all night.

Today, private balls have become almost unheard.
Perhaps due to the many entertainment and social options they have to compete with, the expenses, the justification, difficulty to gather everyone.

These days, charity, cotillions and debuntante balls have replaced private ones and are similar to them in terms of customs, rules and procedures.

a debutante balls
A cotillion.

Though I would encourage anyone to give it a go and throw one! I would love to see the tradition of the private ball come back.

society dances invitation

Want to learn how to throw a private ball? Read more about it in my next page, Planning & Hosting The Society Ball

Thank you for reading “Definition of Society Balls”!

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