California Cosplay Gala hosted the Shoujo and Shounen Ball on April 23, 2022 in the heart of Sherman Oaks, CA. The Northern California based organization brought their ballroom dance event down South. California Cosplay Gala has held Northern California social dances playing anime music so that anime fans in cosplay can dance the night away. Many of the staff are regulars of social dances such as Peers, Gaskell, and Dickens Festival. Southern California does have a ballroom. scene to the likes Labyrinth of Jareth and the current Bridgerton Queen’s Ball, but it’s rare to find an anime themed ballroom dance.
Anime ballroom dances have been around in SoCal since the mid 00’s. I actually did help staff Anime Expo 2006‘s ballroom dance when they were looking for ideas on to expand the dance. I’ve been involved with Anime Vegas’ ballroom dance in the early 2010’s. There is a need and want for formal anime themed dances and there is a community that wants to bring them back as things are slowly opening up.
Shoujo and Shounen Ball required masks and vaccination to enter. The theme was based around shoujo and shounen anime; I dressed up in my Taishou era inspired witch’s outfit in between my cosplay and administrative duties at the dance. The nice thing about the dance is that attendees were given wrist bands if people were available to dance or just wanted to chill. There was a seating section where one can either relax and enjoy the vibes or be in the “Yes! Ask Me to Dance” section. Wallflowers and dancers welcomed!
The music choices were mostly from anime and video games. We had tunes from Studio Ghibli, Ya Boi Kong Ming, Escaflowne, Card Captor Sakura, Inuyasha, and more.
Kira Masquerade and I coordinated the cosplay contest. We gave 6 awards that highlighted cosplayer talent, creativity, and event participation. Many thanks to Epic Cosplay for the sponsorship of prizes!
Let’s also take a look at what outfits people brought:
The dance concluded with a magical mash up mix of songs all put together and everyone was on the floor towards the very end. The energy is the only energy you can find among anime nerds. This was a fun way to end the night!
I really feel that our event can grow and reach new heights. There is a desire to have affordable formal dances for cosplayers in Southern California. Bridgerton’s Queen’s Ball and Labyrinth of Jareth might not match everyone’s budget. However, if you are looking to get fancy and dance the night away to anime tunes, this is definitely an event to look out for.
You can learn more about California Cosplay Gala here.