International School Ball

Because she lives to do nice things for others…
Alice took us to a fancy Austrian ball. Kind of like an American ‘prom’, but much classier.
This ball was at a Graz high school which is called the International school, because classes are in both German and English.
Oh my goodness. We watched the students perform several choreographed dances – to perfection.
It was like a surreal combination of Dancing with the Stars, and a cotillion from the Deep South. Every male student was paired with a female student, and each pair was individually presented to the packed house. Then the dancing started – with lift after lift! And they all nailed it! In high heels and ball gowns! I couldn’t believe it.

Then we got a chance (were forced) to join the dancers in a group waltz. Viennese waltzing: MUCH HARDER THAN YOU WOULD THINK. Especially if your partner hasn’t tried it before either. Being out on the dance floor felt like being a little broken cog in an otherwise beautifully coordinated set of clock machinery. The Austrians were whizzing and spinning around us at top speed, and luckily most of them were good enough dancers to see that we were a hazard zone, and avoid us. Then the music changed to cha-cha-cha, which is even harder for two novices to pick up on the go. Alice was most likely doing her best to cover her dismay, as she apparently used to enter ballroom dancing competions as a hobby. Even though I was thoroughly outside my comfort zone, I had a blast and I’m so glad I got to have the experience. And I now feel a bit of sadness that ballroom dance lessons are not mandatory in American schools. Wouldn’t America be better if high schoolers could all dance like professionals and speak several languages? Wouldn’t it? This dream is a REALITY in Austria!

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