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Inaugural Balls: How the Trumps partied

Jan. 20, 2017 Updated Fri., Jan. 20, 2017 at 8:34 p.m.

By Elahe Izadi Washington Post

WASHINGTON – The Inauguration Day festivities roll into the evening as the new president and first lady make their way to the three official presidential balls to greet supporters and perform their first dance.

Both the Liberty and Freedom balls will take place at the Washington Convention Center. A third, the Salute To Our Armed Services Ball, will take place at the National Building Museum.

The most-watched moment of the night will likely be when President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have their first dance, reportedly to take place to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”

CNN, citing an unnamed source, reported that Trump didn’t want to practice for the first dance.

As of 8:30 p.m., the Trumps still hadn’t departed from the White House.

But performances began without them, kicking off around 8 p.m. Chrisette Michele and Travis Greene took the stage at the Liberty Ball. The singers, backed by the Abundant Life choir, sang Greene’s gospel tune, “Intentional.”

“Somebody make noise for Jesus,” Greene said at the song’s conclusion. “God bless America.”

Michele faced criticism when word broke earlier in the week that she would participate in the inaugural festivities. She defended her gig in an open letter that quoted Martin Luther King Jr., and then wrote, “I am willing to be a bridge.”

Erin Boheme and the Jim Gray Orchestra then took the stage for a jazzy song. “Look out, because Donald is back,” Boheme declared as the song concluded.

Then 18 smiling members of the Rockettes, after much controversy around their involvement, performed twice. Their second routine was essentially a homage to New York City.

The Piano Guys, who also performed at Thursday’s inaugural concert on the National Mall, combined “Amazing Grace” with Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” — the latter of which was a Hillary Clinton campaign song.

Michael Flatley, “the Lord of the Dance,” took the stage to celebrate Trump’s inauguration. “May God bless him and guide him,” Flatley said.

Days earlier, Riverdance tweeted a statement clarifying that it would not participate, adding “Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance is.”

Attendees packed into the 150,000 square-foot meeting space, where they dined on tortellini, cheese, and patriotic red-white-and-blue cupcakes, enjoyed on small paper plates. Guests at the Liberty Ball each received four, $5 drink tickets — all of which were needed for just one glass of champagne. Caitlyn Jenner was spotted in the back of the room, wearing a blue dress and posing for photos.

The Armed Services ball began with the Color Guard performing the national anthem, followed by an invocation. The free tickets were given only to invited guests, which include active duty military and veterans.

The balls took place after the parade’s conclusion, shortly after 6:30 p.m. President Trump and the First Family made their way into the White House and around 7:20 p.m., Trump sat behind the desk in the Oval Office to sign documents, including an executive order regarding Obamacare. He had yet to dress for the evening’s balls.

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