Nahant Victorian Dance Weekend
2017 Nahant Schedule Overview
Follow the link above to register for the weekend.
If you have already paid a deposit
enter promo codes:
1DEPOSITPAID for 1 person
2DEPOSITPAID for 2 people
Thursday, August 10
| ||2 to 4 pm||Sewing Circle||Bishop Home|
|6:00 to 11:00 pm||Formal Dinner and Dancing|
with the Nahant Society Orchestra featuring Dan Gabel
|Nahant Country Club|
Friday, August 11
|10 am to 12 noon||Costume Workshop|
with Sue Fischer (small fee; kit available)
|Nahant Knights of Columbus|
|1:00 to 3:00 pm||Dance Class: The Black Bottom|
with Idy Codington
|Nahant Knights of Columbus|
|3:30 to 4:45 pm||Dance Class: Pivots Class|
with Jeanette Watts
|Nahant Knights of Columbus|
|7 to 10:30 pm||Silent Film with organist Jeff Rapsiss||Nahant Knights of Columbus|
Saturday, August 12
|10 am to 12 noon||Vintage Bazaar||25 Pleasant Street, Nahant|
|1:30-2:45 pm||Dance Class|
|Nahant Town Hall|
|3:00-4:15 pm||Beginner Dance Workshop, Ben Bishop||Nahant Town Hall|
|7:30-11:00 pm||Grand Ball: An Evening in Vienna|
with Spare Parts
|Nahant Town Hall|
Sunday, August 13
|1 to 5 pm||Afternoon Tea, Concert and Promenade||Nahant Village Church|
|1 to 2:30 pm||Concert: From the Stage to the Dance Hall—dance tunes from popular theatre|
with Spare Parts
|Nahant Village Church|
|2:30 to 4 pm||Formal Afternoon Tea||Nahant Village Church|
|4 to 5 pm||Informal Dancing with Spare Parts||Nahant Village Church|
|5 to 6:30 pm||Victorian Promenade to East Point||Nahant Village Church|
Monday, August 14
|10 am||Optional Monday Outing||Boston, MA|
|1 to 2:30 pm||Tour of Gibson House Museum||Beacon Street, Boston, MA|
|3 to 5 pm||Swan Boat Rides and Promenade in the Boston Public Garden|
If you are interested in buying some period style fabrics we suggest you head over to Zimman’s fabric store in Lynn for some shopping. For
those of you unfamiliar with Zimman’s, it has an impressive array of high-end decorator
fabrics, silks, linens, wools, and cottons, perfect for period costuming. Their basement clearance section can offer some huge
2017 Nahant Victorian Dance Weekend Schedule
Thursday, August 10, Nahant, MA.
Sewing Circle: Last Minute Fixes
Costume Repair and Finishing with Katy Bishop & Sue Fischer, 2:00 - 3:30p
Bring your unfinished projects, fitting problems, and questions to this informal, hands-on session. If
there are gents in the house, maybe we’ll even learn how to tie a bow tie or
cravat! Period hairstyle advice will also be available if you need to create a hairstyle for tonight’s
dinner dance. Katy’s extensive costume resource library will also be available for research. Please let
us know in advance if you will be attending.
Formal Dinner and Dancing with Dan Gabel and the Nahant Society Orchestra
at the Nahant Country Club, 6:30 - 11:00p
280 Nahant Rd, Nahant, MA 01908
Our formal Dance Holiday begins with a wonderful repast followed by dancing as we meet new friends and catch up
with old ones. Before dinner, enjoy the sunset from the piazza or stroll in the garden while sipping a cocktail;
arrive at 6:30 for cocktails, 6pm if you need to change into your finery, dinner will be served at 7:00p.
We’ll dance the night away to the fabulous live music by Dan Gabel and the Nahant Society Orchestra
playing Ragtime and Jazz for
your dancing pleasure. Those of you who attended the Providence dance week last year will remember Dan and his authentic
Jazz Age sound from the gala 1920s opening ball at the Biltmore hotel.
The musical program will begin with turn-of-the-century tunes during dinner, and gradually progress through the 1910s and 1920s,
concluding with some hot jazz to lift your spirits.
Suggested attire is formal evening wear of any era, with an emphasis on turn of the century through 1920s dress if you so desire.
(Hors d’oeuvres, dinner, cash bar)
Friday, August 11, Nahant, MA
all events at the Nahant Knights of Columbus
17 Relay Yard, Nahant, MA 01908
Costume Class: Ribbon Flower Hair Ornament, with Sue Fischer, 10:00a - 12:00n
Make a new accessory for the ball!
Each person will create a ribbon flower (2" - 3" diameter) and leaf assemblage and attach it to a hair clip or comb (or pin if you like).
