1860s Dance Weekend: Part I, Saturday

December is going to be a whirlwind of HSF posts and posts about events, so I need to hurry up and get started by sharing pictures of an event that actually happened in November but which I haven’t shared pictures of yet. The event was a 1860s Intensive Dance Weekend, hosted by the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers, featuring two days of dance classes, two evening balls, and a German (an after ball party of fun dance games). I’ve got lots of pictures, so I’m going to split this up into two posts. In today’s post, I’ll share pictures of the Saturday of the dance weekend and Part II will be pictures of the Sunday of the dance weekend.

IMG_5809
Taking some photos before the ball.
IMG_5814
I wore Evie. This is a nice photo of the bodice with recently added sleeve trim.
IMG_5849
Plaid dresses!
IMG_5864
Something exciting was being said, though I don’t remember what! This is good proof, though, that my Evie hair wreath does often take on a very green hue in contrast to the sometimes gold-ish brown that it looks in pictures.
IMG_5874
In lines, dancing Le Tourbillion.
IMG_5977
Dancing in a large circle. This is either Spanish Dance or Soldier’s Joy. I always get them confused since they start out similarly!
IMG_6022
Lines of ladies and gentlemen dancing Gothic Dance.
IMG_6117
Ladies passing under the “Gothic” arches!
IMG_6266
Wondering what this odd scene is? This is one of the dance games in the German. You’ll have to forgive me for not remembering the names of them. In this one, a lady sat in the chair with a mirror and cloth. She could see the gentleman standing behind her in the mirror. She would wipe the mirror to dismiss them until she found one she wanted to dance with.
IMG_6282
In this dance game, the lady presented one of the two gentlemen with a glass of “wine.” She then danced with the other gentleman.
IMG_6351
For this dance game, the gentlemen were blindfolded (I was dancing as a gentleman…). We all stood in a circle with ladies in between gentlemen and then would begin to give hands, right then left, around the circle. Because the gentlemen were blindfolded the ladies had to be sure to catch their hands to keep them from wandering out of the circle. At the sound of a whistle, you would dance with the person whose hand you were holding. Something must have been mixed up, because two of us blindfolded “gentlemen” wound up dancing together, to the great amusement of all onlookers. Lucky for us we’re both proficient waltzers, and being blindfolded isn’t much of a challenge. People were quite impressed and amused.
IMG_6294
Another dance game, with 5 each of ribbons, ladies, and gentlemen. Once the center of the ribbon was released each person found the person holding the other end of their ribbon and danced with them.
IMG_6397
This dance game involves two people trying to capture one of the dancing couples in the sash. When they’ve caught someone they switch around so different people are the ones holding the sash. The people dancing have to try to dance away from capture.
IMG_6508
It’s hard to see, but the couple with the plaid dress is holding a top hat. The object of this dance game is for the second couple to dance close enough to the couple with the top hat to drop a glove into it. When that happens then the couple with glove becomes the couple with the hat. Only dancing, not running, is allowed to elude the couple with the glove.

All in all a fun and energetic day and night of dancing, especially with the German that was directly after the ball. I hope you enjoyed these.

Advertisements

Refreshing Proof (Chelmsford Regency Ball 2013)

What a day! It started with 1950s adventures: brunch at a 1950s diner, photos in the great outdoors, and roller skating. I was exhausted by the time I had changed into my red Regency ball gown and wrangled my super hair sprayed hair into a Regency style. But I did get photographic proof that I made good use of my new Refreshing Apron and that I was able to wear my new red and gold tiara.

IMG_5437
Refreshing in a tiara and apron.
IMG_5425
While preparing the refreshments someone realized we didn’t have a knife to cut the pound cake. That didn’t stop us for long, though, because it’s entirely normal for the men in our group to have swords in the car. All that was required was a quick walk out to the car to get one, and just like that we were back in business!
IMG_5512
One of the pretty cards labeling the refreshments.

The ball was a huge success. I think there were about 70 attendees, which quite filled up the room we were in. There was live music played on a piano, cello, and violin. People seemed to really enjoy themselves.

