nahant ball

“Summer by the Sea”
New England
Vintage Dance Holiday
Nahant, MA & Providence & Newport, RI
August 4-11, 2016

Moments In Time, Vintage Victorian, and the Nahant Historical Society present “Summer by the Sea,” an unforgettable week of dancing and amusements in historic summer resort towns in Massachusetts and Rhode Island at enchanting period venues amidst refreshing ocean breezes. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to experience a summer holiday as it might have been during the Victorian, Gilded, Ragtime & Jazz ages. Scroll down for the prices and schedule of events. Register for the entire 8 days or choose either the Nahant Weekend or Rhode Island Holiday.


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Last year we sold out so advance registration is strongly recommended!

2016 Summer by the Sea Schedule

Thursday, August 4, Nahant, MA.

Formal Dinner and Dancing at the Nahant Country Club, 7:00 - 11:00p
nahant dinner Our formal Dance Holiday begins with a wonderful repast followed by dancing as we meet new friends and catch up with old ones. Before dinner, enjoy the sunset from the piazza while sipping a cocktail; dinner will be served at 7:30p. The dance will be to recorded music with prompting by Jeanette Watts and Ben Bishop; we may get a head start learning our Nahant Quadrille for Saturday night. Music will be a mix of 19th and early 20th century tunes. Suggested attire is formal evening wear of any era, with an emphasis on late 19th century dress if you so desire.
(Hors d’oeuvres, dinner with sparkling cider; cash bar)

Friday, August 5, Nahant, MA

Costume Class: Arts & Crafts Embroidery with Sue Fischer, 10:00a - 12:00n
This class will teach a simple method of ornamenting linens that was popular in the 1910s and early 20s. Participants will choose a period motif, color it with the wax transfer method, and outline the motifs with embroidery cotton to make a small bag or doily.
During the early 20th c., several firms sold kits with the linen already stamped and colored. Sometimes needleworkers would merely outline the motifs (or not) and sometimes they would either embroider over the whole motif or pick out parts of the design in colors of their choosing.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own fabric (natural or ecru linen or cotton—no synthetics!) and transfer their chosen motif BEFORE class. I recommend a fine-point Sharpie. Please do not use ballpoint pen or pencil, as the marks will smear onto the fabric, the floss, and your hand.

NOTE: This class is sold out. we may be able to offer the class later in the week if there is sufficient interest. Choose the waitlist option and we will contact you with details if an additional class can be scheduled. .

Period motifs for your project

We have chosen 5 images to download, print, and transfer onto your cloth, click on it to get to a larger image and download it. If your prefer, you can order the kit, choose an image (or leave it up to us) and we will transfer it for you:
embroidery image 1 embroidery image 2 embroidery image 3 embroidery image 4 embroidery image 5
  • Piece of linen or cotton fabric large enough to make a bag or doily (minimum 5” x 14” for a bag)
  • Black embroidery floss or pearl cotton
  • 3-6 skeins of colored floss or pearl cotton
  • Small embroidery hoop
  • Appropriate length of cord, if you are making a drawstring bag
A limited number of kits will be available for purchase at the class for $5. Sign up will be available on the website.
Dance Class: Everything Ragtime Dance 101 with Idy Codington, 1:00 - 2:15p
In the late afternoon Idy will return with a Ragtime review. Ragtime dances are made by and for working people (not dancing masters): easy to learn, quick to teach, and fun to do. In this class we’ll:

Learn a little one step, two step, three step
and a little foxtrot—just for fun
Dance a little one step, two step, foxtrot,
Join us, it’ll make your juices run.
Comfortable clothes and flexible-soled shoes are recommended for the class.nahant ball

Vintage Bazaar, 2:30 - 4:30p
After lunch on your own we will shop ‘till we drop at the vintage bazaar. Veronica’s Closet will once again be selling vintage clothing and donating a portion of her profits to support the event! Please contact us if you will be bringing items to sell. No early birds.

Seaside Soirée at Egg Rock Estate, 7:00 - 10:30p
After dinner on your own, we’ll gather at the stunning mid-19th century seaside estate Egg Rock for an evening of 19th and early 20th century music and dancing. Music will be by Spare Parts. Upon arrival enjoy another spectacular sunset over the ocean, with a view of the rocky coast. Suggested attire is formal evening wear from 1880-1920. Hoops are not recommended due to space concerns, as this is a furnished home; modern evening dress is also welcome.
(Hors d’oeuvres & sweets, sparkling cider, punch)
No changing facilities will be available on-site.

Saturday, August 6, Nahant, MA.

