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Sadie Hawkins a tradition since 1939, still strong at Mountain Crest HS

November 3rd, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life

By Mitch Figgat

PROVIDENCE — It is a sometimes forgotten rule that a couple’s outfits should match. The rule was not forgotten by a group of Mountain Crest High School students Saturday night. Each couple has their own tailor made tee shirts. Some say just boy and girl respectively. Others recite a “don’t hate” mantra, one couple shows the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows symbol. They pose in group and couple photos on the side of an empty road filled with fallen leaves.

This group of high school students posed during their photo shoot to make sure their memories of their high school Sadie Hawkins dance will be remembered for years to come. This is the type of dance where the women, not the men, are required to ask out their male date to the dance. But this year had a few less traditional but even more meaningful moments for some of the couples.

Three sisters, Chaltu, Dibabe and Cherish Newman, moved from their homeland in Ethiopia to Utah about two years ago and have been adopted into two families that live in Providence. This was their first chance to participate in the Sadie Hawkins tradition.

They wrote on notes “you are so sweet! Will you go to the dance with me?” The notes were hidden in a box full of cookies and treats and then delivered to the boys they had chosen to ask out to the dance. Two of the boys responded back with a box full of gummy and plastic toads with the note, “we will toad-ely go to the dance with you.” The other boy responded with a pumpkin carved with a “yes” on it.

Cherish Newman said about her sisters, “they had a great time but there was some initial shyness because they had some language and cultural barriers to hurdle for this date.”

LeAnne Call, mother of Mackenzie Call, who also went to the dance, was able to get a few of the couples together for a photo shoot before the dance. “I think for the school to offer the option of a “girl’s choice” dance is a great idea,” she said. “It gives girls the opportunity to ask who they’d like to go with.”

Being a professional photographer Call knows the importance the photos will be for the kids involved. “These experiences are so healthy and valuable to them socially,” she said.

The Sadie Hawkins dance tradition goes back to the 1930’s when cartoonist Al Capp told a story in his comic strip Lil ‘Abner of a town where at some point during the month of November the unmarried women could chase down bachelors and force them to be their husbands if caught. Sadie Hawkins was the town’s most infamous chaser. The idea caught on quickly and in 1939, Time Magazine did a two-page article titled, “On Sadie Hawkin’s Day: Girls Chase Boys in 201 Colleges.”

Since then it has become an American and Canadian tradition traditionally held the Saturday after Nov. 9, but the idea of “girls ask boys” has become more important than the day on which the dance or chase falls. Regardless, the couples who attended the dance at Mountain Crest High School enjoyed the entire tradition.


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