As I was going through the few photos my parents took before we were squashed into the car full of friends and dates for the matric dance, I couldn't stop smiling as I recalled all the memories of that night.
We'd arrived at the dance venue after picking up some people and joining in a race of who-can-get-there-first. Against a dazzling sea-lined backdrop we gathered in couples for our formal photographs which we are now waiting in anticipation to see. Our teachers and parents, also dressed in formal attire, gathered round sounding out oohs and aahs as the flashes went off. Among the many compliments, I will cherish the one, I was told I reminded someone of Audrey Hepburn! Then fashionably late was the ever-dramatic Mandla, who's arrival was alerted by a musical hooter - a most spectacular entrance of which nothing less was expected. There was yet another guest who made a grand appearance, the whale which surfaced just metres from where we stood.
When everyone was finally seated, the parents had left, and the chatter had died down, short speeches were given by teachers and students followed by starters.
Champagne bottles were out and a midst glasses of bubbly and stimulating conversations, smiles broke out as we all realised school was truly officially over. There was of course the underlying nostalgia, but nothing a good old dance number couldn't help you forget. And the dancing was good! Wally and I had such fun, twirling, being twirled, not forgetting the dips. Mandla and I showed off some classic dance moves, while Mr L in his 1950 black and white shoes gathered all us drama students to sing our drama-final song, Bohemian Rhapsody.
The actual dance had to end and by 00:00 we were on our way to the after party at Ashley's spectacular house. We arrived with bottles of wine, some danced and sang a-long to while others stripped off their fancy outfits and dove into the freezing dark pool. We managed to stay awake to watch the sunrise with the classic African hues streaming across the sky, we celebrated our achievement in making it to 07:00 without sleep. My date's constant energy was admired and we made it home thinking we were going shopping only to end up falling asleep in front of the tv. The rest of the day passed easily with a walk to the park and an early night.
I'm certain I'll cherish memories of that night forever.