Saturday was more consistently fun. It was the annual Scottish New Year's Ball, but this year, the Ball was preceded by an English dance, in the same ballroom, with the same musicians, but a slightly different crowd. I had a new red-and-white party dress for the event, courtesy of my friend Danielle, and new red shoes to match it, courtesy of a gift card from Aunt Finduilas. So I looked like a million bucks, and it turns out that English country dance is a lot of fun. It's similar to both Scottish and contra dancing, and I can do both of those. They walk the dances before they dance them, and the dance step itself is a walking step. The Fermilab English dancers are nice and helpful, and it took me maybe all of ten minutes plus a few figure demonstrations before I was dancing as well as anyone in the room.
Next was the reception. The Ball is held at the Ukrainian Cultural Center, and we usually order some kind of food from them in addition to the sweets table that we provide as potluck. In the past, we've had a full sit-down dinner, but in recent years, it's been more of a nibblies thing, for budget reasons. The Center promised us an "appetizer" reception this year, except that their definition of "appetizer" included stuffed chicken breast, which I would be more inclined to call "actual food" instead of "appetizer." If they're going to include stuffed chicken breast (which was highly tasty and very welcome after four hours of English dancing) in an appetizer reception, they might as well go all out and bring back the borscht, which they do superbly well.
The reception was followed by four hours of Scottish dancing. I got to dance all three waltzes of the day, and I had a partner for each dance I wanted, so that was good. The first Scottish dance I did was with a gentleman who's new to our dance class; it's not a difficult dance, so I thought he'd enjoy it. I think he did like it in the end. At least, he looked less terrified at the end of the dance than at the beginning. The Posties Jig sticks out in my mind for some reason as being particularly entertaining, and we did The Physicist's Folly twice through. The last dance of the evening was my very favorite Scottish dance of all, Reel of the Royal Scots. I love that dance, because it always makes me feel like I'm flying.
I made amandine balls for the sweets table and a ghillie bag for the raffle. And I won a raffle prize! I got a lovely tin full of "Scottish Afternoon" tea. Between this, the two tins of Irish Breakfast tea I bought in December, and the big tin of English Breakfast tea that Mom Pony's best friend gave me, I am good for tea for a long, long time. This is a very good feeling.
The ball ended about midnight. I'd been dancing for eight hours, all told, with a dinner break in the middle. So I was perfectly happy to turn into a pumpkin for the whole day yesterday. I watched a lot of SVU, did the grocery shopping, and generally lazed around. But I think I earned it.