Dance Class: The Black Bottom with Idy Codington, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Class fee is $7 and includes 1-1/2" ribbon to make one large flower and leaf, crinoline for mounting, and the clip, comb, or pin. When
registering for the class, please specify your choice of ribbon color (pink, lilac, peach, or blue) and whether you would like a clip, comb,
or pin. Please bring your own sewing supplies (scissors, small needles, and heavy thread).
We encourage you to bring additional trims to decorate your hair ornament; feathers, lace appliques, extra ribbon, decorative buckles or brooches, tassels, etc.
CLASS SIGN UP
In the afternoon Idy will lead us in her ever popular Black Bottom choreography. Idy is delighted to share the choreography
of the dance that people of the 1920s thought would outlast the Charleston... the extremely popular Black Bottom. This fast,
energetic and fabulously fun dance was taught to Idy in almost thirty years ago by Warren Hayes, founding member
of England’s Jiving Lindyhoppers. We have a two hour slot to learn it on Friday afternoon and we will find time and
space to dance it together during the weekend. Come prepared to yell OOO, EEE, AAH, OHHH during the poses and get set to
dance in a way that would scandalize people from the 19th century.
Comfortable clothes and flexible-soled shoes are recommended for the class.
Dance Class: Pivots with Jeanette Watts, 3:15 - 4:30 pm
More details coming soon.
Comfortable clothes and flexible-soled shoes are recommended for the class.
Silent Film, 7:00 - 10:30p
After dinner on your own, we’ll meet back at the Knights of Columbus Hall for a silent film. Upon arrival you can grab a drink and snack and
enjoy a lovely view of the sunset over Boston from the gazebo. The film will be “Zaza” with Gloria Swanson (1923), with live organ
acompaniment by Jeff Rapsiss. Mr. Rapsis recently scored this for the film’s re-release on DVD by Kino Lorber. After the film we will have dancing to recorded music.
Zaza (1923) is a story about famed soubrette Zaza (Gloria Swanson) who dreams of performing in Paris and falling in love. She has her eye on patron
of the arts Bernard Dufresne (H.B. Warner) but her drunk Aunt Rosa (Lucille La Verne) is trying to persuade her niece to snag Duke de Brissac
(Ferdinand Gottschalk) instead (after all he has a nice wine cellar!). Zaza is a temperamental star, quick to bouts of anger and loves
to drive her rival soubrette Florianne (Mary Thurman) mad with jealousy. Both Zaza and Florianne want Bernard but what neither of them
knows is that he’s married and unavailable. However, Bernard can’t help himself and gives into Zaza’s charm. She wins him
over at her French chateau where she is recovering after a fall.
(excerpt from a synopsis at Outofthepastblog)
Saturday, August 12, Nahant, MA.
Vintage Bazaar, 10 am - 12 noon
We will shop ’til we drop at the vintage bazaar. We always have a wide array of vintage items for your shopping pleasure.
In the past we have had period clothing from the 19th and early twentieth centuries, jewelry, hats, books, sewing trims, shoes, and modern reproduction clothing.
Let us know if you wish to reserve a table ($5 fee per table). Email us if you only need a partial table.
Reserve a Table
Dance Class: Mazourka with Jeanette Watts, 1:30 - 2:45p
Learn the basic travelling step for a Mazourka, and several variations. There will be a Mazourka on the programms for Saturday’s Ball..
Dance Class: Ballroom Basics with Ben & Katy Bishop, 3:00 - 4:15p
Nahant Town Hall, 334 Nahant Road, Nahant
The pre-ball beginner workshop will introduce the figures of the Nahant Quadrille, a contra dance called Trip to Nahant,
and we’ll go over the basics of waltz and polka for beginners.
This class is designed for ball attendees who need a basic refresher just before the evening’s ball. Comfortable
clothes and flexible-soled shoes are recommended for the class.
The Grand Ball:
An Evening in Vienna at the Town Hall, 7:30 - 11:00p
Enjoy this evening of 19th century dance
and music evoking the Belle Epoque Vienna of Strauss & Lehar, plus a scrumptious offering of refreshments, at the historic
Town Hall. Music will be by Spare Parts; they will welcome Larry Unger as an additional “Spare Part” tonight!
Spare Parts is honored to be joined by
Larry Unger on bass. Larry is a talented multi-instrumentalist and composer. Liz, Bill
and Eric include many of his tunes in their waltz repertoire.
Dances will be
a mix of Set Dances, the Nahant Quadrilles, Waltzes, Polkas, and Galops from the second half of the 19th century.
There will be a dance card, but there will also be many extra dances not on the card. Suggested attire is evening wear
1860-1900; this is a good venue to accommodate a hoop skirt if you’ve been waiting for the opportunity. Changing space will be available.
(Savory & sweet refreshments, punch, fruit, home-made sorbet)
Sunday, August 13, Nahant, MA.