Costume Class: Costume Clinic with Katy Bishop & Friends, 10:00a - 12:00n
Bring your unfinished projects, fitting problems, and questions to this informal hands-on workshop. If there are gents in the house, maybe we’ll even learn how to tie a bow tie or cravat! Katy’s extensive costume resource library will also be available for research. Please let us know in advance if you will be attending this session.
Dance Class: The Mazurka with Jeanette Watts, 1:30 - 3:00p
Mazurka—in the 1800s, it was the holy grail of dancers. A new dancer can polka, a good dancer can waltz, but a great dancer does the mazurka! The parts are simple; slide, cut, hop, and leap. The whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. The variations range from fairly simple—slide, cut, hop, to fairly difficult—hop, slide, hop, hop, slide, cut. This class will start at the beginning, and we will go as far and as fast as we can manage to get. (From jeanette: In case you haven’t noticed, my license plate says MAZURKA. It’s one of my FAVORITE dances!) Comfortable clothes and flexible-soled shoes are recommended for the class.
Dance Class: Ballroom Basics with Ben & Katy Bishop, 3:15 - 4:45p
The pre-ball beginner workshop will introduce the figures of the Nahant Quadrilles and go over the basics of waltz and polka. The level of instruction will be tailored to the needs of the participants. Comfortable clothes and flexible-soled shoes are recommended for the class.
The Grand Ball: An Evening in Vienna at the Town Hall, 7:30 - 11:00p
nahant ball Enjoy this evening of 19th century dance and music evoking the Belle Epoque Vienna of Strauss & Lehar, plus a scrumptious offering of refreshments, at the historic Town Hall. Music will be by Spare Parts; they will welcome Max Newman as an additional “Spare Part” tonight! Dances will be a mix of Set Dances, the Nahant Quadrilles, Waltzes, Polkas, and Galops from the second half of the 19th century. There will be a dance card, but there will also be many extra dances not on the card. Suggested attire is evening wear 1860-1900; this is a good venue to accommodate a hoop skirt if you’ve been waiting for the opportunity.
(Savory & sweet refreshments, punch, fruit, home-made sorbet)

Sunday, August 7, Nahant, MA.

All Sunday events are at Egg Rock Estate
No changing facilities will be available on-site.
Period Concert: Gems of the Jane Austen Ballroom:
a concert of late 18th and early 19th century music with Spare Parts, 1:00 - 2:30p

concert After shopping, sightseeing, or sleeping-in, we will conclude the Nahant portion of the week at Egg Rock estate with a relaxing afternoon, starting with a concert by Spare Parts featuring music from the era of Jane Austen. tea dance
Formal Tea & Lawn Games, 2:30 - 4:00p
After the concert, we’ll enjoy a Formal Tea with John Burrow’s famous scones and Terry Crumb’s home-made berry preserves! After a cup of tea and a sandwich you can play croquet or other period games on the lawn.
(Tea, scones, light sandwiches)
Informal Dancing, 4:00 - 5:00p
After tea, Spare Parts will return with a program of 19th & early 20th century tunes for dancing.
Victorian Promenade, 5:00 - 6:30p (approx.)
The day will conclude with a seaside promenade to East Point, the former site of the famous Nahant Hotel. There you can marvel at almost 360-degree views of the rocky shore, open ocean, Boston skyline, lightouses, and more. We ask that everyone remove their belongings from the house before the promenade.


If you are attending the Rhode Island portion of the dance week, you may choose to stay in the Nahant area for the night, head over to Zimman’s Fabric Store in Lynn Monday morning, and spend a liesurely day sightseeing and shopping on your way to Providence. Alternatively, you can head straight to Providence Sunday evening, settle into the Biltmore and explore the area before the Monday evening Soirée. Moments in Time will be providing a list of excursions to historic sites and shopping venues between Nahant and Providence.

To register visit the Nahant Event Page for a more detailed schedule. Visit the Summer by the Sea page for a full schedule of the whole eight day event

Monday, August 8, Providence, RI

Biltmore Hotel Registration opens at 4:00p
1920s daners

Opening Night at the Biltmore, 8:00 - 11:00p
Check into your gorgeous suite at the Biltmore Hotel and prepare for an evening of live music from one of the region’s top Jazz Age bands: Dan Gabel’s High Society Orchestra! Dancing will be precepted by Marc Casslar and Martha Griffin. Our inspiration for attire this evening is the grand ball that the hotel hosted for its opening in 1922.
(Heavy evening appetizers; cash bar)

