As little girls we all have an infatuation with princesses, the pretty dresses, perfect hair and a Prince charming by our side. The night of the School Ball take us back to this childhood dream allowing our little girl fantasies to become a reality.
Anticipation and excitement fill the weeks leading up to the School Ball. Endless Google searches, consisting of pages of online dress shops, make-up and hair ideas. Most conversations revolve around our partners for the Ball, the colour of our dresses and whether to get a spray tan (bad decision for some). Walking into the Boarding House corridors at night, girls tower around in their heels ensuring they won’t fall on the night and you hear debates on whether hair should be worn up or down.
A week to go and our ballroom dancing lessons provide a great source of entertainment, both girls and their partners find them a lot of fun. Adorned with intricate flowers and cursive handwriting, we receive our invitations the week of the Ball. This is when the realisation kicks in that the long awaited day is near.
It finally arrives, the day of the Ball. After a much distracted and unfocused morning in class, we leave to prepare. Once the afternoon of getting ready and suffering through endless parent photos is over, each Year Level meets at their respective pre-balls before coming together at the Hastings Opera House. With our partners next to us, and a corsage on our wrist, we walk in. Sparkly fairy lights are draped across the ceiling and chandeliers dangle from the middle. An array of summer flowers blossom across the room, arranged beautifully in a myriad of colours. The room is buzzing with talk and commotion. In that moment the fairy tale begins to feel real. It feels like we have walked into a castle fit for a Princess.
After introducing our partners to Mrs Peterson and our Head Prefect, Susannah Hansen, we find our place at each table and sit for dinner. While we eat our three course meals, the room erupts with chatter and laughter. The noise comes to a halt with the announcement of the King, Queen, Prince, Princess and Cutest Couples. Flowers and crowns are awarded followed by applause and, for the couples, a series of “awwww’s”.
The word “Ball” derives from the Latin word “ballare”, meaning “to dance” and dance we did. After dinner we all hit the dance floor and put our ballroom dancing skills to the test. We move in sync, smiles on every face. The DJ then takes over and by this point there are so many heels lined up across the floor, the place could be mistaken for a second hand shoe store. We spend our time taking photos, mingling, talking and, most importantly, admiring how good everyone looks. Dancing and laughing makes the time pass quickly and the night soon comes to an end. With our carriages awaiting outside we depart with sore feet, flaking mascara and tired bodies.
It was a dream come true, all of us in our pretty dresses, with our perfect hair and Prince Charming by our side. It is such a surreal feeling, but on this night, the realisation hit that we are becoming young women. Our days at Woodford House are nearing the end and it’s difficult to grasp the concept of life without the girls we have spent so many years with.
While this night was magical it would have been nothing without each other. We are like sisters and these moments together are the memories we will cherish forever.
This night could not have been made possible without a number of people and so Year 12 and 13 would like to extend our gratitude and thanks:
To Mr Ford, a big thank you for the dance lessons, they were fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable.
To the many parents who devoted so much time and energy into the planning and running of the ball, we cannot tell you how appreciative we are to have had your assistance. We understand that it is a huge ask to take you from your busy schedules and come and help.
Lastly, and most importantly, to Mrs Roberts and her Ball Committee. We say a massive thank you for the tireless effort you put into this night. The countless meetings, organisation, time, everything you put into this ball is truly commendable. This night was a huge success, filled with fun and you should be extremely proud of what you created.
Michaela Fleming, Year 13