Nahant Village Church, 27 Cliff St, Nahant
From the Stage to the Dance Hall—dance tunes from popular theatre
Live Concert with Spare Parts, 1:00 - 2:30p
After a morning of shopping, sightseeing, or sleeping-in, we will conclude the Nahant portion of the weekend
with a relaxing afternoon, starting with a concert by Spare Parts featuring music
from the dance hall era.
Some popular dance tunes got their start in the theater. A few came directly, as with dance tunes in Offenbach’s
operettas. Others were cut-and-pasted into quadrille format. In the dance craze of the 1900s, dance rhythms made their
way into many shows and popular tunes. Set aside your dance shoes and let Spare Parts (Liz Stell, Bill Matthiesen, and Eric
Buddington) take you on a trip through theatrical history.
Formal Tea 2:30 - 4:00p
After the concert, we’ll enjoy a Victorian Formal Tea with John Burrow’s famous scones with home-made
jams and fresh whipped cream! To accmpany the scones we will serve hot
tea, with several choices of fresh-brewed black and flavored teas, ice cold lemonade, along with finger sandwiches and fresh fruit.
Informal Dancing, 4:00 - 5:00p
After tea, Spare Parts will return with a program of 19th & early 20th
century tunes for dancing.
5:00 - 6:30p (approx.)
The day will conclude with a seaside promenade to East Point, the former site of the famous Nahant Hotel. There
you can marvel at almost 360-degree views of the rocky shore, open ocean, Boston skyline, lightouses, and more. We
ask that everyone remove their belongings from the venue before the promenade.
Monday, August 14, Nahant, MA.
Museum Tour and Boston Public Garden, tours at 1 and 2 pm
In the afternoon we will meet for tours at 1:00 and 2:00 pm in Boston at the
Gibson House museum; they are opening specially to give us a private tour. The Gibson House
Museum is an historic house museum, located at 137 Beacon Street in the Boston’s Back Bay, preserves the 1860 Victorian rowhouse occupied
by three generations of the Gibson family. The Gibson family had a summer house in Nahant, which is now a privately owned estate near East Point. After
the tour we will stroll in the Boston Public Garden, where we can enjoy the gardens and ride the famous
Swan Boats, which have been in operation since 1877.
On-street parking might be available, or the Boston Common garage is a short walk. You might also take the subway to the Arlington Street Stop on the Green line.
Our events will be taking place in 4 of Nahant’s many historic venues, we will enjoy the town’s lovely scenic views:
The Nahant Country Club
The Nahant Country Club (280 Nahant Road) is housed in the former Frederick Tudor Homestead, built in 1824-25. It became the Nahant Club in 1889
for the use of Nahant’s fashionable Summer colony. It is now a venue for weddings and other special events, and has
tennis courts on the grounds. The building is air conditioned. There is a large, free, parking lot.
Tudor Homestead ca. 1890
The Nahant Knights of Columbus
The Nahant Knights of Columbus (17 Relay Yard,) is located on the shore with a lovely veranda and lawn with gazebo that overlooks
Lynn Harbor and the Boston skyline where you’ll see a spectacular sunset. The building is air-conditioned. There is a large, free, parking lot.
view from the veranda
The Nahant Town Hall (1912)
The Nahant Town Hall (1912), 334 Nahant Road, has been the home of the Nahant
Victorian Ball since it began
over two decades ago. This 1912 building has a lovely main hall with large Palladian
windows on each side to take advantage of cooling sea breezes. There is a parking lot and on-street parking.
Nahant Town Hall ca. 1920
The Nahant Village Church
the oldest church in Nahant. Sunday services were held as early as 1820 in a small stone school-house. The first
church, called the Nahant Church, was built in 1832 as a "Summer Church" for those from Boston who spent their
summers in Nahant. Services were held from the first Sunday in July through Labor Day. Ministers from the Boston
area came to preach, including Rev. Phillips Brooks, rector of Trinity Church in Boston and author of a favorite
Christmas Carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” The
Nahant Church was badly damaged in a storm in the 1850s and was replaced in 1868 by the granite and wood main
sanctuary that is in use today.
East Point ca. 1900
THE MUSIC IN NAHANT
The music for the Nahant events will be provided by Spare Parts: Bill Matthiessen, Liz Stell, and
Eric Buddington. On piano and flute, Bill and Liz play romantic couples dances, hot contras, and
historically accurate programs for Regency (Jane Austen era), Victorian (1860s), Gilded Age
(1890s) and Ragtime. Argentine tangos, milongas, and vals are a special passion of theirs. Liz and Bill
usually play as a trio with violin.
Our Spare Part for the weekend, Eric Buddington, switches
effortlessly between fiddle and violin. He excels at Argentine tangos, waltzes, and milongas; he
also joins Spare Parts for Regency balls, Ragtime balls, and English country dances as well as
contras and concerts. He performs with on The Regency Ballroom and Returning Heroes CDs.
