Imogen is going to a ball. She has a pretty pale blue dress that is a mile too long. She wants to buy a pair of ballet flats to match. No high heels. Definitely not.

The dress is shortened. The shoes are bought. Silver glittery ones, hardly a heel to be seen. We find a perfect blue necklace and some earrings. We buy those too. I even persuade Imogen to buy a pale pink lipstick and a mascara. She’s not really a make-up kind of girl.
She has her three glass slippersNo need for a pumpkin. No need for a rat. Andy has offered to drive her to the dance.

So Imogen is all ready for the ball.

Or is she? I suddenly remember something rather important… Imogen doesn’t know how to dance.

Once upon a time I knew how to dance. Real dancing, not disco dancing. I had ballroom dancing classes when I was a teenager. They were held once a week after school. I went with my two best friends. We thought it would be fun, a bit of a laugh. Maybe we were hoping to be invited to a ball.

We were given partners. Mine was old and very short and rather creepy.  But I didn’t complain. There was a shortage of men in the class. At least I got a man to dance with. It didn’t matter what he looked like. I was sure I could learn to dance without even looking at him.

We spent weeks learning the waltz, the quickstep, the foxtrot, the tango… Soon we were experts. A graduation dance was arranged in the school hall, a posh affair. We could invite friends. They’d be a band. We could show off our new skills.

Of course I invited Andy to come. Did you know we went to school together? I wonder why he didn’t come to the dancing classes with me. Perhaps he refused. I don’t remember. Anyway, he agreed to come to the ball.

“Can you dance?” I asked.

“No,” he replied.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’ll pull you along. It’ll be great fun.”

And it was. I’m sure we stepped on each other’s toes a million times. I’m sure we didn’t look graceful at all. But we didn’t care.

That was the first and last time I used my dancing skills. I never got another opportunity to go to a ball. I guess that’s the reason I never even thought of giving my own girls dancing lessons. But perhaps I should have. Perhaps my girls’ education is deficient. I know Jane Austen would certainly agree.

“What will you do if anyone asks you to dance?” I ask Imogen.

“I’ll tell him I don’t know how to dance but I’m willing to have a go.”

She doesn’t sound concerned. Not know how to dance? That’s just a minor detail.

Imogen applies her make-up. She puts on her dress. She fixes a flower into her hair, puts on her jewellery and slips her feet into her shoes.

“What do you think, Mum?”

“You look beautiful!”

I grab my camera. “Smile! Turn this way. Turn that way. Smile!” I’ve captured the moment.

Imogen heads back to her bedroom to take off her dress. It’s far too warm to travel in a ball gown. (She only put it on so I could take some photos.) She’ll change again when she gets to the college where the ball is to be held. 

Imogen reappears in a denim skirt and T shirt. Her glittery shoes are still on her feet. Her jewellery is still around her neck. She has a small bag containing a few essentials (she’s staying in Sydney overnight) and her dress is on a hanger.

 At last, it's time to leave for the ball.

That all happened yesterday.

So did Imogen have a wonderful time? Did anyone ask her to dance? Did she step on his toes?

I am guessing the answer to all three questions is yes. But I shall find out for certain later today.

Do you have to know how to dance if you're going to a ball?  If you're dancing with the right person, I reckon the answer is no.


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  1. Some of the groups hold homeschool balls here and they offer dancing lessons preceding the event. How cute it that!

    Imogen looks so lovely in that beautiful dress. i like the wrap too. I hope she had an awesome evening. I remember all my balls with such fondness. I still have my first ball dress hanging in the spare bedroom wardrobe - the girls play dress ups in it ... lol

    1. Lisa,

      What a wonderful idea having dancing classes before a scheduled ball! That would be a real incentive to learn.

      It sounds like you are an experienced ball goer! Your first ball dress... I didn't even own one ball dress. I bet your girls absolutely love dressing up in your gown.

      Imogen had a fantastic time at the ball. She hopes she gets to wear the dress again some time. Maybe next time she'll know how to dance!

  2. Oh my goodness, Imogen looks absolutely beautiful in the dress! She looks even more stunning than I imagined she would! I hope she had a lovely time at the ball! I wonder if she DID get asked to dance...
    Ahhhhh! She looks SO breathtaking!

    God Bless

    1. Gemma,

      Thank you! Imogen had a wonderful time at the ball. She did get asked to dance and gave it a go. I don't think they danced for very long but at least she tried. I'll pass on your compliments to Imogen. She'll be delighted to hear you liked her dress.

