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In the Rhythm of Samba – The 43rd International Polonaise Ball

The International Polonaise Ball, one of the most prestigious and elegant events of the social season in Miami since 1972, has been organized by the American Institute of Polish Culture established by Lady Blanka Rosenstiel. 

This International Ball entwines elegance and style with world-class entertainment and cultural diversity. Each year the Ball celebrates Poland and a different country, highlighting the cultural and diplomatic ties and friendships of both nations. In February this year, the Ball’s theme was “Poland fascinated with Brazil” and was organized under the auspices of the Ambassador of Poland to the US, Ryszard Schnepf, who attended with his wife to once again participate in the Ball and confer special awards. 

Gregory Fryc, Ambassador of Poland to the US, Ryszard Schnepf, Blanka Resenstiel, Krzysztof Przybył

Gregory Fryc, Ambassador of Poland to the US, Ryszard Schnepf, Blanka Resenstiel, Krzysztof Przybył

Many distinguished personalities came from all over the world including Dr. Jan Kulczyk, a businessman who is, according to Forbes, the richest man in Poland. There were also guests from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Italy, Scotland, Sweden and the US. Among them were local corporate leaders, artists, diplomats, and scientists, including Dr. Andrew Schally, a Nobel Prize winner in the field of medicine. And each year more and more young people are attending, adding even more exuberance to the Ball.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for Dr. Jan Kulczyk

Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for Dr. Jan Kulczyk

After the traditional opening Polonaise, the award ceremony commenced with presentations of the following: Gold Medal for Andrzej Bukowinski, renowned Brazilian filmmaker and “King of commercials;” the Lech Walesa Media Award for David Ensor, journalist and Director of Voice of America; and the “Amicus Poloniae” for Alma Kadragic, producer and journalist. Jarek Rottermund, Master of Ceremonies, thanked Lady Blanka for her vision and enthusiasm in promoting Polish culture in the US for over 40 years. Words of gratitude were also expressed for Beata Paszyc, the Executive Director of the Institute.

During the artistic program, the Brazilian dancers and rousing drummers transformed the beautifully decorated Ballroom into the streets of Rio, with the rhythms of carnival and samba while colourful feathers swayed on the dancers’ dynamically moving bodies. The energy was so vibrant that it moved everybody to the dance floor.   

Beata Paszyc, Nel Velez-Paszyc grupa Polish Folk Dance Company

Beata Paszyc, Nel Velez-Paszyc grupa Polish Folk Dance Company

The guests enjoyed a delicious dinner with Brazilian flavours, and danced and networked long after midnight. The following day, the Polish Folk Dance Company showcased the traditional mazurkas and krakowiak during the Special Bunch. Guests continued meeting new people, celebrating Polish and Brazilian cultures, and making plans to be in Miami next year for another fabulous gala ball.

Beata Paszyc