IMG_5480
A view of the crowded room.
IMG_5459
Dancing a country dance.
IMG_5463
I was so busy dealing with refreshments I didn’t get to dance much, which was a little sad, but this was one of the dances I was able to dance.
IMG_5491
Couples dancing a Regency waltz.
IMG_5504
More waltzing.
IMG_5448
People were very well dressed and it’s always fun to look at the clothing people who are new to one’s acquaintance.
IMG_5520
One of our friends made a new dress for herself as well as a friend who was visiting and attending the ball. So kind!
IMG_5530
And there were a surprising number of new faces. This group of young men requested a picture with us, and we obliged.
IMG_5518
I’ll leave you with this further, slightly artsy, proof of my new tiara being worn.

1950s Adventures Part III: On A Roll

After eating brunch at a 1950s themed dinerstopping along the side of the road to take lovely autumn color pictures, and spending some time at a thrift store before the roller rink opened, we finally headed out to go roller skating! I had been jokingly warned that we were likely to be at the roller rink with a whole lot of 8 year olds and the warning was pretty accurate. There were a few adult couples on dates and a few by themselves, but mostly there were a ton of 5-13 year olds and their adult chaperones. It was a Saturday afternoon, after all, so it was to be expected that there would be a lot of birthday parties… It didn’t bother us, though, we’re used to being unique. And lots of the girls called out that they liked our dresses as we skated by. Perhaps one day they’ll be inspired to make or wear historic clothing!

Some of us had been more used to roller blading, but in the spirit of trying to be 1950s-ish, we all rented roller skates. Granted, the roller rink and the skates are obviously modern and not 50s, as you’ll see, but we had so much fun it didn’t matter at all!

IMG_5238
Putting on skates under a black light.
IMG_5256
Things started off a little shaky for some of us.
IMG_5395
But we were there to support each other.
IMG_5254
In fact, I almost fell over before I even made it onto the rink… But I managed to keep my balance, and here I am, successfully skating!
IMG_5280
Our confidence rose pretty quickly, and soon we were all making it around the rink.
IMG_5294
We were even managing to be graceful sometimes.
IMG_5272
And possibly even in sync…
IMG_5283
I did still lose my balance sometimes and make crazy faces…
IMG_5282
But they were balanced out by the successful moments.
IMG_5284
Look, here’s another successful moment!
IMG_5331
On a roll!
IMG_5329
This picture amuses me, because we might be dancing, or we might just be loosing our balance…
IMG_5335
Group shot (with fun lights!).
IMG_5332
Another group shot…
IMG_5371
You might remember our “raise the roof Charleston”… We just like to throw in raising the roof any chance we get, and this was a perfect opportunity.
IMG_5384
It almost looks intentional that we’re all in a line!
IMG_5400
Full circle. Returning my skates under the black light.

Fun, right? We really enjoyed ourselves and no one actually fell! But the day wasn’t over… we still had a Regency ball to run/attend that night. I’ve got pictures of that coming soon. It sure is a transformation from 1950s!

Picnic At The Commandant’s House

A few weekends ago I participated in a picnic and dance performance at the Commandant’s House. You might remember that we danced there last August? It was great fun last year and we were pleased to be able to participate in another event at this lovely location.

This time around we were there mostly to picnic, so that’s what the majority of my pictures are from. But we did dance a little in the house and lounged around to take a few pictures. Enjoy!

IMG_4835
I love how picturesque we all look in this photo! It’s sort of funny how the white dresses all clumped on one side and the colored dresses on the other.
IMG_4871
After eating we played Graces.
IMG_4861
It’s much more fun with lots of people and lots of hoops!
IMG_4953
We played it in a big circle and would just call someone’s name to get their attention (hopefully) before flinging the hoops at them.
IMG_4910
There were some really good catches and really close misses.
IMG_4936
We had a great time and laughed a lot!
IMG_4911
With trees around, I’m sure you can guess what happened…
IMG_4898
I didn’t want to do a boring bun, so I opted for two rolls of hair instead.
IMG_4992
We were called from Graces to dance inside the house. I was particularly appreciative of this wallpaper this time around. It’s in the entry hallway. You can see other interior pictures of the house in this post from last year.
IMG_4980
The curtains in this room have a lovely glow when the sun shines on them.
IMG_4988-001
Looking for Mr. Darcy, perhaps? I just love the shadows and the glow.

