To be more correct, I went to one. The very first one in the nearly 44 years of my life, that is!
Possibly, one or two of my readers will remember me having mentioned before that RJ has been teaching me ballroom dancing for a while now; from October 15th onwards, there was another long break (4 months) of us not dancing due to many different reasons (having colds and conflicting schedules just being two of them), but we always intended to get back to the Sunday afternoon lessons in my living room and, when possible, the Saturday night dance parties at the nearby dance school.
We took up the lessons again in late January, and I was quite surprised to find how little I had forgotten. In February, we went twice to the Saturday night parties, and it was fun. RJ then invited me to go to a ball with him, and was I well chuffed by the invitation!
Something I needed, though, were better dancing shoes.
For a while now, I had not been very happy with the first pair of dancing shoes I had; when I had first started to practise, a friend of mine had sold me a pair of her dancing shoes for 20 Euros, and that was alright for the beginning. But dancing puts different requirements on a pair of shoes than walking or just standing about decoratively at some event or other; I needed a pair I was firm and stable in, not one that had the heel at the wrong point for me, making me wobbly even without moving.
So, last Friday after work, RJ and I went to the only shop in my town specialising in all things dance: shoes, gowns, the horrid spray-on tan the ladies often use for Latin competitions, false eyelashes, and the likes. We both found that there was really just one pair for each of us that suited us in looks as well as in stability and fit, and RJ gave me that pair as an early birthday present. When I tried them on, it felt as if they had been my shoes from the start; I did not wobble on the heel at all, the straps were the right length, the front was the right width - in short: they were perfect!
Saturday evening, we dressed in our ball outfits (sorry, I can only show you mine; RJ does not want his picture to be shown on here), I put make-up on (a ball certainly classifies as those rare, special occasions for which I do that), and off we went.
All things considered, we had a good night out. I hesitate to say "a great night", because it wasn't utterly great. It was special, and we enjoyed ourselves, but I had never been to a ball before, and it is a very different situation on the dance floor than what I am used to from the Saturday night parties. There, the dance floor is never so full that you can hardly find a spot to start from; at the ball, it was packed, plus it was all highly dynamic, a very fast moving whirl of people, which of course required RJ to lead me very carefully in order to avoid collisions, and I was simply overwhelmed by the extremely quick changes of direction sometimes, especially when it came to those dances (such as Samba and Fox Trot) where I have only just begun to learn the basic steps and am not so settled yet that I can do them without thinking.
Yes, it was quite the challenge, but we did beautifully with the Slow Waltz (also called English Waltz) and the Viennese Waltz, as well as with our Cha Cha Cha and Rumba. So, now I know much better where I want to improve a lot, and also where I already am quite presentable.
The band were alright... not brilliant, but they served the purpose as long as you were not listening to the singer too closely ;-) The show (they had a competition going on for 14 couples from various towns from all over south Germany) was interesting to watch, but it meant we had to sit down quite a lot in between dancing.