The Tucson Barn Dance
There were few things that Americans of the
19th century liked better than dancing.
Pioneers, homesteaders, soldiers, farmers,
politicians, ministers and indeed all sorts of people wrote in diaries,
letters and published articles regarding attending dances. Of course good
dancing is a very joyful experience. As our forebears realized, dancing
positively engages the mind, exercises the body and has a wonderful tonic
effect on the soul. But there was much more than just the pleasure of
dancing to attract participants. With no radio, CDs or MP3s available, dances were
an opportunity to hear and enjoy music. With no telephones or email
available, dances provided an opportunity to socialize, communicate and share
news with others. With cultural expectations of manners and good behavior, dances were
especially an opportunity to polish one’s manners and develop the social
skills expected of those in "decent company."
While the formal “Grand Ball” may have been
the height of the 19th century dance experience, people from throughout the
social spectrum also enjoyed dancing in less elegant settings and less
On prairies and plantations, in parlors and presidios, rural Americans of
all sections and classes enjoyed any opportunity to do some lively stepping.
From Atlantic to Pacific and The Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast, they reeled
and promenaded at soirees, shivarees, stomps, hoe-downs, corn-huskings,
fandangos, harvest balls, barn dances, county fairs, birthday parties,
wedding receptions, patriotic gatherings and church socials to tunes like
“Soldier’s Joy”, “Jefferson & Liberty”, “Bonaparte Crossing The Rhine”
"Cotton Eyed Joe."
Often no more than a single experienced fiddler was required but a good 3 or
4 piece string band could draw folks in from miles around. Some came on foot
or straddling the back of a mule while others pranced on racehorses, rolled
up in carriages or arrived perched in fashionable buggies. Some wore their
homespun “Sunday best” while others wore silken “store bought” goods. Some
came from busy, growing towns while others traveled from distant frontier
It may have been a New England Church Social,
an Appalachian Wedding, a Carolina Soiree, a Kentucky Hoe-Down, a Nebraska
Corn Huskin' Party, a Texas Fandango, a Prairie Harvest Dance or a Louisiana
It might even have been a Tucson Barn Dance!
But wherever it was or whatever it might have
been called - one could be sure of warm smiles, friendly faces, a well-tuned
fiddle and some fine lively dancing!
When: The evening of Saturday,
September 28th, 2013 there will be a social time at 6:30 with the Dance
to commence at 7 and end about 10:30.
Where: Tanque Verde Lutheran Church at 8625 E. Tanque
Verde Rd. in Tucson
Fashion, Music & Dance: Our focus is Rural America of the 19th
Century ... and our music and dance will reflect that. But modern western
folks of the 21st century are welcome too. Whether "Old Country" or "New
Country" come and have a good time!
ADVANCE DISCOUNT PASSES for INDIVIDUALS
In advance we ask for a contribution of $10.00
each by mail. You may send a check with a stamped,
self-addressed envelope and your email address to We Make History, P.O. Box
1776, Queen Creek, Arizona 85142 or alternately make use of the PayPal link
below. All requests for advance discount passes must be RECEIVED by September
Please note that use of the PayPal option includes a small extra charge
to cover related expenses.
PASSES at the DANCE
At the Dance we will
request a contribution of $20 per person.
See Photos from past Tucson Barn
We are grateful to
our wonderful guests who make the effort with us to create a special
ambience and atmosphere of respect. We uphold these standards out of regard
for our much-appreciated friends and for the sake of the integrity of our
1. The use of
either tobacco or alcohol is prohibited.
2. Videotaping is
not welcome other than by our house videographer. We work hard to create a
special and comfortable historic ambience that all will enjoy. Discreet
photography is welcome but please leave video equipment at home.
3. No unauthorized
distribution of literature is allowed. Nor is this event an opportunity to
recruit persons for purposes either modern or historical. Please allow all
of our guests to enjoy the evening in peace.
4. Our dress code will be a bit
different for this occasion than for the other balls we organize but this is
still a themed
ball and we ask that all conform to certain
standards. An honest attempt at looking like someone from rural America of
the 19th century is much appreciated. (Civil War era day dresses, ball gowns
or uniforms, "Prairie Dresses", and frontier, pioneer, homesteader or Old
West attire are all good suggestions.) Alternately, modern western attire
of the 21st century is also welcome such as boots, jeans, skirts or dresses,
shirts, hats, belts, bolos, etc. Please no spurs or other paraphernalia that could harm a
floor ... or a dance partner.
footwear is required. (i.e. historic footwear, footwear as per the theme of
the ball, dress shoes, dancing
slippers, ballet flats, etc.) Please no sandals, flip-flops or athletic
shoes. For the sake of your safety as well as event ambience dancing
barefoot is impermissible.
6. We do not offer refunds of
and up are welcome. Younger persons ages 8 to 12 are also welcome if accompanied by parent(s)
well-mannered, responsible and able to exhibit the necessary social
8. Gracious and respectful conduct &
conversation are expected of all, to all and at all times.
9. We desire to
be good stewards of the facilities we use, to treat them with care and to
leave them in at least as good of condition as when we arrived.
10. For the good of
all, any who might consider themselves exempt from any of the above may be
asked to leave.
Please also see our “Etiquette
& Expectations” page as well as our "All
About Us" page.
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