A FOCUS on local wetlands was an appropriate theme for this year's second Kerang Waterwonderland Debutante Ball on Saturday night.
Twelve weeks of "dedicated" training culminated in an ebullient night as nine young ladies and their suave partners carved the dance floor, marking ball co-ordinator Joyce Gee's end of her second last year co-ordinating debutante balls in Kerang for 31 years.
"It's time to move on ...
"31 years is a long time to stay in an organisation, I need new blood.
"I thank each and every one of those young people for bringing something special to me."
The lakes shrouding the Kerang area was the theme of this particular event, highlighting the region's natural resources and landscape that provide a habitat for distinctive water-birds.
Debutante Bonnie Leggett said she was especially stoked with the outcome and the presentation of the venue.
"I'm so excited to be here tonight ...being around my friends, to put in so much time and effort.
'The flowers, decorations, and everything else is coming together so nicely.
"We've had some ups and downs but it's been worth it, especially with agreeing on colours and coming to a choice on the theme."
Mrs Gee said designing the gowns was time consuming, but the final results pleased her.
"The work is massive... five hours every Sunday night.
"It's a pay-off though, to see these kids train for 12 weeks to get where they are tonight."
The grinning fathers of the girls walked their daughters to their respective partners.
They then presented themselves to Tammy Barker and Angela Hird.
The rest of the debutante ball official party were Mrs Gee, dance trainer Peter Beet and assistant trainers Margaret Arbon and Harvey Jobling.
Drowning Sorrows provided the music for the evening.
Two of the flower bearers, Dakoda Lane and Isacc Curran-Hempenstall, donned sleek white coats, and gloves with black pants and vests.
The other flower bearers, Skyla Miller and Thaieisha Towle, wore ornate crystal organza gowns with fitted bodices and full skirts.
Together they made the crowd awe in admiration.
With a self-conscious start, the couples started enthusiastically dancing after performing their first presentation, the Circle of Friendship.
They displayed dexterity in the Rock and Roll Waltz, Bel Morral Blues, and the Square Rumba dances.
Debutante partner Connor Whelan was surprised with his dancing improvement.
"I was a terrible dancer, I was actually really terrible. I was so unco-ordinated.
"Now I can bust a move.
"It was great fun to train for so long to get where we are now."
The money raised from the event will be donated to the Kerang Technical High School chaplain and the Kerang Scouts.