So today our group had an excursion to the Yelagin Palace, which was the summer palace of Tsar Alexander I’s mother, Maria Fyodorovna. The palace was located in some gardens which I am sure are very pretty in the summer, and was originally constructed in 1822, but was destroyed during WWII. It has since been rebuilt (obviously.)
While the palace itself was nice enough, the highlight of our excursion there was the ballroom-dancing class we had. And when I say ballroom-dancing class, I really mean and excuse for us to dress up in fancy clothes and hoopskirts and parade around for 45 minutes in the ballroom.
Yes, technically we learned some basic dance steps, and all the girls got a little out of breath as we danced around each of the guys in the group as they knelt in a circle during a very basic mazurka. And people touring the palace keep wandering through the ballroom, gawking and trying to stay out of our way was we galloped around in circles. But the dancing was by no means difficult, just fun.
(Also, for those of you keeping track at home: I am currently stalled on War and Peace, on page 270/1074. Will getting to pretend that I’m at a ball from the book inspire me to read more? We’ll see.)