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Nahant Victorian Dance Weekend

This page has all the information and links needed for the dance weekend. Use the links to the left to jump to different topics on the page, and other NEVAS main pages.

2018 Nahant Schedule Overview

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Follow the link above to register for the weekend.
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Thursday, August 9

10:00 am to 12 noonCostume Workshop: Sewing Circle (Katy Bishop)Nahant Knights of Columbus
1:00 to 3:00 pmDance Class: Period Waltz Rhythms Nahant Knights of Columbus
3:30 to 4:45 pmDance Class: Mixers and Set DancesNahant Knights of Columbus
6:30 to 11:00 pmSilent Film with organist Jeff Rapsiss Nahant Knights of Columbus

Friday, August 10

10:00 am to 12 noonCostume Workshop: Beaded tassel (small fee)
(Sue Fischer & Katy Bishop)
Nahant Knights of Columbus
1:00 to 3:00 pmDance Class: One Step and Two StepNahant Knights of Columbus
3:30 to 4:45 pmDance Class: The Tango
with Chris Ricciotti and Katy Bishop
Nahant Knights of Columbus
6:30 to 11:00 pmFormal Dinner and Dancing
with the Nahant Society Orchestra featuring Dan Levinson
Nahant Country Club

Saturday, August 11

10:00 am to 12:30 pmVintage Bazaar (contact us to reserve a table)
Nahant Town Hall
1:30 to 2:45 pmDance Class: The Schottische
Nahant Town Hall
3:00 to 4:15 pm Nahant Quadrille & Ballroom Basics, Ben BishopNahant Town Hall
7:30 to 11:00 pmGrand Ball: An Evening in Vienna
with Spare Parts
Nahant Town Hall

Sunday, August 12

1:00 to 5:00 pmAfternoon Tea, Concert and Promenade
Nahant Village Church
1:00 to 2:30 pmConcert: A Trip to Argentina
with Spare Parts
Nahant Village Church
2:30 to 4:00 pmFormal Afternoon TeaNahant Village Church
4:00 to 5:00 pmInformal Dancing with Spare PartsNahant Village Church
5:00 to 6:30 pmVictorian Promenade to East PointNahant Village Church

Monday, August 13

10:00 amFabric Shopping at Zimman's
80 Market St., Lynn, MA

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. We will probably try and organize a trip Monday morning after breakfast and before many of our dancers head off to Providence for Summer by the Sea. For those of you unfamiliar with Zimman’s, it has an impressive array of high-end decorator fabrics in silks, linens, wools, and cottons - all perfect for period costuming. Their basement clearance section can offer some huge discounts.


2018 Nahant Vintage Dance Weekend Full Schedule

Thursday, August 9
Nahant Knights of Columbus
17 Relay Yard, Nahant, MA 01908

sewing Costume Workshop: Sewing Circle, 10:00 am - 12 noon
with Katy Bishop

Join us in a sewing circle as we finish our outfits for the weekend.

Lunch: Noon - 1:00 pm
Dine on your own or save time and stay at the hall and order pizza (sign up to share pizza from Tides). To order pizza, use the link to the right, pizza choices are: cheese, chicken Caesar salad pizza, pepperoni, or veggie with red peppers and onions. Select the number of slices you want to order; feel free to make multiple selections. A selection of beverages and munchies will be available.

Thursday Lunch

Dance Class: Period Waltz Rhythms 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Chris Ricciotti & Katy Bishop
More details coming soon.

Dance Class: Mixers and Set Dances, 3:15 - 4:30 pm
More details coming soon. Comfortable clothes and flexible-soled shoes are recommended for the classes.

Silent Film & Informal Dancing, 7:00 - 11:00p
nahant ball After dinner on your own, we’ll meet back at the Knights of Columbus 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. Light movie themed refreshments will be served, and the film will be followed by informal dancing to recorded music. what shall we wear to the cinema
The film will be “Show People” with Marion Davies (1928), with live organ acompaniment by Jeff Rapsiss. Before and after the film we will have dancing to recorded music from various eras.


Friday, August 10
all events at the Nahant Knights of Columbus
17 Relay Yard, Nahant, MA

Costume Class: 10:00 am - 12 noon
Beaded Tassel, with Sue Fischer & Katy Bishop

In this class we will make a beaded tassel. We will start with a large wooden bead that we will cover with seed beads; then we will add strands of beads to make a tassel suitable for use on a gown, handbag, or hat.
I recommend using black, white, clear, or silver beads for your base color, and accenting with contrasting or harmonizing colors of your choice, for an authentic look. However, if you’ve always wanted a purple or green tassel for that special outfit, then go for it!

Class cost: $8 to cover the cost of the room and supplies. Please bring embroidery scissors if you have them. We will furnish beads, beading needles, and thread. You are welcome to bring your own seed beads (preferably size #11) and any accent beads you wish to use. You can add pearls and/or crystals for extra sparkle.

