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Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Night at the Ball...

Several years ago, when we were dirt poor and had no money to travel, I used to watch Samantha Brown's Passport to Europe almost constantly. The Travel Channel would play reruns every day, and I would diligently sit in front of the TV and soak up all the culture I could through the screen.

I'll never forget the night I watched her Vienna episode, though. She got to attend the Viennese Opera Ball…a real ball!! There were debutantes there, dressed in white, and they all danced a choreographed waltz with cadets. Then everyone would dance -- waltzes, polkas, you name it! I wanted to go to it so badly I could hardly stand it.

And then…one of my very close friends was hired as one of the opera singers a few years ago in the New York City Viennese Opera Ball. *gasp* But still, it was $1,000 a ticket, and she sadly had no power at the time.

But this year…well, my friend found a way for my husband and I to go. She enlisted me to adapt the libretto of the Mozart opera The Impressario, and hired Eric to play the title role. Finally! I got to go to a real ball! And it was every bit as magical as I hoped it would be.

Tails and floor-length ball gowns are the required attire. Dignitaries and celebrities were in attendance (including the reigning Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA!). The orchestra played many a waltz, as well as some modern tunes just for fun. The debutantes and their beaux were presented to the dignitaries and danced a beautiful waltz (click here to view on YouTube) At 11pm, the singers took to the stage to perform The Impressario (click here to view the finale on YouTube -- my hubby is the dapper one in the top hat out front :))

At midnight, every single guest took their place on the dance floor for the midnight quadrille. The dance master taught it very quickly and then had us dance it over and over, getting faster and faster every time. My feet were trampled on many times in the process, but I didn't much care -- I was having way too much fun :)

The after parties started well after midnight and introduced us to even more food and more dancing! By 2am, our legs were no longer willing to hold us up, so we retired to our room upstairs at the Waldorf=Astoria.

Please enjoy the photos below that show just little snippets of our evening at the Viennese Opera Ball…

All dressed and ready to go!

One of the many beautiful salons in the Waldorf=Astoria

The corridors of the Waldorf=Astoria make you feel as if you've taken a step back in time

The reception area

Miss USA, Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA make their grand entrance

My friend riding in on a horse-drawn carriage for the opera performance

The dignitaries

Our table in our private box

Our view of the dance floor

The ballet dancers

The debutante waltz

Happy Endings :)

Have you ever been to a ball? I'd love to hear about it if you have! Thanks for visiting!

Jerrica, Her Grace of Grammar

In celebration of the Lady Scribes' very own debutantes, inspirational regency romance author, Lily George, and regency historical romance author, Samantha Grace, we are hosting Naughty and Nice Week. Everyone who leaves a comment with an email address today will be entered into a drawing for a signed copy of Lily George's book, Captain of Her Heart.


  1. I have never been to a Ball and I'm soooooo jealous. Your pictures are beautiful and it sounds like an amazing night.

  2. Once, many, many years ago, my husband's company held a ball at Christmas. I wore the most lovely deep teal ball gown. It was such an enchanting evening. There's nothing like dressing for an event. Too bad there aren't more to attend!

  3. Jerrica,

    The pictures are beautiful! And you and Eric look amazing! I'm so glad you had a great time. :)

  4. Beebs, I hope you get to go to one someday! I highly recommend it :)

    Gillian, a Christmas Ball?!?! That sounds so wonderful! And I agree -- we need more balls!!!

    Thank you, Samantha!

  5. Your Pictures are beautiful! I wish I could go to a ball :( I agree we need more of them!


  6. Thank you, Savannah! With all the demand, I can't believe there *aren't* more balls! LOL!

  7. There should be more balls. I would love to go to one and I am so jealous. Love the photos.

  8. What beautiful pictures, and that chocolate!!! The only balls that I've attended are the ones in my romance novels. I always get to have a lot of fun at these glittering balls with the beautiful gowns, handsome and sexy gentlemen. I love to be waltzed around the room and then taken outside for a sneaky kiss (without being compromised). So yes, I get to go to lots of balls......

    dpd333 (at) aol dot com

  9. I'm so jealous! Your photos look great, and it sounds like such a good time.

  10. What gorgeous pictures! You both looked fantastic. I am so glad your dream finally came true. :)

  11. Jane, agreed!

    Diane, so true! It is fun to dream up balls for my characters to attend…it's almost as good as going in real life…*almost* :)

    Catherine, thank you!

