Debutante balls were the highlight of my favorite TV shows. Downton Abbey, Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl each interpreted debutante balls and glittering dresses with spectacular style.

They appeared magical and I never imagined I would have the opportunity to participate in one.

In September, the McGill Schulich School of Music (where I studied violin) announced that the Austrian Society of Montreal was a generous patron and was accepting applications for debutantes and escorts.

I decided to apply, and it was with anticipation and a touch of curiosity that I walked into the first dance rehearsal. I had never waltzed before. The dancing instructor smiled at us and explained that whether we were beginners or had experience dancing, she would take us through the techniques of waltzing and poise to have us ready for the final choreography.

Throughout the weeks, the Wednesday rehearsals became a time to unwind from the demands of university. I became friends with the other participants and enjoyed hearing how their weeks were progressing. Our dance instructor Carole Brown guided us with such insight that we soon gained confidence in our dancing abilities.

One of the most special moments was when Montreal designer Astri Prugger attended our rehearsal.

She carefully hand tailored a dress for each girl. To accessorize the dress, we were given a crown, white gloves and a corsage. It was hard not to feel like royalty!

The day of the ball was a whirlwind of dance rehearsals, shimmering dresses and watching beautiful entertainment unfold. I never thought I could dance in heels! Luckily, the waltz was the best we had ever performed it. The perfect ending.

During the dinner and festivities, I had the chance to meet many of the patrons including the Principal of McGill Suzanne Fortier, Philanthropist Elisabeth Wirth and the Austrian Ambassador to Canada.

Looking back, It was a special experience where I met many people I now consider friends. I learned to carry myself with poise, but more importantly see how an effective charity event is run and how a group of friends can make a difference.

If you would like to attend the annual ball or apply as a Debutante or Escort, visit the Austrian Society of Montreal website at