[[caption-width-right:315:[[Music/{{ACDC}} We've got the biggest balls of them all!]]]]

->''"I should like balls infinitely better," she replied, "if they were carried on in a different manner; but there is something insufferably tedious in the usual process of such a meeting. It would surely be much more rational if conversation instead of dancing made the order of the day."\\
"Much more rational, my dear Caroline, I dare say, but it would not be near so much like a ball."''
-->-- ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice''

Dancing. An occasion for gathering and celebrating. Also for gossip, intrigue, and romance. Often occurs at other celebrations, such as a feast.

The terms tend to be "balls" for BlueBlood and RoyalBlood guests (expect GorgeousPeriodDress and ErmineCapeEffect, and certainly {{Pimped Out Dress}}es, as balls would be occasions when they pulled out the stops), and "dances" for more common sorts of folk.

Straitlaced members of society may disapprove of the frivolity, particularly if serious things are going on. And when these serious things are war, famine, pestilence and the like, they don't have to be very straitlaced.

Quite often in a story, Dances And Balls will be used as an [[PrincessForADay opportunity]] to show that a BeautifulAllAlong girl (sometimes, but less common, guy) [[SheCleansUpNicely cleans up nicely]] (to the amazement of fellow protagonists). Other times, it will be used to show that the protagonist (particularly if it's a male lead) is virtuous and cannot understand the [[AristocratsAreEvil snooty ways of aristocrats]]. Expect a scene where he says he hates dancing (or just plain can't dance).

SuperTrope of HighSchoolDance, DanceOfRomance, MasqueradeBall and LetsHaveACeilidh. In an action series, expect a BallroomBlitz. Compare DanceLine (if people who were just watching are drawn in), AtTheOperaTonight.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/KingOfBanditJing'', there is an arc called "The Masquerade Ball of Zaza." It turns out it's not actually a ball with dancing, but a huge coliseum tournament. However, after Jing manages to steal the object he wants and [[spoiler: have the Queen realize the error of her ways]], it ends up reverting to being a normal ball. Funnily enough, the beautiful GirlOfTheWeek isn't shown dancing because [[IWillWaitForYou she's saving her first dance for Jing]].
** It's renamed the "Mas Corrida" which amounts to "Bullfight With People Instead of Bulls". With a lip service story about why the Masquerades turned into a brutal fighting tournament. In a rather nice moment of storytelling, [[spoiler: Jing and the GirlOfTheWeek actually fight in the finals of the tournament, and it degenerates into something resembling a dance.]]
* Relena's birthday party in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'' featured a ball where she danced with Heero and talked to him about his motives. Then the mechs arrived to assassinate her and the evening kind of went downhill from there.
* In ''Manga/DescendantsOfDarkness'', while Tsuzuki and Hisoka go undercover to solve a mystery on a cruise, there's a section where the cruise has a dance and ball (complete with a scene of Hisoka dancing with the local {{Ojou}} Tsubaki [[spoiler: who was actually an undead IllGirl of sorts and one of Muraki's victims]]).
* In ''Manga/VictorianRomanceEmma'', Emma is convinced to attend one, and is shown to [[SheCleansUpNicely clean up nicely]]. The only problem is that she's pretty much [[BlindWithoutEm blind without her glasses]], but since she looks much better in the dress without them, she's told to put up with it.
* ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' has one, which includes a subplot with a water-soluble dress and enough LesYay to make men ovulate and females have hard-ons. It also doubles as an invitation to throw all everyday logic out of the window, if the previous episodes hadn't already convinced you to do so, with massive epaulets hidden under a shoulderless dress, and a functional outfit made from a tablecloth in a matter of seconds.
* In ''Manga/HanaYoriDango'', Tsukushi Makino goes on a cruise vacation with the rest of her rich, aristocratic classmates. On the cruise, there's a dance ball. This ball allowed her the opportunity of showing that SheCleansUpNicely, making the spoiled, LonelyRichKid Tsukasa fall harder for her.
* In ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'', the club hosts a dance party with a surprise that the chosen Queen gets to receive a kiss from the King (which ends up being Haruhi). After playing [[TheMatchmaker matchmaker]] by putting Tooru and Kanako together and allowing them to have a beautiful waltz, [[WholesomeCrossdresser Haruhi]] ends up accidentally losing her SacredFirstKiss to [[LesYay Kanako]] while dancing with her. A very drama-filled Dance Ball indeed.
