Like, I don't know what the difference is,
I don't know who is allowed to go to them (anyone from any year? Or only kids from a specific year? Only kids from that school? Or can you bring someone from another school?),
I don't know when they are (are they always at the same time every year?),
I don't know where they are (at the school, or does the school hire a separate venue, or is it different at different schools),
and what's up with the king and queen business?
Here's how school dances work in South Africa:
(for all the schools I know of)
At the end of primary school (Grade 7) there was some kind of "social" thing. I can't even remember if it had a special name. I think it was like a pre-teen "disco" effort. Now that I think about it, it doesn't even count in this discussion!
Okay, moving onto high school (Grade 8 to Grade 12 a.k.a. Matric).
- At the end of Grade 11 some schools have a Grade 11 Dance (in my year, we didn't get one because on our Bonding Tour (that's a whole other story!) some people trashed part of a hotel with shaving cream and eggs...). It's for the Grade 11 students but if you want to bring a date from another grade or another school that's okay (unless your school has a rule that it's only for their Grade 11s)
- In Grade 12 (Matric) there is the Matric Dance. This is like the dance of one's high school career. People make
way too mucha major fuss over it: Girls have their nails and hair and makeup done and (if you have the money!) you get your dress designed for you. (Guys pretty much just hire a suit and show up on the day!). The dance is for the Matric students (duh!) but if you want to invite a date from a younger grade or another school that is usually fine. It happens at different times of the year at different schools and (as far as I know) we don't do the king and queen thing. Some schools decorate their school hall for the dance and others (like mine) waste a huge amount of moneyfundraise so that they can hire a fancy venue.
My Personal Matric Dance Experience
So there was this guy I liked :-) (isn't there always?!) I finally worked up the courage to ask him to go with me -- and he said YES! I can't tell you how ecstatic I was! Then a few days later he came over and said...
Ex-date: So [girl-who-used-to-go-to-our-school] really wants to come to our Matric dance because, you know, she knows everyone here, so [boy-who-still-goes-to-our-school] said he'd take her. But now he's taking [some-other-girl-I-don't-remember] and... well... I totally forgot about this but a while ago I kinda said to [girl-who-used-to-go-to-our-school] that if no one else was taking her I'd take her.
Ex-date: So... how about this? If, two weeks before the dance, neither of us is going with someone else, then we can go together..?
Me: *Thinks* Sure, I'll just wait until the last second, just in case you still happen to be available, and while you're at it, why don't you just dump a bucket of ice-cold water over my head and punch me in the stomach, asshole?!!
*Says* Um, sure, okay... no problem.
Anyway, I didn't end up waiting till the last minute. A family friend set me up with this really nice guy from another school. We chatted via text and e-mail and met up a few times before the dance. The dance itself was kinda awkward (because one of my friends also didn't have a date so I got really-nice-guy to bring his friend along for her, and I don't think they got along too well...) and in the end I decided that far too much fuss is made over school dances! Really-nice-guy and I ended up going to the same university and staying in brother and sister residences (so we had all our meals together) and while I did like him for a while, we ended up just being friends :-)
So how do school dances work where you live?
And if you'd like to share your school dance experience please feel free to :-)