Anglo-American University’s 2023 Spring ball was held at Mayakovsky Hall on the chilly night of March 17. It was like walking into a fairytale.
This was the first spring ball in the past three years, and the students prepared with ballroom dance lessons, dress shopping, and haircuts. Sure it may have cost money and time, but who cared? It was a price worth paying for a night no one would forget. AAU students and friends who were decked to the nines, all with their own personal touches, filled the ballroom to sip on champagne and take in the long-awaited events of the night to come.
Entering the venue, guests ascended the grand stairs to the second floor where neoclassical designs—fresco painting on the ceiling, crystal chandeliers, and sprawling balconies—met astonished faces and gave an air of royalty.
After ordering snacks and drinks from small wagons in the hall, the night started with welcome speeches and continued with a blues dance lesson by AAU’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, Miroslav Svoboda. The overcrowded dance lesson turned to chaos, but it was welcome mayhem, taken lightly as people yelled over their shoulder, “Sorry for bumping into you!”
Suddenly, yellow balloons covered the lively dance floor indicating it was time for the dance contest. Each couple held a balloon between their chests or heads and tried not to drop it while dancing. The game uplifted participants, filling the room with laughter. The balloons stayed on the floor, jumping every time the floor shook as if they were enjoying the party themselves.
The band’s live performance provided participants with sounds that covered every inch of the space. The elegant ball turned into a wild display of AAU’s best disco moves when they played ABBA songs and people danced the night away. No one was thinking about the fact that their dress cost 20 times the price of a Big Mac and that their high heels were digging into their feet leaving painful blisters and sore toes. It was a night for fashion and self-expression but also one that brought the community together.
Bright red and black dresses were popular attire, as were long, tight classical dresses with and without straps while some rocked pant-suits with leather belts and high heels. A student in a faint pink dress with floral chiffon peeking out every time she walked embodied the princess-like dream that presided over the night.
Approaching midnight, the party was almost over. Strangers that danced together became new friends and bonded through the night’s nostalgia. Everyone dreaded the return to everyday life without ball gowns and suits, champagne and snacks. Finally, when silence rang throughout the once noisy hall, and the one-night-only magic was gone, the ball was over, but the feeling of joy and rhythm of dance stayed with everyone.