* In the world of ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'', the only way for the aristocracy to deal with the constant war, turmoil and bloodshed that they put their citizens and troops through is to hold pimped-out balls for themselves, even if they all end on a horrible note:
** First, the King of Midland holds a ball for Princess Charlotte to which Griffith is invited to. Later that evening, it was announced that Duke Julius and his son were [[spoiler: assassinated by a plot that Griffith orchestrated.]] [[http://www.mangakong.com/manga/Berserk/007.016/136 He was pleased with the news to say the least]]. [[PsychoticSmile Very pleased]].
** Later, the King holds a dance ball for the Band of Hawk after their victory. All the members of the Band of Hawk dress fancily as nobles. Both [[ActionGirl Caska]] and [[MenAreUncultured Guts]] are shown to be extremely uncomfortable at such fancy social events (especially while wearing such frilly and expensive clothing instead of armor). For Caska, however, the series made it clear that SheCleansUpNicely, despite her b. (And Guts's reaction makies it [[CrowningMomentOfFunny even better]]). Oh, and then [[spoiler: a botched assassination attempt happened on Griffith by the Queen and her mooks. Don't worry, Griffith is [[DisneyDeath alive and well]] in [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident order to burn the Queen and her mooks alive]] with the help of [[TheMole another mook]] who he had [[{{Blackmail}} blackmailed]] [[IHaveYourWife into helping him]].]]
** A few volumes later, Farnese is shown attending a ball that her rich, aristocratic father hosts. There she dances with her [[ArrangedMarriage fiancee, Roderick]]. Of course, true to ''Berserk'' fashion, the party ends with huge amounts of violence and bloodshed via demonic tigers and and soldiers from Kushan. What better way to end a grand evening in the Berserkerverse?
* In ''Manga/AkagamiNoShirayukihime'' Shirayuki is invited to a ball in Tanbarun by prince Raji who thought it would be safe to invite her since there was no way she'd come. At the time she, Zen and Izana all knew that someone they couldn't find was looking to kidnap her so she ended up being sent anyway to get her away from her potential kidnapper in Clarines. She doesn't get to attend the ball anyway as she is kidnapped right before it starts. It's later revealed Mitsuhide and Kiki met at a ball when she went to the same shadowed alcove to avoid the other nobles as Mitsuhide was already hiding in. Mitsuhide actually gives hiding as advice for what to do at formal royal gatherings of all kinds even if he can no longer get away with it due to his position. He is noticeably uncomfortable whenever he has to attend one.
* In ''Anime/{{Gankutsuou}}'', while Franz and Albert were visiting the Carnival on Luna, Franz was shown attending a ball and dancing with the Marchioness. Of course, he has a really hard time enjoying the ball when the aristocrats there warn him that [[HorribleJudgeOfCharacter Albert]], being out alone at night, is probably going to get mugged and beaten up (which is exactly what happened, plus getting [[DamselInDistress kidnapped]]).
* In ''Anime/BloodPlus'', Saya attends a ball in her Vietnam school, borrowing a dress from her friend. Being an ActionGirl, she feels uncomfortable wearing fancy clothes like that, and is far more interested in the [[BigEater roasted chicken]] than in dancing. the AlphaBitch stops by and decides to drop a few insults about how outdated her dress is, but of course, [[PrinceCharming Solomon]] invites ''her'' for his only dance.
* In the ''Manga/BlackCat'' manga, Train is duped by [[ClassyCatBurglar Rinslet]] into pretending to be her lover so that she can attend Madame Freesia's Birthday Ball. Train, being a HeroicArchetype, [[MenAreUncultured loathes fancy events like that and dancing]]. So although Rinslet wanted to spend more romantic time with Train at the ball, he [[MomentKiller ends up instead running off to fight and capture a bounty]].
* In ''Manga/BlackButler'', since Ciel is part of an aristocratic society (being a BlueBlood and all), he attends many balls. One particular instance that stands out is when he not only has to attend a dance ball, but must [[DisguisedInDrag crossdress]] while doing so (complete with an [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything infamous]][[OfCorsetsPainful corset]][[OfCorsetsSexy tightening scene]]). And he must avoid his [[ArrangedMarriage fiancee]] Elizabeth from noticing lest he be humiliated. HilarityEnsues.
** Surprisingly averted after that, though, as the artist's assistants lampshade and lament in the authors' notes of vol. 21.