More 20s! (Prohibition Ball 2013)

Only one week after I attended the 1920s Lawn Party, I was immersed in the 1920s again, this time at a Prohibition Ball in Chelmsford, MA. I would guess the attendance at maybe 40-50 people total, though I’m not sure we were ever all in the ballroom at the same time. It was a nice, social group of people and I saw everyone meeting and greeting new people, dancing with a variety of people, and generally being social and having a good time with everyone around. It was also nice to see some of the new people we had met at the 1920s Lawn Party at the ball. The venue, the Chelmsford Center for the Arts, was a lovely place I’d never seen before.

IMG_4196
I wore my 1925 beaded dress and accessorized with a long string of pearls and jeweled/feather hair decoration.

I tried a new style with my hair! I did my now usual 20s thing, where I gel the front sections and use a fine tooth comb to create waves in front while my hair is wet. Then I secure it to my head and let it dry. Usually, I’ve taken the back and put it in a tight bun at the base of my head (like when I’ve worn my not-quite-sailor dress). The idea in doing that is that it makes my hair close to my head and  thus, maybe, more bob-like (I know, I’m kidding myself, it does not actually look like a bob!). This time however, I did something totally different with the back. It seems counter-intuitive, so be prepared… I took my curly hair, and curled it with a curling iron. Yup. Actually, the curling iron eliminates all my usual frizz (that alone is amazing!), but it also creates nice, even, wide curls. I was in a super hurry to get my hair done, so I just did some rather messy curling iron curls then pinned them up in a mass at the back and added my jeweled/feather clip. I love the defined curly mass (different than my normal frizzy, curly mass)! I’m excited to try out curling ironed styles for other events, too!

IMG_4164-001
Defined curls coiffure surmounted by feathers and jewels.

The other cool thing about the feather/jeweled clip is that from the front I have a small halo of feathers showing. I like that it is visible from the front and packs a big punch in the back! Success!

IMG_4199-001
Glamour shot! I often make really silly 20s faces, but I think this one works! I love the defined eyelashes, the red lips, the feathers, the pearls…
IMG_4202 close-001
More glamour! I’d call this a more sultry shot than mine, which is more playful. It’s got those same fun elements, though, eyelashes, lips, sequins, jewels…

I did mention that this was all for a ball, right? And the ball did include dancing! In addition to normal couple dancing, and large group Charelstons (you can dance the Charleston in a circle like you used to dance in high school!), there were also a lot of mixer-type dances, where participants changed partners, or danced with unknown partners…

IMG_4178
Attendees chatting with each other and looking great.
IMG_4150
Dancing… A foxtrot or one step, perhaps?
IMG_4204
Dancing!
IMG_4207
One of the mixers with a name like “Paul Jones” or something similar.
IMG_4276
The dancing couples trying to escape the gentlemen with umbrellas.
IMG_4320
Another mixer. See the hand over the sheet? Neither gentleman nor lady knows who his or her partner will be.
IMG_4321
Surprise!

There was also a slightly unplanned performance of our five lady Charleston (the same one we performed at the Great Gatsby in May). People really enjoyed it, and it’s always a pleasure to dance a Charleston to the song Egyptian Ella. The Great Gatsby performance post includes a video you can listen to that has the song we performed to, if you’re curious. It’s a fun song!

IMG_4378
We sort of look like penguins in this shot… At least we’re on the same feet!
IMG_4360
There are little bits where we do solos: here I am washing the windows.
IMG_4361
Then I turn and back up. There really isn’t a good way to describe it… looks fun though, right?
IMG_4365
Another solo (well, duo, I suppose). I don’t actually know what this figure is called, but it’s super fun to watch.
IMG_4375
Starting to do the shimmy! (I think it’s the shimmy… It’s really just wiggling, it’s not as shimmy-like as you’re probably imagining!) It was super scandalous in the 20s!
IMG_4388
Final pose.

And of course, there was silly-ness. That’s to be expected when I’m around.

IMG_4355
The “Hello Charleston”… (I made it up…)
IMG_0544
How low can you go?

I had the added bonus of my parents being available to experience, in person, their first vintage dance event. They’ve seen thousands of pictures but have never been able to attend. It was fun to share the experience with them and to Charleston with them! I sure had fun, I hope that you’ve had fun reading about it!

