Last Saturday evening senior students were busy pulling on dresses and suits, eagerly awaiting the night ahead. At 7pm, as cars drove up to the Rutherford Hotel and students stepped inside, it was clear that this year’s ball would be one to remember.
The annual school ball was a huge success this year. The event has been praised as the “best ball Nayland has ever seen” by deputy principal Mr Olley, who has attended some 40 ball events held by our school over the years.
This is much to the delight of the Ball Committee – the group of Year 13 students who put on the event. “It was incredible,” committee chairperson Ella O’Donahue said. “All of the planning that went into it, being able to watch it happen and watch it come alive and then actually being there – it was amazing.
“What I really appreciated was that everyone came with a really good attitude and were just there to have a good time,” said Miss Scott, facilitator of the Ball Committee. “The whole atmosphere there was really positive.”
“It was great. The food, the centre-pieces, especially the dancing – we got to see everyone getting into it and not caring what other people thought,” said Kaitlyn Rodley.
The ball was even more extraordinary due to concerns that it might not be be held at all. This was because of Covid and the restrictions that come with Alert Levels 2 and 3. Now, just having headed into Alert Level 2 again, we are incredibly lucky to have had our ball already. The ball is viewed by many as essential to the ‘high-school experience,’ and would have been sorely missed.
This year the theme was ‘A Night in Vegas,’ complete with casino game tables dotted about, a red carpet, and huge playing cards lit up on the walls.
It was great fun for all students, whether they were naturally outgoing or more reserved. “I was glad that it was so inclusive,” said Ella. “Not everyone wants to dance so there was other stuff, there was a pool table outside, there was a place to sit, there were tables, competitions around, photobooths, everything.”
“Everyone had something to do,” said Miss Scott. “And I think that’s what the Ball Committee worked so hard on – creating a space that was really inclusive because they wanted everyone to come and have a great night.”
Putting on a school ball is no quick task. Decisions have to be made on everything from the centrepieces to the lighting to the little desserts on the grazing table. This certainly led to lively debate. “It could get a bit hectic with all the different opinions,” said Charlotte Tappenden.
With planning taking the better part of a year, the ball was a very personal project for several students. “It was probably the best thing I’ve done this year,” said Ella. “I love the ball, it was amazing to be a part of it.”
“It felt really rewarding at the end of it, to have contributed to a well-planned, well-executed event,” said Charlotte.
A big thanks to Luke Marshall Images for the fantastic photos.
By Student Journalist Maya Jayasena