Introduced by actor Denzel Washington, President Obama arrived at the Neighborhood Ball, the first of 10 tonight, but which he said best captured the spirit of his campaign.
"We got the idea for the neighborhood ball because we are neighborhood people," Obama said. Organizers invited "everyday Americans" and not the high-rollers who financed much of the inaugural festivities.
He wore a black tuxedo with white bow tie and flag pin. Michelle Obama wore an one-shoulder, off-white, floor-length gown.
"How good looking is my wife?" he asked the cheering crowd.
Whispering to each other and slowly twirling, the Obamas took their first dance to Beyonce's stylings on "At Last," the classic Etta James love song.
When they finished, the crowd chanted "Obama, Obama."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.