Who hasn’t watched the movie Gone with the Wind and swooned over the
There were some rules when a folks attended balls that we rarely hear of. One of the biggies: A woman shouldn’t dance more than one dance with her husband. And preferably, that dance should be the first of the evening. She was expected to socialize with all men in attendance as long as they didn’t get too friendly—it was a fine line—and considered rude to cross that line in either direction. In addition, if following proper etiquette rules, the married couple should refer to one another as Mrs. and Mr. while in the company of the other attendees. First names were rarely used by anyone at the ball.
Children of affluent families were often sent to finishing schools to learn the important skills of the wealthy elite, like, decorative sewing, table/dinner manners, the delicate art of catching a rich husband, and ballroom dancing.
Though many children were taught dance steps at a young age, a “Dance Master” would be available at balls to teach dance steps to those who needed instruction. This could include those unfamiliar with common dance steps or if a new dance was being introduced, the Dance Master would demonstrate the moves to the crowd.
The dance ball position of “Floor Manager” was a prestigious one. This person—almost always a man—would keep the dances flowing in an orderly fashion. He would also keep the dancers moving to avoid back-ups on the dance floor. Without a Dance Master and Floor Manager, one could not give a proper dance.
There were actually dances for all levels of the social-economic tier. Many cities threw a Mayor’s Ball, Christmas Ball, Easter Ball—city officials would use any excuse for a dance hoping to sway the vote their way of those who attended.
If you could, would you go back to the days of dances and balls? Would you be able to give up access to constant news, instant “love” by swiping right, and pictures Aunt Mary’s dinner last night? Share your thoughts in the comments below and thank you for stopping by Heroes, Heroines and History today. Be blessed, my friends.
Multi award-winning author, Michele K. Morris’s love for historical fiction began when she first read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House book series. She grew up riding horses and spending her free time in the woods of mid-Michigan. Married to her high school sweetheart, they are living happily-ever-after with their six children, three in-loves, and eight grandchildren in Florida, the sunshine state. Michele loves to hear from readers on Facebook, Twitter, and here through the group blog, Heroes, Heroines, and History at HHHistory.com.