Posted by: capitalgirl | December 6, 2009

Never let it be said that Canadians don’t know how to party …

… because they TOTALLY do. I was lucky enough to get an invitation to the Canadian embassy’s Winter Gala last night, and thus my experience is of the first-hand variety!

I managed to get a ticket because my lovely friend N. was helping coordinate entertainment for the event and asked me to perform. This meant I got to put together a full solo charleston routine and perform it, on my own, in front of a terrifyingly large group of strangers. GOOD TIMES! I won’t bore you with the choreography process – suffice it to say I left it a little late, and that choreographing on the metro at rush hour is easier than some would have you believe.

The party itself was fantastic! I’d been to the embassy a couple of times before last night, so I had a vague idea of the interior layout, but I have to say, the decor was incredible. It was really remarkable what was accomplished with a few judiciously placed tablecloths, some wrapping paper, plastic snowflakes, and a mirror ball. The embassy cafeteria was completely unrecognizable. Everyone was dressed up in their snappiest attire, as well, which is always fun to see.

As far as gala events go, I have to say that last night’s was probably the best I’ve attended since I’ve been down here. Big kudos to the organizers, for sure – they put together an event that, despite being elegant and very stylish, still somehow managed to maintain a fun and casual atmosphere. I’m sure part of that was due to the people in attendance, as there was far less aggressive networking going on than I’ve seen at similar events. People seemed content to just chat, have a drink, and then bust a move on the dance floor. (And what a dance floor it was!! My gosh, the joys of dancing on that perfect, perfect floor …)

The tree lighting ceremony fit the feel of the event perfectly, as well. Ambassador Gary Doer gave a short, very nice speech, and then flipped a switch, lighting up the lovely (and HUGE!) tree outside.

Ambassador Doer lighting the Christmas tree

Just before he's about to hit the switch! (Sorry about the poor quality - I should maybe think about using a real camera at some point.)

I also got the chance to say hello to a few fellow Canadians I’d met previously, which was very nice. It’s amazing how much more fun an event can be when you know a few people there! (Particularly if you’re spending all your time trying to get to know people there – networking is more stressful for me than fun.)

Oh, and the performing part was fun too. Nothing like getting up alone in front of an audience with a mostly-remembered choreography with no one to help you out if you screw up!! But really, it went well and I had a great time with it. There’s really nothing like that performance adrenaline rush!

All in all, a totally awesome night. Thanks, N., for the wonderful opportunity to perform at such a great event! I had a fabulous time, and it was definitely one of the highlights of my time in D.C.

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