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!

Our Teachers In Nahant

Ben Bishop

Ben Bishop Ben Bishop, event co-host, prompter, dance teacher, and dancemaster for the Grand Ball, has been involved in Vintage Dance with his wife Katy for over 25 years. He is a former performer with the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers. In the real world he is a software engineer. Dear to his heart is seeing the humor in life and appreciating sarcasm, a fact that will not surprise anyone who knows him; as he has taught his three children: Sarcasm is your friend. And, as everyone should know: Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks auditioned a Polka Redowa; dance and humor go hand in hand (or rather foot in foot).

Idy Codington

Idy Codington, who will be teaching a Ragtime dance class, researches and recreates historic Spanish and Native American dance for Theater with a Mission in Tallahassee, FL; sue fischera small company which produces Spanish Golden-Age plays in English peppered with Spanish. With an MA in American Dance Studies from FSU, Idy performs, teaches, choreographs, and recon-structs the dances of America’s past. She has danced professionally with The Ohio Ballet, toured the US and the world with the Kamikaze Jitterbugs, and danced and taught as a member of the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers. Idy is happily married and enjoys living and dancing in Tallahassee.

Sue Fischer

Sue Fischer, who will be teaching a costume workshop, grew up in a family of craftspeople and will try almost any new craft once, but prefers embroidery, beadwork, and ribbon flower making. sue fischer She started collecting vintage clothing, lace, and trim in 1980, and was happy to find a use for all of it when she started working at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome and discovered vintage dance in 1986. After spending 5 years in New Orleans and 5 years in Chicago, she now lives within driving distance of Nahant and is excited about sharing vintage sewing techniques with her friends.

Katy Bishop

Katy Bishop, event coordinator and costume class instructor, is a Nahant native and an avid flower sprayvintage dance enthusiast. She and her husband, Ben, have been organizing the Nahant Victorian dance weekends for more than 25 years; they will be co-teaching the Ballroom Basics class before the Grand Ball. Her Viennese mother passed on her dressmaking skills, love of dance, and sense of fun, and her father from Budapest instilled in her a love of history and a desire to preserve her family’s heritage. She came to vintage dance for the costumes—but stayed for the dancing. Her hair, at a length of more than four feet, is the perfect accessory for Victorian ensembles.1910 hat She is currently an independent costume historian, vintage dressmaker, vintage dancer, long-time member of The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers, & mother of three kids who are developing a love of costuming, dance, and appreciation of the humor in life. Ben and Katy’s son Nick has become an avid vintage dancer and musician, much to the delight of his parents.

Jeanette Watts

Jeanette Watts, who will be teaching a mazurka class and precepting the Thursday night dance in Nahant, has been performing, learning, and teaching a wide variety of dance forms since 1986. She discovered Vintage Dance upon moving to Ohio, Jeanette Wattsand fell in love with it. She has studied with some of the world’s best teachers at the Flying Cloud Academy of Vintage Dance, the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers, Stanford University, New Orleans Dance Week, Prague in the Czech Republic, and Provence, France. She spent 14 years performing with the Forget-Me-Not Historical Dance Company, and has founded her own non-profit organization, the Terpsichorean Delights Dance Assembly, which teaches dances from the Renaissance to the present. She is the founder and director of four dance groups: Raks Devi (belly dance), Madame Gigi’s Outrageous French Cancan Dancers, the Terpsichorean Delights Dance Assembly, and Hard Core Vintage. She is also the new director for the Dayton Liederkranz-Turner. She had no idea she knew much about German dances until she looked at the troupe’s dance manual.

Our Teachers in Providence

Martha Griffin

Martha Griffin is a dancer, choreographer, performer, and dance teacher that has been involved in vintage dance for more than 25 years. She has taught at numerous vintage dance weekends in Hartford, Cape May, and Santa Clara and taught at vintage dance weeks in Cincinnati, Newport, Mackinac Island, and Biltmore. In addition, she teaches and precepts balls routinely in Cape May and Scranton. Ms. Griffin has choreographed numerous vintage dances for Polite Society (the performing arm of the Vintage Dance Society) and for workshops. With a background in dance beginning at age six, Ms. Griffin has studied the modern dance techniques of Martha Graham, Jose Limon, and Murray Louis, as well as ballet, jazz, and tap. When not dancing, Ms. Griffin is a massage therapist with Therapeutic Massage Associates in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Marc Casslar

Marc Casslar, dancer, choreographer, and producer has been involved in a variety of historic dance forms since 1977 and Victorian and Ragtime dancing since 1984. He is the founder and director of the Vintage Dance Society and its performing troupe, Polite Society. He has conducted research into and taught historic dance for more than 20 years. He has taught at a variety of dance weeks including Newport, San Diego, New Orleans, Mackinac Island, Biltmore, and Cincinnati. He marc casslar routinely teaches at vintage dance weekends and precepts balls throughout the United States. When not dancing, performing, choreographing, producing, etc. Mr. Casslar runs an environmental consulting firm, GeoQuest, and a production assistance company, Specialty Produc-tions, both based in Bloomfield, Connecticut


Our events will be taking place in 4 of Nahant’s many historic venues, we will enjoy the town’s lovely scenic views:

The Nahant Country Club (1824)

