Five days before Stawell Secondary College students were to perform at the debutante ball Victoria went into chaos.
The government announced coronavirus pandemic restrictions on indoor gatherings which forced to postpone the event.
With dresses bought, dances firmly embedded into the students' memory - it was "disappointing" for all the March 21 date was postponed indefinitely.
Dance trainers Neil and Sheila Thornton said the 2020 deb "must" go ahead this year if restrictions allow.
"There are concerns about dresses not fitting," Mrs Thornton said.
"Not to mention some of the young men are in year 12 so we can't reschedule it for next year.
"We'll have to do a refresher with the students but we finished all the training before it was cancelled."
2020 is the couple's 14th year of teaching the students traditional debutante ball dancing.
"We say it all the time but we're looking at next year to be our last year," Mrs Thornton said.
"We always really enjoy teaching the students and following them on through their lives afterward.
"We still have some students who will all in and see us from time to time."
Mr Thornton said it felt like he had around 600 grandchildren in Stawell.
The trainers have kept the ball traditional despite pressures to change.
"The students learn discipline. At the end of the training they have to perform in front of their parents and public at the town hall," Mr Thornton said.
"We're quite stringent in our teaching so when they get there they don't make a fool of themselves.
"I feel it matures them in another fashion and shows them another life to 'she'll be right mate'.
"When you are dancing you can't just say that."
The couple said despite the challenges over the years everything always comes together on the night.
"We would know the students get nervous but we are more excited the night before than anything else," Mr Thornton said.
"A few times we thought we might have had a flop but it always works out.
"You can have someone who plays up the night before at rehearsal - but once they get there and see the stage they realise its serious."
The couple said they get a lot of enjoyment out of sharing their love of dance with the students.
"A lot of people can dance but most can't teach," she said.
"We need to find other trainers who can carry on teaching the students. If someone doesn't come forward then we feel that there won't be a deb ball anymore.
"We're hopeful that someone will come forward and come along next year so we can pass along our knowledge."
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