Recently I became aware of the year 11 presentation (or debutane) ball that so many schools hold, where parents are asked to come along with their year 11s, for a formal ball / dinner (with seating to be discussed between your kid and other families … who you really don’t know and the kids will probably sit together anyway). They eat, do dancing and ‘present’ the young ladies to society. Traditionally I learnt that rich famlies used to show-off their young 15-16 year old females with the hope of finding a suitable wealthy young man to marry them off.

I have SO MANY OBJECTIONS to the whole idea that I don’t know where to start. SO out-dated, so degrading to females, so wrong, hetrosexual couples only, and while at school my daughters certainly aren’t “available” to the males in society wealthy ones or not, oh yes we have twins so the ‘dad dancing with daughter thing’ before they are ‘made available’ to the boys is going to leave one of them left out.

And it is so expensive (the food was reportedly scant and bad at last years event, the kids have to share taxis or limos for photos that parents can’t go to, they have to get the dresses and formal stuff, buy their partner a present, get shoes, the list goes on.. and the tradition is to have parties after the midnight ball ends, and you have to alert the police to patrol to prevent gate crashing). The whole thing is just so unnecessary. Plus what I’ve heard is that most parents HATE it.. but kids are geedup by school that this is a ‘thing of their life’ when in reality it is one way to blow a LOAD of money in one fell swoop, supporting a ‘cultural thing ‘ that I don’t even agree with.

And what is worse there is also a year 12 ball (no parents this time)


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  • My kids had a leavers dinner at the end of grade 10. We went to the school after hours and took photos of them all dressed up, then they went off to their dinner destination. Teachers accompanied them. Then they went on to leavers parties. Nothing anywhere near this formal!

  • It’s probably more for the students to excite them as there about to come into there last year perhaps. I think its a bit silly.

  • I know it is so ridiculous and old fashioned! It’s just another way at getting money. Why not wait until the end of Year 12 and then have a graduation dance/formal after all those years of school. For the life of me I see no purpose whatsoever in a Year 11 one! I’m with you on this!

  • Most of my friends did their “deb ball”. I thought it was ridiculous so didn’t do it, but I never shamed them and went to see them. I think it was just something some people chose to do because they liked dressing up and doing something fancy. I have no idea how much it cost. It was optional anyway. Only thing I thought should be a thing is graduation.

  • Found the opposite – most parents had a ‘ball’. :)

  • I have been to presentations and they have been a celebration and not a presentation of any gender. They have been about achievement and reaching milestones and have been thoroughly enjoyed.

  • We never had this but the catholic school did so I haven’t personally experienced one but definitely sounds very, very old fashioned.

  • I actually loved the year 12 formal, it was like a milestone, not sure about year 11 though.

  • I refused to go to mine in year 11. It totally wasn’t my thing.

  • Oh my! Really? My daughter is in Year 11 and I know they will have a ball in the next semester. But I am sure if it was something like what you describe, she wouldn’t want to go. Sounds terrible!

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