Traditional Mardi Gras balls are formal dances that tend to be focused on dancing and other social activities. These dances may be exclusive in nature, and the parties can be themed costume or masquerade parties. Other activities, such as presenting and viewing the royal court of the krewe that hosts the ball, may also be part of the festivities.
Some balls feature the use of call-out cards, which are cards that allow a male krewe member to send a card to a specific woman in the crowd in order to dance with her. After receiving the card, the woman will go wait in a designated area until the man who sent her the card asks her to dance.
Some of the super krewes feature large, informal parties instead of balls. One example of this is the Krewe of Endymion, which hosts a huge party in the New Orleans Superdome after its parade. This party features music and dancing, but is not exclusive or focused on tradition like some of the balls from older and smaller krewes, such as the Rex Krewe.