"do you think anyone will notice if we don't turn up?"
We were both unsure about it, because we didn't know what to expect, just being new at the school, and I was just really, really tired as well, being the end of term and having had a lot of sickness this term.
But our sense of duty was more powerful, so we gathered ourselves together and left.
The Year 8 (Form 2-for all the oldies) dance is a special night that our school puts on for the students and their parents as a celebration of the end of the primary and intermediate school years.
They are special years. Once the children enter high school, they quickly lose that carefree childhood air as they are burdened with more and more responsibilities, and the serious business of doing well in their studies. As we try to explain to our children now, if they do well academically, it gives them the freedom and the choice to follow their passions when they leave school.
As we lined up with the other families at the door to the hall, it was explained that the children had to introduce their parents to the teachers. Hugh did a lovely job of introducing me to my old teacher and family friend from Blenheim, Mr. Mudge.
The week before I had gone and bought myself a dress. I love it! I found it at Repertoire here in Tauranga.
A real problem was shoes, as we were told not to wear stilletos, which is all I own for dressing up. I scoured the shoe shops, but in the end I found these at the Warehouse! And they were so comfortable.
As soon as I arrived I was waved at by Debbie, who is the school registrar, and probably one of the nicest people I've met here. She was on her own that night too, so we hooked up together and found Ivy, another mum on her own. We sat together and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
The children started off by showing us their dances that they have been learning all term during PE (physical education) class.
Here is Hugh with his partner - Poppy.
After they showed us the moves, we got to join in with them. The boys had to come and get their mums and lead us onto the dance floor - it was so sweet! I loved the dancing. It was so much fun. They were all probably dances from the 1930's-1950's - I think.
The above photo is from a competition waltz. They were given a theme per waltz, and when the music stopped they had to form a tableau that had already been predetermined. Hillarious things like: "a marriage proposal", "milking a cow", "wheelbarrow in the garden", that sort of thing. That's Hugh and his partner in the centre and they made it quite far into the competition - until his partner got the giggles - at the marriage proposal! LOL!
All the girls were so sweet in their pretty dresses. It wasn't over-the-top like you get with the Sixth Form Ball, but just really lovely and girlish for their age.
I thought the dance was a fantastic way of introducing the kids to dances and balls that do become an important part of school life later on, and nice that we parents get to do the first one with them.
The Supper Dance was the last dance - where they start with one couple and when the music stops, those two have to go and choose another partner from the audience. This carries on like this until everyone is up dancing. Debbie said to me, "pray that the boys don't come and get us early.". Well, we were left laughing on the other side of our faces, because we sat and waited for our boys to come. And waited. And waited. And they didn't come.
Debbie laughed, "Well, Rachel. This is just a taste of things to come. They have much prettier fish to fry." We did get the giggles at that, and gave our boys a hard time later on for forgetting their mums.
Here is the start of the dance:
What a wonderful night it was. I'm so glad that I have 3 more children to go through the Year 8 dance. I can't wait for them.
Here is my old teacher, Mr. Mudge. As I was telling Debbie, he gave me and my childhood friends and classmates some very happy times and memories when we were in Intermediate school.
The dance was just one of those lovely times that you know you're going to remember for a very long time. I'm so glad I went!