It may not be the ball that senior students at St Patrick’s College were expecting, but they are still thrilled to be able to dance out their final year of pre-tertiary education like the years before them.
The state government announced last Friday that dancing would be permitted at end-of-year school formals, provided proper social distancing and dining and dancing separation were possible.
The St Patrick’s College senior ball was planned to be held at the Albert Hall.
However, the soiree will be held on the school ovals in marquees on September 12.
Ball committee member and grade 12 student at St Patrick’s Gabrielle Dewsbury said in a year of uncertainty, it was nice to be able to dance at one of the biggest nights on every high school student’s calendar.
“We’re glad it’s still happening … I think a few months ago we weren’t sure if it was going to go ahead but we still get our senior ball which is really exciting,” Ms Dewsbury said.
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But the ball will have slight changes in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions, including the lack of eager parents scrambling to snap their kids as they stroll into the ball foyer.
“It’s not going to be our standard ball but we’re trying to make everything as normal as possible and having dancing now is really exciting,” Ms Dewsbury said.
“Parents will still be able to see on the live stream so that will be good … a lot of them are a bit disappointed they won’t be able to see their kids go to their final ball.”
Fellow ball committee member Olivia Jeffrey said the committee had to make a number of changes on the fly throughout the year as various restrictions were introduced and removed.
“At one point it was going to be just year 12s as well, so having it at school allowed both year levels to be allowed to come to the ball so that was another big thing,” Ms Jeffrey said.
“We started planning at the beginning of the year as if we were going to be in the Albert Hall, and then we got sent home due to COVID and it was really uncertain.”
It had been an interesting senior year of high school all-round for Tasmanian grades 12s to say the least; Ms Dewsbury said while it had been different, the students were grateful for some traditions to be possible.
Originally we weren’t dancing at all we were just dining out and stuff … it’s a really big relief because for the people that went last year, dancing was the highlight of the ball.
“Coming back to school, there was a lot of talk coming back from COVID about how we couldn’t do this or that, but taking this step in be able to do dancing is really exciting,” Ms Dewsbury said.
“It’s a bit more normal now and we’re grateful we’re not in Melbourne and we can have a senior ball which is a really big thing considering all the year 12s in Melbourne who can’t even get together with their friends.”
Considering the plan before the news about dancing was simply to sit stationary at tables, committee member Olivia Roney said being able to dance would breath life into what is a special night.
“Originally we weren’t dancing at all we were just dining out and stuff … it’s a really big relief because for the people that went last year, dancing was the highlight of the ball,” Ms Roney said.