The Nahant Country Club (280 Nahant Road) is housed in the former Frederick Tudor Homestead, built in 1824-25. It became the Nahant Club in 1889 for the use of Nahant’s fashionable Summer colony. It is now a venue for weddings and other special events, and has tennis courts on the grounds. The building is air conditioned.

tudor residence

Tudor Homestead ca. 1890

The Nahant Community Center (1904)

The Nahant Community Center is housed in the former Valley Road School, and present home of the Nahant Historical Society, at 41 Valley Road, Nahant. The building is air conditioned.

nahant community center

Valley Road School ca. 1910

Egg Rock Estate (1867)

The estate known as Egg Rock (1867), 374 Nahant Road, is a mid-nineteenth century estate at the East end of town, with lovely grounds and beautiful sea views. The interior is beautifully furnished in period style with a lovely music room for dancing.
View a video tour of the estate
egg rock in the bay The Egg Rick Bird Sanctuary
can be seen from the estate.

egg rock estate

Egg Rock Foyer

The Nahant Town Hall (1912)

The Nahant Town Hall (1912), 334 Nahant Road, has been the home of the Nahant Victorian Ball since it began over two decades ago. This 1912 building has a lovely main hall with large Palladian windows on each side to take advantage of cooling sea breezes.

town hall

Nahant Town Hall ca. 1920

East Point, Once home to the Nahant Hotel

East Point, just a short walk from Egg Rock Estate, was once the home to the Nahant Hotel, the place to see and be seen during the summer in the early 19th century. It is described in this excerpt from Ballou’s Pictorial (1855):
It now possesses every requirement of comfort and luxury. It is provided with a costly apparatus for warming the apartments, so that now the guests are no longer obliged to take wing for the city so soon as there is an easterly spell of weather. Thus the season at Nahant begins early and ends late. The house is thronged with company, the table is liberally catered for, and within doors everything is as agreeable as the scenery is attractive without.
Sadly, the hotel burned down in 1860. The Point is now home to Lodge Park, named in memory of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge who once had a home at East Point.

Nahant House

Nahant House, ca. 1850s


Our events will be taking place in many historic venues in Providence, Portsmouth, and Newport Rhode Island.

The Biltmore Hotel (1922)

In Rhode Island, the opening of the Providence Biltmore Hotel epitomized this year of glitter and glamour. A front-page story in the June 6, 1922, edition of the Providence Journal reported on the banquet and ball that would officially open the Biltmore, predicting that it would be “the most elaborate social event ever to be held in the city.” Over 1,000 people attended the party, including local officials and several prominent New York City hoteliers. For the occasion, the building was illuminated from top to bottom with more than 25,000 lights.


Biltmore hotel, 1920s

Roger Williams Park Casino (1896)

Designed as a public space by Providence architect Edwin T. Banning in the Colonial Revival style, the Casino was built in 1896 with $30,000 raised from boat rentals and other amusements in the park. From the veranda one has a beautiful 40-acre view, including that of the restored bandstand and Roosevelt Lake below. The interior’s main first floor has its original maple floor and walls of hand-finished wood panels, with beveled mirrors and an emerald green tiled fireplace. The grand ballroom upstairs boasts birch floors and a 20’ ceiling, adorned with plaster friezes of urns, swags and leafy scrolls.

roger williams casino

Roger Willaims Park Casino

Roger Williams Park (1878)

Roger Williams Park, named after Roger Williams, the founder of the city of Providence and one of the founders of the state of Rhode Island, is a 427-acre city park listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park, designed by Horace Cleveland, was constructed in the 1880s. Many of the roads, bridges and sidewalks were built by the Works Progress Administration from 1935 to 1940. Currently it contains: a Zoo; Museum of Natural History and Planetarium; Botanical Center; the Japanese Gardens; the Victorian Rose Gardens; the Providence Police Dept.’s Mounted Command center; the Dalrymple Boathouse & boat rentals; Carousel Village for children; the Temple to Music; the Casino; large greenspaces; & many miles of walking paths.

roger williams casino

Natural History Museum, Roger Williams Park

Rotunda Ballroom at Easton's Beach

The Ballroom at Easton’s Beach, located on the Atlantic Ocean less than one mile east of Historic Bellevue Avenue, features a 5,200 square foot, 12-sided symmetrical space. The Ballroom and its outside wrap-around deck offer commanding ocean views, and guests can also take a ride on the historic carousel located just a few feet from the Ballroom.
View a video tour of the estate

rotunda ballroom

Rotunda Ballroom at Easton's Beach

Glen Manor House (1922)

In 1920 H. A. C. Taylor, a prominent farmer who also owned homes in New York and Newport planned to build a proper home on his farm. He hired architect John Russell Pope, designer of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC. His French style design for the house was based on the Petit Trianon at Versailles, and was unique for the area. Although Mr. Taylor died before work began in 1921, his son Moses continued the work. The Taylors moved into the house in 1923 and lived there for many years. Reginald, Moses’ son, sold it to the sisters of the Sacred Heart, who moved their Elmhurst School to the property in 1961. When the school closed in 1972, the town of Portsmouth purchased the property. Glen Manor House now provides an exquisite setting for special functions. - excerpts from information provided by Glen Manor House

glan manor

Glen Manor House


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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