Formerly (and occasionally still) with the Flying Garbanzos, Eric also performs with several
Larry Unger will be joining Spare Parts on Saturday evening playing the bass.
--More information at Spare Parts homepage.
We will be dancing to music of the period. Many of the tunes come from sheet music
dedicated to Nahant,
such as the Nahant Polka and Nahant Quadrilles. If you are interested in enjoying the music ahead of
time, we have produced the Dancing by the Shore CD with Spare Parts.
DINING & LODGING
There are no hotels on Nahant itself, these are the two closest hotels and a B & B with easy access to Nahant:
Other hotels and Bed & Breakfast listings can be found on our Lodging and Dining page.
Hotel Room Block:
We have a room block reserved at a nearby hotel for the dance weekend. You can make your reservations by using the
EVENT CODE: "Nahant Victorian Dance Weekend" and clicking the link below to get a special rate of $169 per night.
Four Points by Sheraton/Boston Logan Airport
407 Squire Rd, Revere, Massachusetts 02151
DIRECT DANCE WEEKEND RESERVATION WEBSITE for Nahant Victorian Dance Weekend has been created.
Guests can access the site to learn more about the event and to book, modify, or cancel a reservation from June 21, 2017 to August 14, 2017.
- Comfort Inn & Suites, 781-485-3600
85 American Legion Highway (Route 60 near 1A), Revere, about 20 minutes away.
- Ocean View B & B, 781-598-6388
email: email@example.com, 11 Ocean Street, Lynn, 10 minutes away
Informal period ambiance.
Frequently Asked Questions
DO I NEED TO BRING A PARTNER?
Though a partner of one’s own is a help at a ball, please don't let the lack of one keep you away!
During the ball, folks mix and dance with many different partners throughout the evening. We also do not Gender
Balance so singles will not be placed on a waiting list. Many singles, both male and female, attend the ball.
Proper 19th Century etiquette encourages dancers to
dance the first and last dance with the person they came with, but to dance with many different partners during the
rest of the evening.
CAN I JUST COME AND WATCH?
The ball is great fun to watch (almost as fun as actually dancing). There is a great view from
the Balcony, something of a Busby Berkeley experience during the Quadrilles and Contra Dances. There is no fee for
watching, but donations are appreciated especially if one wishes to partake in refreshments.
CAN I BRING MY CHILDREN?
Children are welcome at the ball if they are accompanied by an adult, and they must be well behaved and
supervised during the Ball. Younger children, if they wish to participate in the dancing, might be
admitted for a reduced fee.
WHAT TO WEAR? (or do I have to wear Victorian clothes?)
The perennial question that confronts one when getting ready for a ball is "What
shall I wear?" For our vintage Balls, we encourage our patrons to wear dress that is either
period-style or evocative of the period or theme, but modern formal or semi-formal wear is also equally
acceptable. Please don’t let the lack of period or formal clothing keep you away from the ball; the most important thing is
for you to come and enjoy the evening. For this Ball, a modern full-length gown, full enough in the
skirt to allow freedom of movement, would be just fine. For the Gentlemen, a suit and tie is also an
acceptable alternative to white tie and tails or a tuxedo. For those who wish to recreate the mid (1850-60s)
or late (1880-90s) Victorian Era, we have created a guide with illustrations of some of the styles worn during this
time; please visit the Fashion Section for detailed information about
proper period dress and the Costume Timeline for a selection of
evening fashions 1850s-1890s.
WHAT TO WEAR--MORE DETAILS
Period clothing is not required at any of the weekend’s events, we usually have a mix of attendees in period dress
and modern formal or semi-formal wear. Don’t let the lack of period clothing keep you away, wear what make you
comfortable (no jeans or t-shirts please) and enjoy dancing. The following is an
overview of what period dress might be appropriate each day. Remeber that modern dress is welcome at any of the events (no jeans or t-shirts please)
At the formal dinner on Thursday night, the setting will be late 19th century to 1920s, so elegant evening wear, period or modern is
recommended, especially fashions of the styles popular from the 1890s-1920s. But any era of dress is appreciated!
For the Friday evening silent film we recommend early twentieth century fashions.
Costumes of the Victorian era, the 1830s through 1900s are encouraged at Saturday’s ball; full=length skirts that are full enough for dancing,
and low heeled shoes are best for the dance floor. Spike heels can be dangerous.
Summer whites of any era, especially those of the bustle era and early 20th century, and hats, are
encouraged at the concert and tea. The music of the concert will be early 1900s.
Visit the Evening Dress Timeline Page for a selection of evening fashions
from the 1850s-1890s, or the Costume library for a number
of links to pages detailing fashions of various eras.
If you have questions about what to wear don’t hesitate to contact us (email is best):
or call Katy at (781) 49-WALTZ (781-499-2589).
last updated 12 aug 2017/csb