Useful Resources for Vintage Dance

Experience the Elegance of Yesteryear

Vintage Dance provides an excellent opportunity to use and appreciate reproduction Vintage Clothing. During the 19th Century dancing was one of the few social pastimes available. Many teach-yourself dancing manuals exist from this period, and a thriving Vintage Dance community exists to recreate the dances and social customs of that era. I belong to The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers, a dance troupe that performs a number of dances of the 1860's, 1890's and Early 20th Century.

Here are a number of resources available on the web related to Vintage Dancing:

Vintage Dance Groups and Events
The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers MASSACHUSETTS
A dance troupe based near Boston; performing troupe and sponsor of balls, workshops and the Newport Vintage Dance Week held each year in Newport County, RI in August.

Vintage Victorian
Each July, Vintage Victorian hosts the Nahant Victorian Day Ball. Vintage Victorian publishes books on authentic costuming for reenactors as well as for vintage dancers. .

The Vintage Dance Society
A dance troupe directed by Marc Casslar and based in Hartford; sponsors Balls, performances and other Vintage Events throughout the year.

email Moments in Time
(c/o Bob Chapman)
Moments in Time sponsors regular dances, both formal and informal in the Hartford area, including the annual Holiday 19th Century Ball.
The primary mission of the Elegant Arts Society is to promote historically-accurate Regency-era social dance, particularly in the tri-state area and the rest of the Northeastern United States. Secondarily, they support and promote historical social dance of other periods of interest, ranging from the 15th through the early 20th centuries.

Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts
Located in Cape May. Sponsors two vintage dance workshops each year, one in April and another in October during their Victorian Week events.

The Metropolitan Vintage Dance and Social Club
Sponsors vintage dance balls and social events.

Centuries Historical Dance
A performance troupe dedicated to recreating and presenting period social dances in the Metro DC area. Focus is mostly on 19th and early 20th century social dances, but their repertoire also includes dances from the Renaissance, and folk couple dance styles.

Dance troupe based in and around Philadelphia, directed by Bob Skiba, researches, performs and teaches American dances from the colonial period all the way up through the 1940s.

Vintage Dancers

Based in the Philadelphia area, Lansdowne Vintage Dancers is an organization of dancers dedicated to providing a regular venue for dancers to enjoy vintage dance.

Flying Cloud Academy of Vintage Dance
A dance troupe based in and around Cincinnati; sponsor of vintage balls and workshops throughout the year.

Grand Traditions 
Vintage Dance

Grand Traditions Vintage Dance Academy, founded in 1990 by Arlynn Hacker in Ann Arbor, , invites you to experience vintage dance. Offers workshops and balls, focusing on dances from the mid-19th through mid-20th centuries.

Vintage Dance Society

The Lexington Vintage Dance Society, with headquarters in Lexington, is dedicated to researching, teaching, performing, and promoting the ballroom and social dance forms of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Academy of Danse Libre
A performing troupe based in Palo Alto, (near Stanford) under the direction of Eduardo Maragliano and John Beale. A not-for-profit organization dedicated to the lively exhibition of 19th and early 20th century social dances.

Stanford Vintage Dance Ensemble
Based in Stanford, The Stanford Vintage Dance Ensemble, directed by Richard Powers, performs social dances from the 19th and early twentieth centuries, from the Victorian to the Ragtime and Swing eras. Mr. Powers also organizes the Stanford Waltz Week held (usually) each year in June.

PEERS (the Period Events & Entertainments Re-Creation Society) is a vintage music and social dance organization in the San Francisco Bay Area that gives monthly period balls, generally set in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Social Daunce Irregulars
The Social Daunce Irregulars have been presenting Victorian Balls in the Pasadena area since 1988. they are dedicated to keeping the tradition of the 19th Century Grand Ball alive in an otherwise gray and pedestrian world.

The Bay Area
English Regency Society

The Bay Area English Regency Society is a vintage music and social dance group in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Holds monthly dance parties and several period fancy-dress historical balls throughout each year.

The San Diego Vintage Dancers
A social dance group located in San Diego; an affiliate of the Lively Arts History Association, present a variety of vintage dance events every year.

The Lively Arts
History Association

An organization dedicated to fostering an understanding of history through the performing arts. LAHA is a resource which can be called upon by historic sites, museums, civic organizations, educators and others interested in making history accessible and interesting.

We Make History
A dance group which runs historic dance events.

Hof-Dantzer Make History

The ensemble HOF-DANTZER, led by Hannelore Unfried, based in Vienna continues the tradition of the golden age of Viennese dance culture.

Vintage Dancing in Australia
Vintage Dancing isn't only done in the US and Europe. Earthly Delights provides a host of vintage related links including dances, music, and costuming. They also have a list of Upcoming Events you might be interested in if you are in the Canberra region.

John Burrow's Vintage Dance Calendar
A well kept list of the Vintage Dance happenings around the United States (and sometimes beyond).

Spare Parts On piano and flute, Bill Matthiesen and Liz Stell play a variety of dance music, including romantic couples dances, contra, and English Country, as well as historically accurate programs for Regency, Victorian (mid-nineteenth century through 1890s and ragtime dances. Argentine tangos are a special interest of theirs. Their CD entitled The Civil War Ballroom is ideal for recreating a Victorian Ball.

email Roy Wiseman
director of
The New River Dance Orchestra
The New River Dance Orchestra provides period dance music for Victorian and Ragtime Balls, their speciality is the music of the Ragtime and Early Jazz eras.

Dance History Research Sites

Library of Congress
An American Ballroom Companion presents a collection of over two hundred social dance manuals at the Library of Congress.

Dance Card Museum
The Dance Card Museum is located at 152-154 Spring Street, Newport, Rhode Island.
Vintage Dance Images Vintage Dance Images are reproduced from wonderful antique dance postcards and piano sheet music, most from pre-1920.


Dance Card Pencils
At this time there are no companies that we know of producing dance card pencils.


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Last updated: 17 march 2009/csb