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In a Land Long, Long Ago

In this land of long ago there was a manufacturing magnate who “invited” his corporate officers to his favorite social activity. People dressed in their finest: gentlemen were in tuxedos and women wore their elegant floor length gowns. They would arrive (punctually of course) at the hall built specifically for this activity in Dearborn, Michigan. The lights of the chandeliers reflected off the hardwood floor which was polished daily whether it had been used since the last polishing or not.

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When the host and hostess arrived, all of the guests were arranged around the margins of the room since no one walked straight across the floor. An orchestra was set up at the head of the hall and the dancing master took his place to announce and prompt the evening’s events. Then the orchestra broke into familiar American folk tunes and the people moved around the hall doing waltzes and contra dances and square dances. The favorite dance of the host was The Virginia Reel.

In our current time we associate old time square dancing with barn dancing. That certainly was not the case at Lovett Hall which Henry Ford built. The dancing was lively, but it was precise and not rowdy. The dancing master was Benjamin Lovett who had been teaching dancing at the Wayside Inn in New Hampshire. Ford liked Lovett’s style so much that he tried to hire Lovett to move to Dearborn to teach dancing at the Hall and to local schools, especially universities so those students could carry on the traditions. Lovett’s salary was unheard of for those days, and he was given room, board, and new car annually. There was a snag in Ford hiring Lovett – Lovett had a contract with the Wayside Inn and did not feel he could break that contract. Ford’s solution was amazingly simple: he bought the Inn and Lovett’s contract. to continue reading click here

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May 1 - 3 pm at the WDC

Washington State Federation Meeting
May 13 &14 at the WDC
Information on the SAC page

NSDA Meeting
May 18 - 6 pm at the NSDC

2017 Festival Meeting
May 21 - 1 pm at the NSDC

SAC Board Meeting
June 12 - 3 pm at the NSDC

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September 11 - 3 pm at the WDC


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Spokane Area Council, Spokane, Washington