Saturday, November 13, 2010

Šluskolona and dance lessons

Yesterday, I had a wonderful time at my very own ball. Well, wasn't only my ball, but I got to participate in it along with around 70 other high-schoolers from our town!
Here's what the ballroom looks like. In this one we're doing a Greek dance!
There is a Czech tradition here for high-schoolers to take ballroom dance lessons in the fall. You can either go with a partner or get paired at random at the first lesson (of course, I chose to go with someone I knew, rather than a stranger- awkward!). It's something that is optional, but so worth it, and really fun too! I took these lessons with my fellow JVK, Noah Ellenwood, which was great, because we're like cousins, so it wasn't awkward at all! 

On my birthday! 
For two months we took classes every Friday (and sometimes on Sunday) and learned how to jive, cha-cha, polka and waltz. We also learned some country dances, rock-n'-roll, the valčík, mazurka and čardáš (a typical dance from this area) and more. It was exhausting, but great! 

Half-way through our lessons we had a "pulkolona" ball, which happened to fall right on my birthday! What a special occasion to have on my sweet 16! That will definitely be a memorable birthday!

Then yesterday came the big day. In Czech, it is quite a big occasion. The teacher even compared it to your wedding. Ha...yeah right! It was pretty special though. We had a grand opening of the classic promenade and then danced our way through 3 hours of the evening. There were dances where we danced with our parents, our partner's parents, in groups, and also free-style! All in all, I loved the entire event. 

Thanks Noah for being a great partner!
It was made even better by my dear friends and family who came to support me, and my fellow dancers that I had spent so much time with! Some of my own classmates were a part of the sluskolona as well, so we had a wonderful time together throughout the whole process of what they call "taneční" (=dancing).

After all that work for two months, it's strange that it's over. I hope that some day I can use my ballroom dancing "skills"! It's such a fun thing to have gotten to do, and I'm so happy that this tradition lives on in Czech. If you ever get the chance to take basic ballroom lessons, take it. It's a marvelous experience.

The last step of the promenade...the bow and curtsy!
The "valcik"
Thanks so much Emily for doing my hair! And thank you Caleb for taking some awesome pictures!
Oh yes...the polka. We had fun doing this one...LOTS of turning for me!


  1. Beautiful post Claire! You'll be so glad to look back on this someday - what a memorable experience! And way to go learning all those dances! I'm jealous! Should dad and I take lessons???

  2. Can you say, "Dancing With The Stars, here you come?!!" Claire....I love your toe look like a professional! Love the hair, love the dresses (did I see in Hayley's pics that you have dress changes? Cool!).
    I'm so glad it was fun for you....and you look BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  3. That looks like such a wonderful event, and you look lovely Claire! Thanks for this post and tell Caleb thanks for the pictures on FB that he took of the evening. Connie, I definitely think you and Dave should learn as well.

  4. Ahhh!!!! Claire! How FUN! I just love seeing these pictures of you :)


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