* In ''Manga/Classi9'', the composers are frequently invited to dinner parties and balls. It is a great occasion to show off their skills or just [[LetsDuet play with a fellow musician]], like Liszt, Chopin and Schumann. The school festival also ends with a dance party.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'' : The Sino-Britannian pre-wedding party is just such an example, complete with plenty of [[{{Melodrama}} drama]], starting when Zero & Co. [[WeddingSmashers crash the party]], and ending with no less than an assassination attempt on him. With plenty of [[SeriousBusiness chess]] in between. [[spoiler:And the day after, he does it again, because [[LargeHam Lelouch can't do anything in moderation]].]]
** A few episodes before that, one is briefly shown as part of a school festival.
** The "hero doesn't like snooty aristocrats" version shows up in ''Anime/CodeGeassAkitoTheExiled'', sort of - Akito is a pile of angst, and it's debatable whether or not the show takes him seriously, or if he really should lighten up. But there definitely is a ball.
* In ''Manga/DGrayMan'', although Allen and the protagonists are never shown attending one, the Noah are (and a fancy one at that). Tyki is shown dancing with a young noblewoman (who seems to have a crush on him), and as Sherill puts it, "is the star - everyone is courting him."
* At the end of the sixth episode in the first season of the anime ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'' the magic academy holds a ball and Louise (wearing a fancy dress) dances with Saito. (Saito's the only one at the ball who isn't dressed up nicely.)
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' has a HUGE ball in the Magical World, where Negi and Co. are invited by Governor Godel. It turns out to be ''very'' plot important, as well as being filled with requisite amounts of ShipTease.
* ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' has a fondness for balls that end...badly. The ball for Oz's coming of age ceremony at the very beginning of the series ends up with the Baskervilles attacking and Oz getting thrown into the [[TheUnderworld Abyss]]. The next major ball we see occurs during the Isla Yura arc in his manor. It begins with [[PimpedOutDress beautiful clothes]], [[BishieSparkle sparkles]], and humorous encounters. It ends with blood, fire, [[ColdBloodedTorture torture]], [[spoiler: [[TomatoInTheMirror brainwashing]], and [[HeroicSacrifice death]]]].
* ''Manga/RoseOfVersailles'' has many important events take place at balls, including the first meeting between MarieAntoinette and Count Fersen. They also showcase the extravagance of the French royal family.
* In Creator/YuuWatase's manga ''Manga/SakuraGari'', Souma brings Masataka to an aristocratic dance ball. It's used as an opportunity to show how Masataka, being a down-to-earth commoner, is unable to dance and feels uncomfortable and out of place in such a fancy party. And although it's shown that [[SheCleansUpNicely He Cleans Up Nicely]], the AlphaBitch Kanako takes it upon herself to "put him in his place" -- which results in Souma [[HoYay dancing with Masataka instead]].
** Not to mention, when a stuck-up aristocrat starts bitching at Souma, Masataka jumps in to call him out on his crap. Katsuragi and Souma are shocked, but they support him in the end. [[spoiler: Ironic, considering that the apparent PetTheDog moment from Katsuragi is just a RedHerring to conceal how much of a {{Yandere}} for Souma he is.]]
* ''Manga/HonooNoAlpenRose'' haa a ball in Coutn Germont's castle, which Jeudi is forced to attend since she has been forcibly taken in by the Count himself. It turns out to be very plot important since [[spoiler:the fact that Jeudi ''can'' waltz her way through the dancefloor despite being thought of as a mere prospect maid/mistress hints that she's got quite the MysteriousPast... and said dance also triggers one of her earliest memories.]]
* ''Anime/GrimmsFairyTaleClassics'' adapted stories like ''Cinderella'', ''Twelve Dancing Princesses'' and ''All Kinds of Furs/Coat of Many Colors'', and logically it includes the balls that are vital to the plot.

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* In "Literature/{{Cinderella}}", the king holds a ball ([[RuleOfThree or three]], in the Grimm version) so that his son may meet eligible women.
* In [[Creator/TheBrothersGrimm Grimms']] "[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/grimms/186truesweetheart.html The True Sweetheart]]", the true sweetheart goes to the festivities celebrating her prince's marriage to someone else, and [[LaserGuidedAmnesia despite his inability to remember her]], he dances with her. The third time, she is able to break the spell on him.
* In "Literature/{{Catskin}}", the heroine, having escaped an ArrangedMarriage, works in a [[SculleryMaid menial position]] at the castle, but she dresses up for the ball and wins the prince's heart.
* In "[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/donkeyskin/stories/bear.html The Bear]]", the [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses princess]] had [[VoluntaryShapeshifting changed herself]] into a {{bear|sAreBadNews}} to escape her OverprotectiveDad, but she changes into her own form for a ball.
