A debutante ball, a rite of passage, is something most secondary school students look forward to, as they come into their senior years of school.
For those that participate at the end of year 10 or start of year 11, it can be a sign of when senior school starts and students knuckle down until graduation at the end of year 12.
Stawell Secondary College senior students, like many students around the world, have had a tough final few years of their schooling life as the pandemic forced them into many stints of remote learning and lots of new ways of learning.
Longing for some normality which is their debutante ball, but for the 2021 graduates of the Secondary College, it's been a long wait.
Originally booked to do their performances in front of family and friends in March, 2020, on December 4 students will finally get their chance to put everything together - 21 months in the making.
With students leaving school, the group has decreased to 10 couples - all of who have now finished their exams and are looking at the ball as one last celebration with their family and friends of their secondary school journey.
Participant Sam Kelleher said she was feeling prepared going into the event on Saturday.
"It's been good to have an extra few practises to prepare," she said.
"It is getting a bit tedious and we just want to get out there and do it but we're all looking forward to it."
Miss Kelleher said the feeling among the group was looking towards the ball as a celebration of their year.
"It's good we still get to do something, even though it's been on hold for such a long time," she said.
"It's definitely been stressful learning the dances."
Jemma Peters said she was looking forward to getting the opportunity to get dressed up, something that hasn't really happened in the past few years after the cancellation of many events due to the pandemic.
"We've definitely got a lot closer as a group during the lockdown so I think that's what is going to make this celebration even more special," she said.
"It's made us want to push ahead and put the effort in to ensure we could still do the deb when the opportunity came about.
"Especially once school finished, it was really nice still to see each other even if it was for a short time each week while we practised."
Logan Gibson said reflecting back he couldn't remember what initially made him decide to do the deb but found it ironic that now two years on it was finally going to happen.
"You think it's going to be a bit of fun - I think that's what I thought then," he said.
"Two years later, it's dragging out a bit now but I know it will be a fun night.
"I'm thankful we've been given the opportunity to follow through with it."
Josh Pavey said despite the extra dance lessons, the nerves were starting to kick in.
"Dancing in front of family and friends is a bit daunting," he said.
"It will be ok - probably going to be more embarrassing because I know they'll get a smile out of it when I make a mistake.
"I'm not too confident with all the dances but there is a few I think I'll be able to remember."
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