December 26, 2012

Of 1862 era dancing, ice skating AND folk dancing!

Or, in which our family accomplishes the extraordinary feat of attending three different events in one Saturday! We enjoy going ice skating every Saturday afternoon, and there was the possibility of attending some weekly folk dancing at night....but the night before we also discovered a free event occurring that Saturday: the 19th annual Christmas ball at the Old Courthouse

The idea turned out wonderfully; especially considering the late notice! We girls quickly rummaged around the basement and attic for our Civil War era gowns and hoops, and enthusiastically donned them Saturday morning. At the Courthouse, there first was some basic dance instruction from 10am-11. The Ball started at noon, and we stayed until past 2 pm. Enjoyed every part of it, even though we didn't know any of the other dancers! (However, we really hope to do more events like this with friends in the future! There is just one more ball at the Courthouse, on Jan. 5th 2013)
                                From the event's website: being taught basic dances; 
                                 Nikola in purple, Jessie in maroon, Valerie in blue)

After the basic dance instruction, while we waited for the ball to commence at noon, our parents and the younger ones went to the Arch to venture up it, since the children never had! (neither have I; but it sounded like fun....maybe I will try it sometime!) Close to the time the ball was to begin, we were surprised to see a lady dressed in bridal array mingle among the costumed attendees. Soon, we found ourselves witnesses to a special ceremony renewing the wedding vows of a history-loving couple who have been married ten years! I must say, it was a good idea. Although I felt a little funny being there, as total strangers! 
picture from the event's website- the marriage vow renewal 

Let the grand ball begin! To my great delight, the music was provided live by a brass band up in the ''balcony''! All this elegance...for free! (t'was the Independent Silver Band)

    As for dances....they were pretty easy to learn. I don't remember the titles, but they were mostly walking dances. Perfect for accomplishing with hoopskirts. Even the Virginia Reel we did was very slow... but also enjoyable nevertheless. And...drumroll....we learned how to waltz passing well!!! :) Finally. Thanks to the patient instruction of the dance mistress. 
Oh: it was funny, at the beginning of the ball, we suddenly had an audience of Bosnian or Croatian folks watching us! As well as friendly Japanese- some of whom even asked to get their picture taken with my sister and I! Always glad to give pleasure to others. :) 

Videos! They are very short; don't feel frightened to watch them! However, remember always turn them off before the 'ads' pop up at the end!
the band played from above us!

                        A lady watches 'in awe' as my lovely sister sweeps by in her purple gown:

My sister Jessie is in the maroon and lace dress (which she borrowed from Nikola- ah! the joys of sisters!)

 The only picture with me in it! I am in brown with my hair up; Sam is diagonal from me, and Elodie is beside me. I wish'd to have worn more of a ball gown, but alas!  thought it was going to be cold that day...

Other was fun to meet others there, some of whom had traveled from hours away to come to this event!

our sister Valerie and partner

Even before this elegant ball was over, our family hastily took our leave and rushed home to change skating! It was a beautiful day, not too cold to enjoy whizzing around the rink which we and our other ice skating-loving friends had all to ourselves!


Next, we spent a couple hours at home, eating supper....before many of us headed out to University City to join the International Folk Dance Association group in folk dancing! 
The people there are always so friendly to us, and patient with us when we take a while to get the intricate steps of Serbian and Macedonian dances! That last event of the day was fun as well as we learned and danced old dances from the Balkans as well as Israel, Brittany, Canada. 
We found it very humorous when one of the dance instructors began carefully teaching a certain dance which, from the very first ''walk forward 4 counts'' felt suspiciously like....''Progressive Gordons''! And so it was! Only this time it was done double time to a rocky Irish tune! Haha. And all the folk dancers were delighted with it, and requested a repeat. Wow. It just was so funny, since we've kind of grown up doing that dance at our Balls....
It was fun! 

   And we were all ready to work extry hard on Monday! (pictures of my room renovation-a hobby of mine to do a couple times at least every year- and  new decorations-yay! coming sometime!) Needless to was a busy Saturday! 

Hope you have been having a grand December, and that your Christmas was joyous and special!!!
I hope to post's just hard to find the time and this computer (shared between...four peoples at least) isn't always available when I am, and vice versa

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