January is especially important for all polish high school final year students. One hundred days before matura - the leaving exam, occurs great ball called Studniówka (sto dni = 100 days).
Studniówka is usually organised by parents of senior year’s students. The choice of venue depends on the funds - some years ago it always took place in school’s gym. Nowadays also hotels and conference halls became more popular.
Ball is attended by students with their dates, teachers who prepared them for matura exam and sometimes by parents. The attire is always formal - suits for boys and evening dresses for girls. Girls also should wear red garter. It’s believed to bring good luck on the exam.
girls from Maria Konopnicka’s high school in Legionowo
Studniówka customarily starts with polonaise. It’s performed usually to either Killar’s or Ogiński’s polonaise.
The dance is very elegant and august. The basic step of polonaise is very easy - you simply walk talking longer step every 3 steps so it corresponds with the music. Dancers perform many figures in pairs, fours and sometimes even eights.
Rehearsals starts usually in October and always raise great emotions. Thousand of girls spend sleepless nights wondering - “Who will ask me to be their polonaise partner?”. However now many schools allow boys to dance with two girls at the same time creating special choreography. Also in most big schools polonaise is danced in couple of rounds - for example in my school there was more than 200 students finishing school that particular year, so we were divided into five groups and some boys danced twice or more.
Polonaise is followed by dinner and dancing. Sometimes music concerts and other entertainment is also organised.
The funny thing is that on Studniówka alcohol is not allowed, even though almost all the students are already permitted to drink. But to be honest, I have never ever heard about Studniówka, where somebody didn’t manage to smuggle some vodka inside. I would say it’s our new tradition ;-) People get very creative with that - boys often tape bottles to their legs, girls try to hide pocket flasks in bras.
That’s all I wanted to say today. Hope you enjoyed this little post after a long break :)