  12. You look beautiful, Jerrica! What a lovely night!

    I attended a ball once, dressed in Regency attire at the Assembly Rooms in Bath. We danced with the Jane Austen Dancers and it was such fun!

    I also have been to several Regency balls given by the Beau Monde chapter of RWA, where they have English country dancing and Regency card games. They are always a blast and it's fun to gather with people who are as crazy about history as I am.

  13. Jerrica, you and your dashing man looked gorgeous!!!! I've never been to a ball and I would love to do so. I think I could talk Hot Builder into it, too. I think it might be the James Bond tux thing, hee!

    Deb, I would want to join that chapter just to go to the balls and learn the dances!

  14. A lovely blog about a lovely evening -- I'm so glad Amy included you guys, what a great idea! And thanks so much for posting the video links so we could all vicariously experience a snippet of the Viennese Opera Ball along with you! I've participated in similar events as a singer, but this one really takes the cake! :-) Bravi, indeed! :-)

  15. Looks to have been a simply magical evening, Jerrica. How enchanting and certainly a dream come true for you. May your memories of the evening linger always, especially when you need a special pick-me-up on those trying days!

  16. Deb, now *I'm* jealous! A Regency ball in Bath?!?!? Someday… *sigh*

    Marquita, yes! Bill it as a James Bond thing! Ha! Love it!

  17. Aw, thank you, Mezzo :)

    And Lise, yes! Those memories aren't going anywhere :)

  18. Oh, wow! That looks like amazing fun! No, I have never been to a ball (unless the various trips in my mind count) and since I have two left feet and a walrus' sense of rhythm (no offense to any real walruses intended) it's probably best that way.

    But you and your hubby look like you had fantastic fun. What wonderful pictures!

  19. Ava, you crack me up! But I still think you'd have a blast :)

  20. Omg I am sooo jealous! It's gorgeous! And the ballet dancers! Jerrica you didn't take a video of the ballet dancers for me!!!!! Oh but you're forgiven because it's all so beautiful! Oh, some day can't come soon enough! We definitely need more balls and this is coming from the tom boy of the bunch LOL.

  21. Amazing!!!! Everything looked magical! :)

  22. LOL, Suzie! I think I did get video of the dancers…I'll send it to you :)

    Just Keep Swimming…it was!! :)

  23. Omg yay! Jerrica you are the best!! And I love that dress you're wearing! You're so gorgeous! I can't wait to see the ballet dancers! Thanks Jerrica!

  24. Oh, no, Suzie! I didn't take any with my camera, but there might be footage on my hubby's! I'll look when he gets home :)

  25. Looks like it was a lovely evening! So jealous, I would love to go to a ball!

  26. How. Beautiful. Looks Ike a fairy tale!

  27. I just showed my Hubby the pictures and he asked me if I wanted to go...hmmm. Yes, but I don't know how to waltz. Worse, he thinks he does...but, no. However, I would definitely go if you and Eric attend again.

    The Hubs has wanted to do this all his life. Who knew?

  28. It sounds like a magical evening, how awesome that you were able to attend.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  29. Shelley, it was! Such a fairy tale! :)

    L.j., that would be SO awesome! We'll see you there!! :)

    Barbara, it certainly was and we were so grateful to have the opportunity to attend!

  30. How I want to go to a ball...but I want to attend a Regency Ball. There is one an hour's drive from me this coming Saturday, but I can't find anyone to go with me. My husband is NOT as romanctic as yours, so... I'm not going at all. Instead, I'm going to have a book signing. lol Still, I think the ball would be more fun.

    The pics look great! I'm glad you had a fabulous time!

  31. Marie, you should go!!! I'm sure you won't be alone!! And even if it's just to watch and observe, you should totally go for research purposes!! Go, go, go!!! :)

  32. How absolutely magical! I'd love to have the chance to attend a ball - if it comes with an elegant partner who can waltz! Guess that's why I read so many historical romances :)