So, how was the dance? Surprisingly, it was fun. I don't like dressing up often, but once in a while it is nice to wear a pretty dress and look beautiful, and Jaela even helped me straighten my hair.
This is the first year Houghton has allowed dancing (I believe), so I wasn't sure what to expect. Of course, I'd never been to a dance before, so I wasn't sure what to expect anyway. When we got there a dance caller was teaching everyone how to do old-fashioned, Pride and Prejudice style dances. Jaela and her boyfriend, who came to visit for the day, went off to dance, and I watched the dancers, which was interesting and also funny at times because people often made small mistakes.
Eventually I wandered over to get some punch, and I ran into a few people I knew and talked to some of them. Technically it was a masquerade dance, and since I didn't have a mask I made one at the mask-your-own-mask table. (Don't be disappointed that I'm not wearing it in the picture; it was a white plastic mask with three fake feathers glued onto it. Nothing at all impressive.) Then things got a little boring and I was considering going back to the dorm when, unexpectedly, a guy I didn't know asked me to dance.
It was a little nerve-wracking, but since I'd always thought that kind of dancing looked like fun, I agreed. The first dance was a promenade, basically walking around in a big circle, so that was nice and easy to start with. The next one was more complicated, but eventually I started to get the hang of it, although since no one quite knew that they were doing it was a little sloppy. After what seemed like quite a long time, the dance ended, my partner thanked me for dancing with him, and I gratefully went outside into the cool air, still breathing a bit heavily.
So yes, I definitely enjoyed it; learning to dance was confusing but fun. If only I got to do it as often as Jane Austen's characters -- then I might actually get good at it. ;)