“Kitty and I danced all the dances-” “-And Mary none!” -Pride and Prejudice
Balls don’t really exist. Right? Yet last Friday night our beekeeping family went to a countryside barndance, or ‘un bal.’ I guess this French fairy tale paysage doesn’t let boring reality get in the way of pleasure filled evenings. There are few things I liked better than dancing, I thought, and it had been so long since I’d had the chance! Brett and I excitedly scrubbed ourselves clean of the day’s grime and donned our swishiest skirts.
Set in a refurbished barn, the ball was in full swing when we arrived. Ignoring the tables laden with wine, cider, and clafouti, we wasted no time in kicking off our sandals. The the jaunty ecclectic band of bagpipes, drums, accordion, and a massive white tuba welcomed us onto the dance floor. Everyone was dancing, French, English, children and seniors. At the beginning of a new dance, the dispersed crowd would strain their ears to identify the beat. The few who knew the dance would lead off while everyone stared at their feet, memorizing the steps as quickly as they could so they too could join in. We danced Scottish jigs and Italian tarantellas, waltzes and spiraling line dances, until little Manon’s eyes started to glaze over and her giggling turned into sleepy whining. With a regretful look behind me at the swirling couples we ventured into the night towards the truck. I could have danced all night, but I left happily grinning to have had the chance to dance at all. Besides, I knew how the fairy tale went, and the stroke of midnight was just around the corner.