Since 2009 my wife Robyn and I have had the honour of being part of the Te Awamutu College Senior Ball.
Robyn works with the students, teaching the social dance and choosing the music we play. Mine is a supporting role of plugging into the band's PA and pushing the play button at the right times.
But it is a night out we look forward to, and as I have reported in the past, is a credit to the young adults of Te Awamutu.
We all know the chaos Covid-19 has caused and for the senior students of 2020 it meant they missed out on one of the most anticipated events on the school calendar.
It also made Robyn's job a little bit harder this year as she didn't have the Year 13 students with dance and ball experience to help bring the Year 12 students up-to-speed.
But that didn't detract from the enthusiasm from students to make the 2021 Ball 'A Night Under The Stars' a spectacular event.
It isn't just us who think Te Awamutu College senior students are a cut above.
When speaking with regular ball decorator Val Glenn before the event it was clear she enjoyed the positive relationship with Te Awamutu College and various Ball Committee members.
Layton Lillas from Showcase Entertainment Group, who is also bass player and vocalist with The Monroes, the band that has played for a number of Te Awamutu College Senior Balls, was also impressed.
He said it was great to see the students engaged in the social dance, but also enjoyed how they responded and interacted with the band during their sets that made it such a memorable night.
And unprompted, at the end of the evening as we were saying our farewells to College principal Tony Membery, a member of the security staff complimented him on the wonderfully polite and courteous behaviour of the students.
A Te Awamutu College Senior Ball is one of the few occasions when proper social dancing takes place and the entire night is about fun and elegance.
From the amazing arrivals in the range of wonderful vehicles, the 'reveal' as the beautiful young people show off the dresses and suits, hair, etc, the opening dances with parents/grandparents and friends in the 'audience', the dancing to the live band, the special photos, the supper to The Last Waltz it is a classy affair.
Tony reminded the students they had participated in a memorable and special event when the 'fun' awards were being presented.
2021 Ball Committee chair Dawna Dragovich gave thanks to everyone who made it so wonderful.
She said it was the culmination of months of hard work from a large and dedicated committee and she thanked each one for their work – as well as the contributions, both voluntary and paid, from the individuals and organisations which help make the ball such a success.
Robyn and I also appreciate that Te Awamutu College sticks to the tradition of formal dance - something my mother Coral Taylor was at the forefront of with school students when we were youngsters - and which we have continued to be involved with simply because it is so rewarding.