* In Creator/TheBrothersGrimm's "[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/donkeyskin/stories/allfur.html All Kinds Of Fur]]", the heroine, having escaped [[ParentalIncest a marriage with her own father]], works in a menial position at the castle, but when there is a feast, she dresses up and shows herself, and the prince insists on dancing with her.
* In "Literature/CapORushes", the heroine is driven out by her father and takes a menial job, but dresses up for a dance and wins the master's son.
* In Creator/JosephJacobs's "Literature/{{Tattercoats}}", the king holds a ball so that his son will meet eligible women. Unusually, he meets Tattercoats en route to the ball, and tells her to come to show that he will really marry her. She comes in all her rags, and the prince declares that he wants to marry her while she is still dressed in them.
* In [[Creator/TheBrothersGrimm Grimms']] "Literature/TheTwelveDancingPrincesses", the twelve princesses would sneak out in the middle of the night and go with twelve princes to a special castle where they would dance the whole night. The King was perplexed as to why all his daughter's shoes would be worn out after every night.
* In "Literature/KateCrackernuts", Kate discovers that the sick prince is being forced by TheFairFolk to ride to their hill and dance to exhaustion every night; she [[DistressedDude rescues him]].
* TheFairFolk's dances are very, very, very dangerous. Mortals who see them are often caught up in the dancing and are unable to stop. The lucky ones don't crumble into dust when it finally ends. One folk explanation of tuberculosis was that its victims were forced to dance every night at the fairy hills, and wasted away for the lack of sleep.
* In ''[[http://www.mythfolklore.net/andrewlang/020.htm The Flower Queen's Daughter]]'', the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragons]] have a dance. Which the hero and the captive princess attend.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Disney's ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' had one with only two participants. (Yes, it does make sense and is visually impressive... but it's a few steps above showing off.) Of course, the Beast has his own, personal ballroom, so yeah...
* Disney's adaptation of ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' had one, of course, as it was part of the original fairy tale. Cinderella has to plan another one in the direct-to-DVD sequel ''Cinderella II''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}}'', Rasputin curses the royal family during a ball to celebrate the Romanovs' multiple centuries of rule over Russia. It works, because shortly afterwards [[HammerAndSickleRemovedForYourProtection not-Lenin and the not-Bolsheviks]] raid the palace and Anastasia barely makes it out of there.
* In ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'', most of the action kicks off at Charlotte's Mardi Gras costume party. It even includes a parody of the Cinderella dance, when Naveen [[spoiler:or rather, Lawrence disguised as Naveen]] shows up and has a romantic dance with Charlotte. He plays it completely seriously, however [[GenkiGirl Charlotte]] is...rather excited.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Jezebel}}'', rebellious Julie's decision to wear a red dress to the Olympus Ball instead of the white that is required of unwed maidens leads to her breakup with Pres.
* Almost any film about high society in any period of history, particularly an era known for its GorgeousPeriodDress, will have at least one scene set at a ball or other grand party. Movies based on the novels of Creator/JaneAusten, Creator/EdithWharton or Creator/HenryJames will almost certainly have a Dances And Balls scene, for example.
* ''Film/{{Amadeus}}'' opens up with a complete BigLippedAlligatorMoment one, as scenes of a wounded Salieri being hauled to the asylum are intercut with scenes of a ball, solely to show off [[SceneryPorn Scenery]] and CostumePorn.
* In the fourth ''Film/HarryPotter'' film, there's the huge Yule Ball, with pretty much ''everyone'' dancing. One of the highlights of the event was the opportunity to show Hermione [[SheCleansUpNicely looking unusually beautiful when she tries]]. Mind you, this is taken straight from the book.
* In ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'', being a sort of parody on [[FairyTale Fairy Tales]], it has a dramatic and grand Dance Ball near the end. It's complete with Giselle looking stunning in her dress and Robert showing that, although he doesn't like dancing, he actually ''can''.
* In ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}'', there's the rather famous [[MasqueradeBall Masquerade]] Ballroom dance scene between Sarah and Jareth.
* In Sofia Coppola's ''Film/MarieAntoinette'', the title character, her husband, and her two favorite ladies sneak out of Versailles to attend a MasqueradeBall in Paris.
* In Creator/TimBurton's ''Film/AliceInWonderland2010'', Alice is forced to do a rather boring ballroom dance, the quadrille, at what is eventually revealed to be her engagement party.
* In ''Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', the cheerleaders have to plan a dance inspired by a real-world problem; they dub it the "Hug the World" dance, about the environment, and it's where the vampires attack a large percentage of the student body. The clueless principal ends the dance by handing out detention slips to people who are dead.