1920s Lawn Party

I had the opportunity to attend a 1920s Lawn Party at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, MA, the day right after I participated in the George’s Island Vintage Dance Performance. Luckily, the weather wasn’t so hot. In fact, when we first arrived we were thinking sweaters would have been nice, given the sea breeze, but that thought didn’t last for long as the day heated up.

The lawn party was hosted by Boston Swing Central and included live music by the Baby Soda Jazz Band. The music was lovely and the venue was lovely, as you’ll soon see, but I have to say that I wished for more 20s dancing and less swing… of course, that’s because I’m biased towards older styles of dancing, but I did feel that the event had a vague “I’m not sure what decade I’m in” feel to it rather than strictly as 20s as I had hoped. Ah well, we made our own fun 20s atmosphere.

I wore my 1926 cotton not-quite sailor dress and American Duchess Gibsons, and it was nice to see friends with new 1920s day dresses! I think I had the most fun just walking around the lovely estate and taking pictures, so that’s what most of these pictures are.

IMG_3754
Practicing our 20s poses with the Crane Estate behind us.
IMG_4730
The view from the house looking out towards the ocean. Those lovely rolling hills don’t look that big, but I promise you they are!
IMG_4732
Did you happen to notice the statues along the edges of the grass?
IMG_4735
Well you know silly-ness often happens when I’m around…
IMG_3741
So we each took turns imitating the statues.
IMG_4073
When you’ve walked all the way to end of the hills, this is the view that greets you.
IMG_4084
Lovely!
IMG_4062
Looking back at the house from the farthest point with the grounds full of people.
IMG_3859
Looking over the Italian garden tucked away from the main house.
IMG_3924
While in the garden we took the opportunity for fun photos: telling secrets…
IMG_3846
Lounging on the rails…
IMG_3796
Posing with sporting equipment…
IMG_3884
Admiring the flowers…
IMG_3931
And playing with accessories and wrought iron gates!
IMG_4015
There were vendors of vintage items, which were fun to look through. I especially like this dress!
IMG_4032
And we met some well dressed new people!
IMG_4108
We also took part in the dancing, especially when there was a song to which we could dance a Charleston!
IMG_4091
By the end of the day I was feeling pretty tired along with everyone else I was with. We took the opportunity to explore the side of the house that had parking space rather than dancing action, which was quiet and relaxing. This side of the house looks out over marshes.

Not long after that the event was over and it was time to return home, feeling like I needed a weekend to unwind from my weekend!

Product links in this post contain an affiliate code, which provides a small benefit to my shoe fund. This does not affect my impressions and reviews of this product.

SaveSave

First Picnic Of The Summer: Part II

You might have noticed that my last post was titled “First Picnic Of The Summer: Part I” but I didn’t actually mention what the next part would be. While the last post had general pictures of the day and of our outfits, this post is going to be filled with more artsy, detail shots. We had fun playing with the cameras that were available and working on our photography skills.

IMG_2838
First, my feet. I wore my blue silk stockings and Astorias from American Duchess.
These links contain an affiliate code, which provides a small benefit to my shoe fund. This does not affect my impressions and reviews of these products.
IMG_2640
More feet. It’s fun to play with the focus of the photo in these detail shots.
IMG_2624
Hats!
IMG_2873
The willow and the trained skirt have similar qualities that make this photo neat.
IMG_2794
I enjoy how the branches fill in the background space and create complimentary curves with the skirt.
IMG_2862
This was intended to be casual bench lounging, but it looks very Sleeping Beauty c. 1900 to me. Where’s a prince when you need one?
IMG_2925
I love the longing reach for the reflection of the willow. That’s a good metaphor for life sometimes… reaching for reflections.
IMG_2930
This is pretty, too, with the skirt and tree having similar qualities. Also, I love the pop of red on the ground. Could be that those are flower petals… but I actually think they’re the remains of some child’s balloon animal.
IMG_2742
Playing with the focus on some lovely roses.
IMG_4493
Baby ducks! I enjoy that they are not what your eye is first drawn to in this photo and I like the super bright green of the tree.
IMG_4511
My favorite: a close up of the allium flowers!

SaveSave