Formal dances, while an important rite of passage in high school, tend to fade away once students enter college. But thanks to the student groups Sister 2 Sister and Here Earning A Destiny Through Honesty, Eagerness and Determination of Self, students had a blast from the past this weekend.

On Saturday, the two organizations held their 14th annual Black Homecoming Dance. The dance celebrated the accomplishments of the black community and was open to all University students.

The annual celebration, held this year in the Michigan Union, was “an event for the community,” said Alma Worthy, Sister 2 Sister co-external executive.

The University’s Sister 2 Sister organization was formed in 1997 by several black women who didn’t feel that there were any safe spaces for African American women on campus.

Today, its mission is to give back to the community through fundraising and service, as well as to provide a safe space for minority women.

H.E.A.D.S. was formed a year after Sister 2 Sister by several like-minded individuals who wanted to provide a safe space for African American men on campus, and it retains that focus on dialogue and discussion today.

The April before the dance is to take place, two groups got together and began planning. It’s now one of several annual staple events for both groups, and each year it grows in size and prominence.

“Just to give people a sense that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Worthy said. “There are people who have been in your shoes. And yes, (black students) don’t have a huge community here to support you, but the ones who are here, we’re definitely here and prevalent.”

Complete with photographers, freestanding chandeliers and a red carpet, the event featured plenty of dancing, music, food and the crowning of the 2013 Ms. Maize and Mr. Blue.

The two honorifics are traditionally given to two seniors — one male and one female — who attain high academic success and represent the values of community service and social awareness that Sister 2 Sister and H.E.A.D.S espouse.

This year’s Ms. Maize and Mr. Blue were LSA and Kinesiology senior Tiffany Steele and LSA senior Christopher C. Horne.

“Winning this is special because it’s based on what you do and what you put into the community,” Steele said.

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