** Even more hilariously, the vampires are only able to get in because they were invited. After all, they ''are'' seniors!
* ''Film/FortApache'' has two dances, one in honour of Washington's birthday, the other hosted by the [=NCOs=] of the fort.
* ''Film/{{Waterloo}}'': The [[TruthInTelevision Duchess of Richmond's ball]] on the eve of hostilities.
* ''Film/MonaLisaSmile'', being set in a university milieu, has a college dance scene.
* ''Film/TheLeopard'' is a three hour film but the full final hour is nothing but an extended ball sequence, with period-accurate dances, GorgeousPeriodDress, incredible interiors and a never-before-heard composition of Verdi used in the film for the first time.
* The ''Franchise/BackToTheFuture'' trilogy:
** The "[[ExpospeakGag rhythmic ceremonial ritual]]" from ''Film/BackToTheFuture''; also a HighSchoolDance, one where Marty's parents [[DanceOfRomance are supposed to fall in love]]. Actually getting them to that point after Marty accidentally prevents their first meeting is the plot of most of the film.
** There's also the dance at the party to celebrate the building of the Clock Tower in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII'', where Marty discovers that Doc can dance.
* The New Year's ball at the end of ''Film/RadioDays''.
* The ending of ''Film/ThePrincessDiaries'' takes place at one.
* The tension in the family comes to a head during one when Lilli enters looking almost exactly like her mother in ''Film/SnowWhiteATaleofTerror''.
* Film/AnthonyAdverse finds his long-lost wife Angela at a masked ball being given for UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte.
* The whimsically named "Gangsters' Ball" in ''Film/TheMusketeersOfPigAlley'', where Creator/LillianGish's friend basically drags her. The friend has fun dancing with a hoodlum, but Gish's character narrowly escapes getting drugged and raped by a gangster.

* Creator/JaneAusten ''loves'' this trope: ''Literature/{{Emma}}'', ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'', ''Literature/MansfieldPark'', and ''Literature/NorthangerAbbey'' all feature balls very prominently. They're a great place for meeting your future mate. Considering that balls were a staple of upper-class social gatherings in late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century Britain, this makes a certain amount of sense. Also a stately couple's dance is a handy way of flirting without crossing the line of propriety. In fact, arguably that is one of their purposes.
* Since many of her novels are set in Austen's period (the English Regency), Creator/GeorgetteHeyer often includes balls in them as well. Examples include:
** In ''These Old Shades'', the Duke of Avon gives a ball to introduce his ward.
** ''An Infamous Army'' includes the historical Duchess of Richmond's ball.
** In ''Friday's Child'', important plot events take place at Lady Fakenham's ball.
** In ''The Grand Sophy'', Sophy gives a ball at her aunt and uncle's house for five hundred of her most intimate friends.
** In ''The Quiet Gentleman'', the ball held at Stanyon is important to the plot (and to many of those in the neighborhood).
** In ''April Lady'', the heroine, Nell, gives a ball.
** In ''Sylvester'', a distressing incident occurs when Sylvester dances with Phoebe.
** In ''Frederica'', Alverstoke gives a ball with ulterior motives.
** In ''Charity Girl'', Desford first meets Cherry Steane while attending a ball given by her aunt.
* ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' has a ball at the royal castle, to which the protagonist and some of his family are invited. Flirting ensues.
* Many significant events happen at balls in ''Literature/WarAndPeace''.
* ''Literature/GoneWithTheWind'' references them often in the early part of the book, with a large number of events occuring at a barbecue.
* The Yule ball in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire''. The Yule Ball has become a very popular plot point for a lot of fanfiction writers, a good many ignoring the fact that it only is supposed to take place during the Triwizard Event and instead treating it like a wizarding Homecoming/Prom. This provides golden opportunities to put their characters in [[CostumePorn elaborately-described dresses]] and have a DanceOfRomance, or at least show off their favorite couples.
* In Creator/PatriciaAMcKillip's ''Literature/TheBellAtSealeyHead'', Dalia mulls over what to invite Miranda Beryl to: a ball or a dinner with dancing. Since she arrived because a woman is dying and she will inherit, a ball is shot down as too festive.
* Sadly, this is a relatively underused trope in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', as Lord Vetinari has no balls. In fact, there's a well known [[BawdySong song about that]]...