      God bless!

  3. Oh Sue, how lovely! She is a vision in that gorgeous blue dress, and I love the flower in her hair. She is just radiant. I admire her many other girls would be a wreck worrying about not knowing how to dance. She seems so comfortable with who she is; that really came across in the video. Such a beautiful quality, to have the courage to truly be yourself. I hope she has a wonderful time and makes new friends and many happy memories. Maybe she'll even write a novel about the loveliest girl at the ball who had a secret: she couldn't dance. Until.... she pulled out that third glass slipper...the magical one. She slipped it on, and then...... ; )

    1. Patricia,

      We were so pleased with how the dress looked. We chose it online and so Imogen didn't get a chance to try it on before we bought it. But it all worked out very well!

      Imogen IS comfortable with who she is. It's so hard when young people feel they need to change to fit in. I remember feeling that way as a teenager. But Imogen delights in being different. As a family we don't always fit into crowd, so she's had lots of practise at being herself.

      Now that she has been to the ball I think Imogen has plenty of material for a novel. Her ball experience has provided me with lots of ideas for blog posts too!

      It's wonderful sharing momentous events like this ball with friends. Thank you so much for all your kind words. They have increased the joy of the occasion! xx

  4. Radiant!! I hope this lovely young lady girl had a really lovely time. I love that your dances are called balls! Sounds perfectly magical to American ears. Especially to the ears of one whose first dance was called (see how old I REALLY am?) a "sock hop." We really did have to remove our shoes to preserve the school's gym floor. Not exactly Cinderella-esque, but in my graceful cotton skirt and ruffled blouse, I felt like a princess nonetheless. Now I await news of Imogen's actual honest to goodness ball!!!

    1. Nancy,

      Imogen had a wonderful time! Ball.. it's a great word, isn't it? It makes me think of fairy tales and Cinderella. Much more special than the word 'dance'.

      Sock hops sound like a lot of fun! I went to discos as a teenager... spinning balls and loud music and flashing lights. We could never hear each other over the music. At least we didn't need to know how to dance... any movement was acceptable!

      I'm sorry I've been slow in replying to these comments. I have just posted the story of what happened after the ball. By the time we sorted out that minor crisis I just needed to go to bed. Anyway, catching up now. As usual, it's so lovely to chat!

  5. Just beautiful...the smile, the dress, the sparkles.
    Love your style. ( in writing and life in general) ..."pulling each other along." Awesome.

    And a BALL! Sounds Cinderella-ish. Love it.

    Can't wait for details! ( if they're forthcoming...don't want to pry!)

    Pls tell her I think she looks gorgeous and I wish I was there to see her come down the stairs all gussied up!

    Love ya

    1. Chris,

      I'm sure everyone's beautiful comments have increased Imogen's enjoyment of the ball. All the kind words and attention. Thank you! I will be sure to pass on your comment.

      Yes, ball and Cinderella go together! I didn't realise you don't use the word 'ball' until Nancy told me. Language is so interesting. I'm glad you all understood what I was writing about!

      Thank you for reading my post and admiring all the photos. Love you too!

  6. She looks like she just stepped out of a fairytale book! So lovely! And the dress is more beautiful than any I've seen around here. I hope she had a lovely time! I can't imagine any young man passing her up at a dance! Looking forward to hearing all about it!

    1. Monica,

      We went shopping locally for a dress and couldn't find anything. Then we went further afield and still came home empty handed. Imogen had definite ideas about the kind of dress she wanted. It needed to have a back and couldn't be strapless. Dress hunting was a bit frustrating until I thought to look online. We were so delighted when the dress arrived in the post. It fitted perfectly (except for being much too long!) I hope she gets another chance to wear it.

      Imogen did have a great time. She was asked to dance and although they didn't dance for very long, she enjoyed herself. They were quite happy to chat and mingle for most of the evening.

      Thank you so much for stopping by to add your kind words to my post.

  7. Sue, she is so lovely! And has wonderful taste in dresses, too. I hope she had a wonderful time!!! (I don't know how to dance, either.) : )

    1. Stephanie,

      Thank you! Imogen really enjoyed dressing up and going to the ball. She's never had the opportunity to wear a long formal dress before. She was so pleased with the dress. We bought it online and Imogen didn't get an opportunity to try it on before ordering it. It turned out to be perfect!

      Stephanie, I did learn to dance but I think I've forgotten all the steps!


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