Wednesday 2 February 2011

Dancing Etiquette in 1932

Let's boogie, Ethel

From the invaluable Woman's Own Book of the Home, 1932

At certain public balls and dances where admission is gained by tickets which anyone can buy, it is an accepted custom for stewards of MCs to be present for the purpose of finding partners for those without them, the necessary introductions being then made merely for the sake of allowing partnerless visitors the pleasure of joining in the diversion of the moment without in any way constituting a definite acquaintance.

Cricket, tennis, and other sports club balls and dances are generally very enjoyable functions, tickets usually being obtained through members of the club, who are held responsible for the standing and demeanour of those thus introduced. Dances are also arranged by various clubs and societies, and by many business organisations for employees and their friends. In these cases individual rules and points of etiquette may prevail, and if so, they should be carefully observed, but the actual etiquette of dancing remains much the same everywhere.

Some girls are fond of dancing with girl friends, and as a rule there is no objection to this when there are not enough men, but a lady should not dance with another if any gentleman of her acquaintance is without a partner and asking her to dance with him, or if her hostess wants her to dance with a gentleman partner.

Sounds well-organised, structured and - appealing. And then along came the 60s and "let it all hang out".

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