** There is a ball in the ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'' novel -- central to it.
** And while wizards don't have balls either (ahem), they do hold their annual Excuse Me.
** A ball also happens near the end of ''Discworld/NightWatch'', and sets the scene for Lord Winder's assassination.
* In ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'', these are such a big deal that their ballrooms' designs are based on real-world cathedrals. Justified in that parties are one of the two things the city nobility does, the other being civil war when the webs of intrigue snap every century or so.
* In ''Nightlight'', the ''Harvard Lampoon'''s spoof of ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'', Belle Goose attends a vampire prom.
* In Creator/LewisCarroll's ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'', the Lobster Quadrille.
* In Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'', ballroom style dancing makes up a significant portion of the High Vor social scene. The political scene too. Vor know how to scheme in style.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''Literature/CountToATrillion'', Menelaus goes to one after Blackie rouses him, and he feels AloneInACrowd.
* Annie Moffat's St. Valentines Day Ball in ''Literature/LittleWomen''.
* In Creator/PGWodehouse's ''A Damsel in Distress'', a ball is held for Lord Belpher's twenty-first birthday; the guest of honor doesn't dance, and so doesn't dance at it.
* In ''Literature/TheWitchWatch'', Sir Brook invites Lord Moxley and the other influential noblemen who failed to support him to a dinner and ball. And of all places it's there he chooses to [[spoiler: announce his treachery.]]
* In Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/SmithOfWoottonMajor'', Smith happens on a vale where many maidens are dancing. Though rebuked for venturing there without leave, he's brought into the dance.
* In Creator/EDBaker's ''Literature/TheWideAwakePrincess'', fairies try to force Annie to dance all night in their ring, though she's exhausted.
* In Creator/AletheaKontis's ''Literature/{{Enchanted}}'', "full of grace" Tuesday was always going to dances. Until she danced herself to death. Nevertheless, they attend Prince Rumbold's ball.
* In Creator/SeananMcGuire's ''Literature/OctoberDaye'' novel ''Rosemary And Rue'', Seanan contemplates how the fourteen years she lost were nothing to purebloods; they had dances that lasted longer.
* The entire story of "Literature/PrinceCharming" takes place at a ball. "Deadly dull places are best to distract oneself with a love affair!" as the king says, and the king fervently hopes his irresponsible son will fall in love at the boring ball he’s organized expressly for this purpose.
* In Creator/AndreNorton's ''Literature/IceCrown'', Princess Ludorica thinks they will have one, at a point where she thinks she's safe.
* In Creator/JulieKagawa's ''Literature/TheIronKing'', there is dancing when the Winter Court comes to visit the Summer Court.
** In ''Literature/TheIronDaughter'', they attend her school's Winter Formal.
* In Creator/StephanieBurgis's ''[[Literature/KatIncorrigible A Most Improper Magick]]'', the climax of the story starts at one.
* Gwyneth and Gideon of ''Literature/TheRubyRedTrilogy'' attend a few of these [[TimeTravel in the past]].
* Sophronia's sister Petunia has a debutante ball thrown in her honor in the Literature/TheFinishingSchoolSeries. Monique also has a debutante ball in the second book.
* Creator/SimonaAhrnstedt loves having balls and parties in her novels, where the upper classes can show off their fancy clothes, flirt and dance.
* In ''Literature/TheWitchlands'', the Truce Summit concludes with a ball where Safi's and Merik's mutual attraction begins and the story jumps from act one to act two.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Dances and Balls drive the plot of a few episodes of ''Series/OurMissBrooks'', as befitting a program whose main setting is Madison High School. Notable examples include "The Yodar Kritch Award" and "Cinderella for a Day".
* In ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'''s episode "Colonial Day", there's a celebration with a lot of dancing to celebrate the election of Gaius Baltar to the vice-presidency.
* In ''Series/TheTudors'', there are a ''lot'' of Dances And Balls (complete with feasts). Of course, the show ''is'' about the palace life and reign of Henry the VIII...
* In ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', the episode "Shindig" features Mal going to a fancy ball with Kaylee (since Inara was already going with [[{{Jerkass}} Atherton]] [[BastardBoyfriend Wing]]). However, in the end, the ones dancing together are Mal and Inara, and Kaylee ends up spending her time [[OneOfTheGuys discussing]] [[WrenchWench machinery]] with the other gentlemen guests instead. Mind you, she's having a ''wonderful'' time.
** In fact, Kaylee tries to play the part of the usual Jane Austen romantic girl at the party. She's promptly belittled by several bitchy girls and is rescued by one of the gentlemen she winds up talking engines with. She winds up enjoying that so much that she ignores a fellow asking her to dance.
