L6 Ball Review

Friday 27th February 2015

On Saturday 7 February, after months of ballroom practice, the L6 year group enjoyed the L6 Ball held in the Sports Hall. Charlotte Way, L6, shares with us her experience of the Ball: 

“On Friday 5 September, the L6 arrived at the first ballroom practice, not quite sure what to expect. However, ballroom dancing lessons on a Friday night rapidly became the new highlight of our week. Despite initial possible nerves and definite awkward handshakes, within a week, every single one of us had found our feet, whether they both went left or whether we fancied ourselves as the next winner of Strictly Come Dancing, and accomplishing the Waltz, Jive, Cha-Cha and Foxtrot quickly became something high on the agenda. Before we knew it, the ball was just around the corner and the final week was filled to the brim with last-minute internet shopping, worries about jeopardising our dancing talents by wearing stilettos, and fears about misjudging the shade of our fake tans and arriving looking just slightly too similar to an orange character from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’!

The moment quickly arrived and at 7.00pm on Saturday 7 February, we emerged from Holmes House, dressed in all our finery, to be met by a group of very dapper young gentlemen at the fabulous champagne reception. Conversation flowed beautifully and we all thoroughly enjoyed posing for pictures taken by Mr Chapman, who so very kindly sacrificed his birthday to be there for us.

As we all proceeded downstairs into the marquee for supper, we were met by a truly magical sight. Each table was adorned with beautiful decorations and the endless efforts of the ball committee (Alice Shaw, Roisin McCarthy, Fayha Mohammed, Holly Bartlett, Sophie Grosz-Dequenne, Laura Bunce and Izzy Ritchie) were clearly evident. We were all extremely grateful for the hard work of the school caterers and were rather impressed by the efficiency of the U5 waitresses! The light starter of tomato filo pastry tart, the succulent chicken and pesto main course, and the rich chocolate pudding were all absolutely delicious!

With full stomachs and competition numbers plastered onto the back of each boy, the time arrived to progress onto the dance floor. The first round of the Waltz proved to be a bit of a car crash, yet all nerves were quickly swept away, and before the teachers’ eyes, we transformed into dancers easily mistaken for professionals (!!), excitement accumulating as we proceeded into the second and third round of each competition. Congratulations go to Ally Stewart-Ashley, who stunned us all with her elegance in the Waltz and competence in the Jive, to Francesca Brooks-Ward, who amazed us with her musicality in the Fox-Trot, and finally, to Holly Bartlett, whose rhythm in the Cha-Cha astounded us all.

The competition level was cranked up a notch upon the arrival of judges Lord and Lady Farquhar and the announcement that the moment we had all been waiting for, the team contest, had at long last arrived. Ten couples were carefully selected and as we processed onto the dance floor, the tangible tension lingered in the air. All couples embraced the challenge and after a series of intense jives and graceful waltzes, the victory went to Shiplake. Rivalry did not end there, however! As we eagerly anticipated the results, we were entertained by a fiercely competitive dance-off between Oratory and Shiplake boys, and it was great to see members of Queen Anne’s staff join in!

The superb evening culminated in an excellent vote of thanks, presented by the ball committee. We were awfully sorry not to be able to celebrate with Mrs Storey, although we would like to express our thanks to Miss Casement, who oversaw the organisation of the event with tremendous success. Our special gratitude goes to the dance instructors, Sharon, Julie, Gary and Angela, whose effort and commendable endurance over the past six months contributed enormously to what was a truly unforgettable evening, and finally, to the boys of Shiplake College and the Oratory School, who ensured that there remained an exuberant atmosphere all night long!”

Written by Charlotte Way, L6.

Please find below for a slideshow of photographs from the Ball. Thank you to Mr Chapman for taking the photographs:

Created with flickr slideshow.