Winter formal, also called Winterfest, Sweethearts, Snow Ball or Queen of Hearts Dance, is a dance held by high schools in the United States. It takes place between homecoming and prom, usually between December and March. At some schools this dance may supplement or replace a Sadie Hawkins dance.
This dance is often provided to high school students as a school-sponsored event for the long period between Homecoming in Autumn and prom in May. The influence of New Year's Eve formal events and St. Valentine's Day may pique students' interest in holding their "own" dance during this time.
It is thought in some cases as a "pre-prom" dance, and is often not held at the school if the school can afford to hold it elsewhere. It might be held at a catering hall or ballroom facility. Students may use this event as a test case to see if their date has interest in continuing the relationship before committing to Prom. There are many ways of asking a date to a winter formal and several websites offer tips on doing it in a unique or unusual way.