Tuesday, August 9, Providence, RI

Continental Breakfast, 8:00 - 9:00a
Morning Meeting, 8:45a
Dance Classes, 9:00 - 11:30a
Biltmore Hotel Garden Room (2nd floor)
After a continental breakfast we will enjoy morning dance classes with Martha Griffin and Marc Casslar. Comfortable clothes and flexible-soled shoes are recommended for the classes.
Bohemian National Polka with Martha Griffin, 9:00 - 10:10a
Martha will be taking you back in time to the early days of vintage dance (circa 1985). This class will be an opportunity to learn or (for some of you) to revisit the classic “Bohemian National Polka” (BNP for those in the know). This dance is Richard Powers’ interpretation of Professor Frantisek Bonus’ Polka reconstruction set to Strauss’ “Feuerfest Polka.” It reflects the steps and form of the original 1830s National style of Polka from Bohemia.
French Quadrille with Marc Casslar, 10:20 - 11:30am
Marc will once again take you back to Provence (circa 2002). He will be teaching selected figures from Madame Yvonne Vart’s reconstruction of the “French Quadrille.” The fun (or confusion) begins when the figures are done in Madame Vart’s “canon” style.
natural history museum Lunch at the Casino at Roger William’s Park & An Afternoon in the Park
We will start our afternoon with a lunch buffet at the Casino, then we’ll spend an afternoon in Roger Williams Park. The stunning 427-acre city park first opened in 1871; it has 7 lakes, a zoo (which first opened in 1878), and a Natural History Museum, among other attractions. Suggested daytime attire is any summer wear from the 19th & early 20th centuries. 90s dancers
(Lunch buffet)
Gilded Age Ball at the Casino
Roger Williams Park, 8:00 - 11:00pm

We will return in the evening to the elegant Roger Williams Park Casino, built as a space for public balls in 1896. There we will enjoy an evening of 1890s music and dancing; suggested attire is formal wear from the late 19th century. Live music will be provided by the New River Dance Orchestra; the ball will be precepted by Marc Casslar and Martha Griffin.
(light ball refreshments)

Wednesday, August 10, Newport & Providence, RI

Newport Sightseeing—on your own
Lunch, 1:00 - 2:00p
Dance at Easton’s Beach Rotunda, Newport, 2:00 - 4:00p

rotunda After breakfast on your own we will return to everyone’s favorite summer destination, Newport, RI, for a morning of independent exploration (opportunities for tours and group outings will be provided at registration). We will meet later for lunch and a seaside dance to recorded music at the lovely Easton’s Beach Rotunda, known for its vintage carousel and fabulous view of the ocean.
(boxed lunch: lobster roll, cobb salad, or veggie wrap)
silent film Dinner & Silent Film Gala, Biltmore Hotel, 7:30 - 12:00m
Back in Providence for the night, we will travel back in time to the premiere of a classic silent film from the Golden Age of Hollywood: Her Sister from Paris (1925), starring Constance Talmadge & Ronald Colman. A plated dinner will be served, and the film will feature live musical accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis, with an opportunity for informal dancing after the show. Suggested attire draws its inspiration from the early days of Hollywood. Come as an actor, a director, a character from your favorite silent film, or just an audience member! Feel free to be as creative as you would like.
(plated dinner; cash bar)

Thursday, August 11, Providence and Bristol, RI

Continental Breakfast, 8:00 - 9:00a
Morning Meeting, 8:45a
Dance Classes, 9:00 - 11:30a
Biltmore Hotel Garden Room (2nd floor)
After a continental breakfast we will enjoy morning dance classes with Martha Griffin and Marc Casslar. Comfortable clothes and flexible-soled shoes are recommended for the classes.
Ragtime Dances with Martha Griffin, 9:00 - 10:10am
Travel with Martha back to 1914 and visit the step “everyone was doing:” the one step. After a quick review of the basic one step and two or three hundred of the most common variations, Martha will explore how the one step (and all its associated steps) evolved into the foxtrot and the tango. The focus will be on learning concepts (and some steps), not sequences.
Maxixe with Marc Casslar, 10:20 - 11:30am
Marc will also be taking you back in time to the early days of vintage dance. He will be teaching the Maxixe, another classic of the vintage dance community. Be sure to take this opportunity to learn or to revisit this fun Brazilian Two-step. Marc will be using the dance reconstructions of Richard Powers; the reconstruction of steps from the Whirl of Life by Martha Griffin; and sequences by Richard, Martha, and Marc.

Free Afternoon, for sightseeing or shopping
After a continental breakfast and morning classes, we will provide suggestions for enjoying the beautiful city of Providence in your best vintage style (or just relax and book a day at the hotel spa).

glen manor Formal Dinner and Ragtime Ball, 6:00 - 11:00p
Glen Manor, Portsmouth

In the late afternoon we will make our way to the Glen Manor House in Bristol, for a lavish formal dinner and an evening of Ragtime music and dance to celebrate the end of this once in a lifetime Vintage Summer by the Sea. Live music will be provided by the New River Dance Orchestra; the ball will be precepted by Marc Casslar and Martha Griffin.
(Buffet dinner; cash bar)


If you have questions don’t hesitate to contact us (email is best):
or call Katy at (781) 49-WALTZ (781-499-2589).

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last updated 31 july 2016/csb