Ball (dance)
A ball is a formal dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

. The word 'ball' is derived from the Latin word "ballare", meaning 'to dance'; the term also derived into "bailar", which is the Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 and Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 word for dance (verb). In Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

 it is the same word, 'ball', for the dance event.

Attendees wear evening attire, which is specified on the invitation as black tie
Black tie
Black tie is a dress code for evening events and social functions. For a man, the main component is a usually black jacket, known as a dinner jacket or tuxedo...

or white tie
White tie
White tie is the most formal evening dress code in Western fashion. It is worn to ceremonial occasions such as state dinners in some countries, as well as to very formal balls and evening weddings...

(the most formal). Social dance
Social dance
Social dance is a major category or classification of danceforms or dance styles, where sociability and socializing are the primary focuses of the dancing...

 forms a large part of the evening; actual ballroom dancing may or may not occur.

Types of ball

  • Commemoration ball
    Commemoration ball
    A Commemoration ball is a formal ball held by one of the colleges of the University of Oxford in the 9th week of Trinity Term, the week after the end of the last Full Term of the academic year, which known as "Commemoration Week"...

  • Cotillion
    In American usage, a cotillion is a formal ball and social gathering, often the venue for presenting débutantes during the débutante season – usually May through December. Cotillions are also used as classes to teach social etiquette, respect and common morals for the younger ages with the...

  • Hunt ball
  • Masquerade ball
    Masquerade ball
    A masquerade ball is an event which the participants attend in costume wearing a mask. - History :...

  • May Ball
    May Ball
    A May Ball is a ball at the end of the academic year that happens at any one of the colleges of the University of Cambridge. They are formal affairs, requiring evening dress, with ticket prices of around £65 to £200 , with some colleges selling tickets only in pairs...

  • School ball
  • Scrabbalde

See also

  • Ball gown
    Ball gown
    A ball gown is worn for ballroom dancing and only the most formal social occasions according to rules of etiquette. It is traditionally a full-skirted gown reaching at least to the ankles, made of luxurious fabric, delicately and exotically trimmed. Most versions are cut off the shoulder with...

  • Ballroom
    A ballroom is a large room inside a building, the designated purpose of which is holding formal dances called balls. Traditionally, most balls were held in private residences; many mansions contain one or more ballrooms...

  • The Gaskell Ball
    The Gaskell Ball
    The Gaskell Ball is a bimonthly Victorian-styled ball held by Ye Gaskell Occasional Dance Society in Oakland, California, USA, popular among re-creationists and vintage dance enthusiasts...

  • Cinderella
    "Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper" is a folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression/triumphant reward. Thousands of variants are known throughout the world. The title character is a young woman living in unfortunate circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune...

  • Dance card
    Dance card
    A dance card or programme du bal is used by a woman to record the names of the gentlemen with whom she intends to dance each successive dance at a formal ball....

  • Duchess of Richmond's Ball
    Duchess of Richmond's ball
    The Duchess of Richmond's ball was held in Brussels on 15 June 1815, the night before the Battle of Quatre Bras. The Duchess's husband Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond was in command of a reserve force in Brussels, which was protecting that city in case Napoleon Bonaparte invaded.Elizabeth...

  • Sadie Hawkins dance
    Sadie Hawkins dance
    In the United States, the Sadie Hawkins Dance is usually a less formal dance sponsored by a high school, middle school or college, in which female students invite male students...

  • United States presidential inaugural balls
    United States presidential inaugural balls
    United States presidential inaugural balls are large social gatherings, both white tie and black tie, held to celebrate the commencement of a new term of the President of the United States. Planned and sanctioned by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the official inaugural balls occur throughout...

  • Vienna Opera Ball
    Vienna Opera Ball
    The Vienna Opera Ball is an annual Austrian society event which takes place in the building of the Vienna State Opera on the Thursday preceding Ash Wednesday. Together with the New Year Concert, the Opera Ball is one of the highlights of the Viennese carnival season...

Further reading

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