two years the NSW AIDA hosts a Debutante Ball. It is a fundraiser and
any profits are held by the NSW AIDA to help with venue hiring and enables
NSW to have that extra bit of revenue for things like overseas adjudicators
at our State Championships.
is a Debutante?
of a Debutante is definitely old fashioned, but heaps of fun for the Deb
herself. Years ago girls were not considered young ladies until they were
'out' socially. This meant they were eligible for marriage. The idea of
being 'out' meant you wore your hair up and your hem down to the floor.
You could go to dances, parties and balls and could be courted by eligible
young men. The first season of being 'out' was your debutante year (it
didn't take too many unsuccessful seasons to then go on to being an 'old
that first season if you were of the highest social order you were presented
at court to the Queen or King and then attended your first ball. Most
other young socialites were presented to leading churchmen or dignitaries.
Now it is just an acknowledgement that your little girl is now a young lady
and ready to meet the world.
is the AIDA ball held?
May in even numbered years.
is it held?
ballroom in Sydney.
be at least 15 years old, (possibly older) and have some connection with
the Irish Dancing community.
should I do to participate?
your teacher you are interested. Find a young male partner.
not a boyfriend as there might be a parting of the ways just before the
ball. Brothers, cousins and male class mates make great partners. Make
sure they understand what they are in for. Make sure it is clear who is
paying for what. Make sure they can attend the practices.
is not just a dinner dance. Each Deb and her partner must learn some formal
dances like the Pride of Erin. And how to curtsey in high heels. They
are held on Sunday nights in April leading up to the ball.
happens on the night?
Photographs are taken.
assemble at the dinner tables and then each Deb is escorted into the room
by her partner and swishes her way down the room and is presented to Bishop
Cremin and the Matron of Honour for the evening, last time this was Ms
Donna Halloran and the time before that it was Ms Charmaine May.
the presentation the Debs wait to the side of the ballroom till all the
presentations are finished. Then the dancing commences and the debs and
their partners display the fine results of all their practicing. The young
ladies then dance with their father or older male in their lives and their
mother is escorted by their partner.
is then provided by younger Irish Dancers from all schools in the Sydney
speeches are made.
completes the formalities and dinner is served. The Debs and their partners
have their own tables.
band is then in charge of the dancing and festivities and it can be a
will it cost?
free dancing lessons! The practices will not cost you and turning a 16
year old boy into a ballroom dancer in six weeks .. it is a bargain.
you will have to pay for a white ball gown. You can hire but it usually
is not a cheap option. You will have to pay for a bouquet for the deb
and a buttonhole for the partner. The bouquet is in the colours of Ireland
and all are identical.
You need white evening gloves and probably new shoes.
You need to buy ball tickets for the deb and partner and adoring relatives.
(Children are usually cheaper)
like to buy some of the formal photographs as well. But that is a few
weeks after the event.
I find a preloved dress?
wishing to sell or buy a deb dress is welcome to contact me with full
details and I will put up images.