Dishing out Dollars for Dances


Photo by Tyler Monson

Bingham High School has six major dances every year: Homecoming, Bingham Ball, the Christmas Dance, Sweethearts, Prom, and Girl’s Pref.  Three of these dances are girl’s choice and three are boy’s choice. Girls have to shovel out a lot more cash than boys for any dance.

The boys have it easier than the girls. For boy’s choice dances, they may have to pay for dance tickets, an activity, dinner, and a tuxedo, but the combined total of these items is nowhere near the cost that girls must pay. Many people (mostly male) argue, that guys have to pay much more for dances, but that is not so.

There are two routes a couple can take when it comes to dances: the “cheap-save money-but try to keep it fun-route”, or the “dish out your life savings-extravagant-experience to never forget-route.” Whatever route is taken, the same basic formula can be applied:

Outfit + Accessories + Activities + Tickets + Dinner + Pictures + Flowers= DANCE COST

The dresses girls wear can be the main deciding factor on how much a dance will cost. When it comes to attire, no matter whose choice the dance is, girls generally pay for a dress, hair accessories and products, makeup, and shoes. Fashion for males may include: a tie, possibly a vest, maybe a new shirt, and new shoes are optional. If the dance is formal, they might rent a tux.

When going the “cheap” route, girls may rent a dress from a private company, or even through a friend. This can still cost up to $100 or more, which far exceeds what any boy would spend on a tie. Some girls choose to be more modest, and opt to buy or rent a jacket, or have their dresses altered to add sleeves or extra length. These additions are not free!  The more lavish route is definitely harder on girl’s wallets. They must purchase a new dress, depending on whether the dance is semi-formal (Homecoming) or formal (Bingham Ball), the costs can be anywhere from $100 to $1000. Senior Kenzy Nageli said that she has spent over $2,000 on dresses alone for high school dances. That doesn’t include dances this year. Those expenses alone are more than a boy is going to spend on tickets, dinner, and an activity. Kenzy said it’s worth it to get to feel like a princess for one night.

Activity costs are usually even when it comes to both boy’s and girl’s choice dances. The activities can range from $10 to upwards of $75, depending on what a couple chooses to do. Inexpensive day activities include: bowling, pumpkin carving, or even t-shirt making. Pricier dates might be: Airborne or Jump On It, indoor rock climbing, or snowboarding. Add the price of any of these activities to that of a girl’s brand new prom dress, and you will see that girl’s wallets take a larger sacrifice for dances.

Dinner is a separate category. It can take place at a fancy or cheap restaurant, or even in someone’s house. Dinner can be split between two people, or eaten buffet style with a group. Dessert could be considered a splurge, if added onto the cost of two dinners at a nicer restaurant. Like day activities, dinner is evenly expensive for both sexes and all dances, and can make a night out feel average or extravagant.

Simply put, students are wearing their money to dances, and throwing around cash for their dates. Girls especially have it hard when they must buy costly new formal dresses, and pay for the costs of activities and dance expenses.