On Thursday night, I received an invitation from my friend, the illustrious amateur Latin dancer, Mika, to attend the final dress rehearsal of the Viennese Opera Ball, held at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. Though I had an invitation via her, we weren’t exactly sure I’d be allowed in without being on an actual list, and so were devising ways for me to sneak in through side doors, etc. But, happily, I didn’t have to do any ‘Ball-crashing’ — the place wasn’t that packed and no one seemed to mind one little extra spectator.
It was really sweet. The performance (which was only about 20 minutes long; presumably the rest of the evening consists of the actual social dancing), was cute. First, the “debutantes” were presented (below — sorry pics are a little out of order…)
They did a courtly little dance, then were escorted off the floor by the gentlemen in blue to the spectator stands, to watch the waltzing couples (above two pics). In the second part of the piece — the waltzing couples portion, that is — the ladies scurry down the floor, the gentlemen waltz after them, they perform this charming little flirty number whereby the gentlemen surreptitiously steal the ladies’ bows, the ladies through cunning then pleading, get them back, then the two make nice and waltz away together.
I saw a few familiar faces in the show — one guy, Charlie, who used to take lessons at my studio, and another guy, who I think is another dance blogger. Anyway, Mika had invited me to audition to be in the show, but I had to decline since I know very little Viennese waltz. But the dancing was so lovely, and I really would love to learn it — so perhaps a goal for next year… Or one better, attend the real thing?!
Afterward, I went to my studio’s monthly party, where Pasha made an appearance!!! He looked REALLY good, and said he is slowly but surely getting his strength back, and hopes to be back to competing and teaching very shortly!! Hooray! (Also had a little talk with my other teacher, and things went well — looks like our little foxtrotting Sinatra Suite is back on :))
Lastly, I’ve received info that the first of five segments of America’s Ballroom Challenge, which was televised at the famed Ohio Star Ball this past November, is to be broadcast on PBS on January 31st. Check local listings for exact times. I, unfortunately, wasn’t there this year, so can’t give any insight into what all went down, but it is one of the largest national events, and, as an authentic ballroom competition boasting as competitors some of the best dancers in this country, it should be of great interest to anyone who likes the more poppy TV shows. Please tune in and support ballroom dance! (Below is a photo from their website, of my favorite Standard couple — Victor Fung and Anna Mikhed — believe me, the show is worth watching just for them )