Frequently Asked Questions

I don't know how to dance!

There will be dance lessons provided prior to the Formal Ball. Click here for a detailed description of how they will be taught, complete with lesson FAQ. The instructor is also the dj for the Formal, so you'll be able to use what you learned in class at the ball, and may even recognize some of the songs!

Okay, I attended lessons/I couldn't attend lessons, but I want to keep learning. How can I do that?

That's awesome! I love hearing when someone catches the dance bug from an anime/gaming convention! That said, unless you live in my city, I won't necessarily have a specific recommendation for you. If you're college-age, you're probably in luck! There are often classes and practice parties that are open to you on campus. Sometimes universities open lessons to the public, but you'll have to research. Otherwise, my suggestion is always a privately-owned studio (as opposed to a national/chain ballroom dance studio). You can Google and call around to see various studios, but the best way to know if you'll like a studio is to visit it. Almost every studio will offer a free first lesson, either group or private, and you can see what their calendars look like. If you like social dance but want to challenge yourself, you might even want to start competing. Make sure to take advantage of group classes and parties as a time to practice!

Can you play this song for me? I really like dancing to it.

You are welcome to submit song requests before an event if there's something you'd like to hear. However, submitting does not guarantee that your song will be played. Each song in the playlist must align with a social partner dance, whether you know how to dance the suggested dance or not. Please note that these playlists are often finalized at least a month in advance! Also, please keep in mind that not all songs are suitable for social ballroom dancing; they're subject to relative ranges of BPM (beats per minute). If you suggest a well-researched style of dance for the song you submit, it's more likely to be chosen, whereas if you request something that doesn't match any ballroom/Latin/club partner dance style, it probably won't make it on the list.

I liked that one song! What was the name of it?

After any event I host, the playlist you heard will be published on this site (in the past playlists section), and I'll cross-post it on social media as well.

I had such a great time at the lessons and formal ball! How can I thank you?

I'm honored to hear it! If you enjoyed an event of mine, please reach out and let me know either on social media or ballroom@trickssi.com. I'm actively looking for testimonials so I can bring my events and collaborations to other conventions across the country! Or, if you'd like to leave a tip or subscribe to my upcoming formal ball news, the links will take you there. Thanks!

I don't like the songs that are being played. What do I do?

I often account for ten or more styles of ballroom dance as well as contemporary line dances at any event I host, to provide a mix of music styles. Additionally, most of the songs are derived from Japanese anime, gaming, or pop culture. If you come to one of my events expecting to hear forty "Once Upon a Decembers," you're going to be disappointed. (And I recommend visiting a Viennese Waltz ball, if that's what you like!) Trust my degree in music and extensive experience in ballroom dance—I'm giving you the best musical experience for the most people at a time that I can! If the event is not for you, you are welcome to leave with no hard feelings. I can even recommend other events or dance styles that you might like if you ask me after class/the ball/via email.

Why was there a technical difficulty at [Convention]'s formal ball?

Firstly, thank you for your patience. Technical difficulties can be irritating for all parties and I'm sorry it disrupted that event. Secondly, the answer is simple: I'm one person often aided by only one or two other people and I have an old, crappy laptop with old, unpredictable software! Want to see that change? Feel free to donate to my Ko-Fi (specify you'd like to help with the laptop) or sign up to be a Patron. There are a lot of dance-specific rewards!

I'm a host/teacher/dj at another formal ball or school of dance and I want to collaborate and share ideas. How can we get in touch?

Awesome! Email me at ballroom@trickssi.com and let me know what you're looking to do or share. We can even negotiate my building a carefully selected playlist for your use at your event.

I want to propose to my significant other at your event! How can I make that happen?

First of all, while I'm honored that you thought of my event, I want you to know that there's some etiquette to be aware of regarding proposals. You should not, under any circumstance, plan a surprise proposal at one of my events without speaking to me about it first. Each formal dance event is carefully crafted to the minute with music and announcement allotment and an undiscussed proposal can disrupt the event significantly. This is not just YOUR proposal if you choose to share it with the attendees; it's THEIR time as well.

I do require everyone who asks about proposing to ensure with 100% certainty that their S.O. will say yes, and to provide me with proof that there was a serious conversation between proposer and proposee. Surprise public proposals where the proposee has no idea about the proposer's intentions are coercive and unfair to everyone. Do not assume that just because you love your partner and they love you that they will want a public proposal. If someone feels like they can't or shouldn't say "no" to something that is life-altering due to social pressure from a public proposal, that's not a "yes." If you can't provide proof as described above, I will decline your request.

You may also want to ask yourself, "Do I want to propose at this event due to the significance of the con/event itself to me and my partner?" If you want to propose in public at a "fancy" event simply because the event is "fancy," I urge you to consider something. A lot of people come to my events in particular because I emphasize practicing dance and meeting friends in a low-pressure setting and I de-emphasize the idea of convention formal balls as being a "romantic" event. I want other attendees to know they don't have to bring a romantic partner to dance with, they don't have to find a Prince/Princess/Royal Charming "at the ball," and they aren't conflating dancing only with romance/sexual interest. Also, Japanese social dance often emphasizes practicing dance over meeting a romantic partner, which means that if someone went to Japan after attending a formal of mine, they would be less likely to make a faux-pas or act inappropriately flirtatious. Sure, it can be a romantic setting, but giving people lofty romantic expectations sets them up for feeling unfulfilled in many areas of life, not just this event. I want to cultivate an atmosphere where nobody is disappointed if they're single because they're busy having a great time with friends.

However, that doesn't mean your proposal is off the table. If you plan ahead with me, we can set aside a special time to make your announcement, and I can even work with you to pick out a special song. You deserve to have a moment that's tailored for you and not just thrown into the middle of a pre-planned event. Thank you for understanding!

If you're so into making dance accessible, why do we need to wear expensive formalwear to your formal balls?

Great question! The world of professional ballroom excludes so many types of people, but the type most left out are people who can't afford to take lessons. Ballroom has become highly difficult to learn because there are few spaces outside of universities or community centers that have lessons for free or for a small membership fee. That's why I want to make sure that my lessons and formal balls are always free (as long as you have already purchased the convention's badge). The last thing I want to do is gatekeep someone who wants to learn or practice dance! But a formal is a formal for a reason: it often sets the tone of a respectful and special atmosphere, and the best way to do that is to make sure everyone dresses up in a similar way.

If you don't already own something that fits the dress code, here are a couple solutions:

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