** Interestingly, [[WordOfGod the director's commentary]] reveals the dancing sequence was originally going to be much longer, with an extended gag of Mal stumbling over the steps of each new dance before announcing that he actually knew this one and have the plot-relevant conversation over the top of it. Due to pacing issues, only this last segment was left in.
* This trope is everywhere on ''Series/GossipGirl'' - the Kiss on the Lips Dance, Snowflake Ball, etc.
* Almost every teen show about high society - ''Series/GossipGirl'', ''Series/TheOC'', ''Series/GilmoreGirls'', ''Series/BeverlyHills90210'' and so forth, feature a Debutante ball, which is always a source for major drama and plot twists (mainly of the romantic kind).
* Lampshaded in the first season of ''Series/{{Community}}''. There were so many dances that at the end of the year anyone who attend all of them got a tee-shirt.
* In ''Series/EnemyAtTheDoor'', set in German-occupied territory during World War II, the episode "After the Ball" revolves around a ball held by the Germans in the hope of promoting good relations with the locals (or at least of getting some photos that can be used as propaganda claiming good relations with the locals). It inspires the episode's central character to rebel against her OverprotectiveDad and try to have a social life of her own, with what might be charitably described as mixed results.
* In the 2002 miniseries ''Napoleon'' there are several. In one while he's an exile on Elba Napoleon Bonaparte learns that Josephine, the love of his life has died.
* ''Series/{{Victoria}}'' has its fair share of extravagant balls at the royal court, beginning with one in the very first episode to celebrate Victoria's ascension to the throne.

* Music/{{ACDC}} claims that they have the [[StealthPun biggest]] [[DoubleEntendre balls]] [[UnEntendre of all]] in the aptly named ''Big Balls''.

* Creator/TSEliot's "East Coker"
-->''you can hear the music\\
Of the weak pipe and the little drum\\
And see them dancing around the bonfire\\
the association of man and woman\\
In daunsinge, signifying matrimonie\\
A dignified and commodious sacrament.\\
Two and two, necessarye coniunction,\\
Holding eche other by the hand or the arm\\
Whiche betokeneth concorde. Round and round the fire\\
Leaping through the flames, or joined in circles,\\
Rustically solemn or in rustic laughter\\
Lifting heavy feet in clumsy shoes,\\
Earth feet, loam feet, lifted in country mirth.''

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/MysteryDate'': One of the date options is a formal dance. So the outfit includes a ballgown and [[PrettyInMink fur shoulder wrap]].

* The second act of the Lloyd-Webber version of ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' begins with a massive masquerade ball (which the Phantom, of course, crashes).
* ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'' has two: the dance at the Ozdust Ballroom in act one, and Glinda's engagement ball in act two.
* Aaron Copland's ''Rodeo'' includes dances at the end, "Saturday Night Waltz" and "Hoe-Down", at which the romances of the ballet are settled.
* Towards the end of ''Theatre/LesMiserables'', there's Marius and Cosette's wedding. This has a dance number going on in the background, which is later led to a much more upbeat song by the Thenardiers.
* The Dance at the Gym in ''Theatre/WestSideStory''.
* The Embassy Ball in ''Theatre/MyFairLady''.
* In Creator/JohnMilton's ''Theatre/{{Comus}}'', Comus first urges his followers to dance, and then to refrain when someone approaches.
-->''Come, knit hands, and beat the ground\\
In a light fantastic round.''
* Many Shakespeare plays tended to have masquerades and balls as a plot device. Several of the comedies also had [[DancePartyEnding dance party endings.]]
** Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet first meet disguised at the Capulet masquerade ball.
** A ball acts as a plot point in ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'', when Hero and Claudio get together and Beatrice continues to insult Benedick. There is also a random pre-wedding dance at the very end after everyone is happy and engaged again.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', one of the more famous cutscenes from it are at the dancing ball where Squall first meets Rinoa. Squall is shown to be extremely reluctant to dance with her, and appears to be quite clumsy during the initial parts of the dance, but then gets over it and starts dancing quite skillfully. Later on, he admits to Rinoa that ballroom dancing is taught to [=SeeD=] candidates as a potential cover skill, with the implication that his initial clumsiness was mostly nerves, or him [[ObfuscatingStupidity trying to get her to leave him alone]]. Also adds some humor to the scowls he earned from the other [=SeeD=] candidates he was bumping into if they ''knew'' he could dance.
