The Ball Season

5 Jan

The Saturday Kurier (yes, I am a bit behind my time ;-)) had a brief section on ball etiquette, which made me think, in a nice way, of the 19th century. Their rules for correct ball behavior: Small talk on the dance floor, yes please, but smartphones must be left on the table. (OK, that one is not very 19th c.) At a ball the gentleman always goes first to lead his partner to the floor. If a gentleman is asked to dance it would never occur to him to decline the invitation. Polite ladies never turn down an invitation to dance without an explanation, of which there are only two acceptable ones: “Kreislaufprobleme” (literally “problems with my circulatory system” e.g., dizziness, more at Kreislauf) or “sore feet”. Partners one has turned down should not be made to suffer by seeing one go out on the dance floor with someone else. One is required to wait until the orchestra takes a break. After that one may dance with someone else. A couple who dances together must also leave the dance floor together. One must never leave one’s partner stranded on the floor. The correct direction to move around the ballroom is counter clockwise. Rather like in a swimming pool there are apparently lanes. The faster dancers should move around the outside of the dancefloor,  the slower dancers more in the middle. I hope this quick report will help everyone avoid collisions and faux pas at their next ball!

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