Recently, Elle Jennings ’17 bought hundreds of neon colored sticky notes. She then got a friend to occupy Jackson Doran ‘17 while she and a whole bunch of other friends began to cover Jackson’s truck in the sticky notes. One by one, more people started helping her. She had about 10 people all together. By the end, they had covered his car with 1,700 notes in total. On the back of the car, the sticky notes were shaped to spell Tolo.
Tolo, commonly known as Sadie Hawkins, is a formal dance where the girl invites the boy. Seattle Academy students adhere to this tradition every other year. One year, boys ask girls and the next it switches. “The funny thing is that we, the ASB, don’t specify what gender asks what gender. The students have taken it upon themselves to create this tradition of Tolo,” explains Emma Lam ‘17, a member of ASB (All Student Body). “We make sure that kids know it’s fine to go without dates,” she adds.
So why do students engage in this tradition? Maybe because a part of this tradition is to ask your date in a fun and creative manner. From posters, to balloons, to special quizzes‒students go all out. Each year students come up with different ways of asking, and so far this year there have been a number of new and unique invitations.
Nia Kajumulo ‘17 and Adelaide Smith ‘17 came up with another creative ask. They ordered two large cardboard boxes from Amazon. Next, they wrapped them in Christmas wrapping paper to make them look like presents. They cut paper letters to spell their dates' names, and pasted them on the boxes. Nia and Adelaide sneakily placed the boxes in the Stream Commons during lunchtime. As their dates, Angelo Calfo ‘17 and Reese Owens ‘18, walked into the room they were shocked as the two girls jumped out of the boxes. “Will you go to Tolo with us?!” Nia and Adelaide shouted.
Meanwhile, Maddy Willis ‘18 asked her boyfriend, Adrian Valentine ‘19 by laying out illuminated plastic candles to spell the word Tolo.
Olivia Forsland ‘19, Caitlin Calfo ’19, and Maya Sulkin ‘19 bought a bunch of burgers and fries from Dick’s. They then made a huge poster that said Tolo on it, and surprised their dates by showing up at one of their houses late at night.
Ellie Daugherty ‘18 made a poster that said “Tolo?” and placed two cups on it, one under the word yes and the other under the word no. Her date, Ben Healey ‘17, had to bounce a ball into the cup that corresponded with his answer.
The ASB team researches venues and starts planning this dance nearly a year in advance. The budget is around $12,000, giving ASB some choice in what venues they can book. In the past, dances have taken place on boats, at the Ruins in Queen Anne, and at the EMP at the Seattle Center. This year it will be held in an event space called WithinSodo.
Seattle Academy students feel very passionate about this dance. From picking out dresses and suits, to coming up with unique ways to ask, students spend lots of time planning. With this year's dance just around the corner, students are abuzz with excitement. So keep an eye out for more of these creative asks!
Winter Ball takes place on Saturday, January 21 from 8-10:30 PM.