* In ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheDiabolicalBox'', we get to go to a mysterious town called Folsense. We then find the diary of the duke of the place. We discover that this [[IncrediblyLamePun duke]] [[RhymesOnADime dude]] has fallen for a woman he met in a ball, and then voila, later in game we get to see the actual ball itself, albeit in the form of an illusion.
* Dancing is one of the most popular activities in ''VideoGame/SecondLife'': a chance to listen to music, show off new avatars and costumes and the like, and chat.
* Subverted twice by Prince Berkut and Lady Rinea in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemEchoesShadowsOfValentia'':
** Their first scene has them engaging in a DanceOfRomance... but they're actually alone on the dance floor, their only companion being Fernand.
** The Memory Prism featuring them happens during a ball... but they're not dancing, instead they're talking on a corner.
* The above mentioned dances held by TheFairFolk can potentially take place in ''VideoGame/Princess Maker 2'', if a sensitive-enough Daughter goes out to the Forest or the Lake and camps in certain places. She won't waste away, logically, but her Stamina will be lowered and her Art Skill will be raised.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'':
** They do [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20081121 their version]] of "Literature/{{Cinderella}}" ... '''for science!'''
** There's also Agatha's [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20090311 outburst]] about her friends wondering which guy she'll end up with.
--->'''Agatha:''' WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU TWO? ARE YOU TWELVE? BOYFRIENDS?! SERIOUSLY?! [[NotAGame I've got more important things to worry about]]! The baron wants me dead! An impostor is trying to take my place! Armies are trying to take over town! The castle is broken and the "Other" is still in my head! Also, I'm very hungry and need a bath! Now, when all that's taken care of, we'll have a ''great big'' fancy party, and I'll wear a pretty dress, and I'll dance with ''all'' the boys, and everything will be sugar hearts and flowers!\\
'''Violetta:''' This party -- can I have a pretty dress too?\\
'''Agatha:''' ... Well of course. Assuming you're still alive.
* ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'': Bob and Jean [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20100130.html attend a royal ball]] on an alien planet at Princess Voluptua's invitation. Most of the dancers are Nemesite butterfly people, and do their dancing in midair. Major plot/character development stuff ensues.
* ''Webcomic/{{Strays}}'' [[http://www.straysonline.com/comic/173.htm The party includes dancing]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Endstone}}'', [[http://endstone.net/comic/issue-1-page-19-2/ Cole tries to fit in at a birthday ball]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Erstwhile}}'', [[http://www.erstwhiletales.com/allfur-10/#.T2_CCNm6SuI All Furs goes to the ball.]]
* In ''Webcomic/NoRestForTheWicked'', [[http://www.forthewicked.net/archive/01-20.html November met Princess Colette at one.]]
* At the Taurëcuiva Festival in ''Webcomic/EarsForElves'', there is a dance in the evening. Tanna doesn't want to do anything more than sit at the back, though, and Zalanna [[http://www.earsforelves.com/archives/250 is horrified when she turns down a partner]]. However, Tanna does have to enter the dance floor to get across the hall [[http://www.earsforelves.com/archives/238 when fetching wine]], and when Luero drags her on. It turns out that she can dance (being effectively a princess), but he... isn't so talented.
* ''Webcomic/DubiousCompany'' dedicates an entire arc to it. The cast either gets dragged into the intrigue of the royal court or screwing it up with their own vice habits.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Key}}'', [[http://key.shadilyn.com/view.php?pageid=008&chapterid=3 Jerlorn asks Ki to the prom -- and doesn't show up.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=4703 when Percy irritably tells him the bogeyman he dreams of wants to boogie, Pooch dreams of himself and the bogeyman at a dance.]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheWolfAtWestonCourt'' Melford’s MasqueradeBall is the focus of the first arc, with many of the central characters planning to sneak in. Elgin promises to aid in Nova’s efforts in exchange for a dance.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', the ball held in the capital of Maar Sul starts out alright but then things start to get weirder and weirder as it progresses (e.g. the herald suddenly introduces a freaking lion which promptly devours four nearby Scuns, and no one bats an eye). The festivities come to a sudden halt when the [[GangBangers Nightstalkers]] crash the party and [[BallroomBlitz start causing havoc]].
* In ''Roleplay/TheGunganCouncil'', there are at least three are hosted each year, and they're ''usually'' non-violent.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has the royal Equestrian social event of the year, The Grand Galloping Gala, as a plot arc in the first season. All the mane six ponies have their own reasons to attend, but of them it's Rarity who has the most "fairy tale" plan -- to meet a handsome prince. None of them get quite what they wanted out of the event, and it ends in a disaster for most of the guests in attendance, but the girls end up having a good night anyway.