Beaded Tassel Class

Lunch: Noon-1:00 pm
Dine on your own or save time and stay at the hall and order a sandwich from Panera for $10 (must be pre-ordered). A selection of beverages and munchies will be available for those who order lunch. To order a sandwich, use the link to the right, sandwich choices are:
Ham & Swiss, Bacon Turkey Bravo, Napa Almond chicken salad, Mediterranean veggie

Friday Lunch

Dance Class: One-Step and Two-Step, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Comfortable clothes and flexible-soled shoes are recommended for the class.

Dance Class: The Tango with Chris Ricciotti & Katy Bishop, 3:15 - 4:30 pm
The Tango. Prepare to be a prowling jungle cat, moving across the dance floor to steamy vintage tunes.
Comfortable clothes and flexible-soled shoes are recommended for the class. Comfortable clothes and flexible-soled shoes are recommended for the class.

Seaside Syncopation: Formal Dinner & Dancing with Dan Levinson and the Nahant Society Orchestra
at the Nahant Country Club, 6:30 - 11:00 pm
280 Nahant Rd, Nahant, MA 01908

nahant ball Our formal Dance Holiday really takes off with a wonderful repast followed by dancing as we meet new friends and catch up with old ones. Before dinner, enjoy hors d’oeuvres while watching the sunset from the piazza, or stroll in the garden while sipping a cocktail (cash bar); dinner will be served at 7:00 pm. arrive at 6:30 pm for cocktails, 6:00 pm if you need to change into your finery.
nahant ball We’ll then dance the night away to fabulous live music by the Nahant Dance Orchestra playing Ragtime and Jazz for your dancing pleasure. Our orchestra includes world renowned band leader Dan Levinson on clarinet and saxophone; Sue Fischer, drums; Dan Gabel, trombone; Jan Frenkel, piano; Jeff Hughes, cornet; Justin Meyer, bass.
The musical program will begin with turn-of-the-century tunes 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 in keeping with the spirit of the evening.)


Saturday, August 11

Vintage Bazaar, 10 am - 12 noon
Location TBD

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 nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, jewelry, hats, books, sewing trims, shoes, and modern reproduction clothing.
Veronica McClure will join us once again with a special fund-raiser sale entitled Veronica’s Attic. She’ll be bringing clothing, shoes, accessories—everything needed for your vintage dance wardrobe.
Let us know if you wish to reserve a table ($10 fee per table/$5 half table). Email us if the cost is a hardship, if you only have a few items, or you have free items to trade.

Reserve a Table

Lunch: Noon-1:00 pm
Dine on your own or save time and stay at the hall and order a sandwich from Panera for $10 (must be pre-ordered). A selection of beverages and munchies will be available for those who order lunch. To order a sandwich, use the link to the right, sandwich choices are:
Ham & Swiss, Bacon Turkey Bravo, Napa Almond chicken salad, Mediterranean veggie

Saturday Lunch


Dance Class1:30 - 2:45p
Schottische with Jeanette Watts


Dance Class: Ballroom Basics with Ben, Katy & Nick 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
nahant ball 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. nahant ball
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 12, Nahant, MA.
Nahant Village Church, 27 Cliff St, Nahant

nahant ball A Trip to Argentina
Live Concert with Spare Parts, 1:00 - 2:30p

After a morning of shopping, sightseeing, or sleeping-in, we will conclude our weekend with a relaxing afternoon, starting with a concert by Spare Parts featuring music with an Argentinian flare.
Set aside your dance shoes and let Spare Parts (Liz Stell, Bill Matthiesen, and Eric Buddington) take you on a trip through musical history.

Formal Tea 2:30 - 4:00p
nahant teaAfter 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.
Victorian Promenade, 5:00 - 6:30p (approx.)
The day will conclude with a seaside promenade to East Point, the former site of the famous Nahant Hotel. For our promenade we will walk from the Village Church, down Nahant road, past Forty Steps Beach, Canoe Beach, and several historic estates. We will progress to the easternmost point of Nahant, to Lodge Memorial Park, the site of one of the first summer resorts in the United States and the Nahant Hotel. There you can marvel at almost 360° views of the rocky shore, open ocean, Boston skyline, lighthouses, and more. We ask that everyone remove their belongings from inside the church before the promenade; you may leave your car parked at the church. We recommend sturdy walking shoes and a parasol, and don’t forget your camera!

nahant ball


Monday, August 13, Nahant, MA.

shopping Fabric Shopping at Zimman’s, Lynn, MA, 10 am

Monday morning we will head over for a quick trip to Zimman’s Fabric Store in Lynn (80 Market St.), a shop full of the most exquisite decorator fabrics, silks, wools, linens, and cottons that are perfect for period ensembles.

nahant ball


Our events will be taking place in several of Nahant’s many historic venues where we will enjoy the town’s lovely scenic views, sea breezes and step back in time.

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.

tudor residence

view from the veranda

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 residence

Tudor Homestead ca. 1890

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 almost three 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.

town hall

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. On-street parking is available.

village church

East Point and Lodge Park

East Point is home to Lodge Memorial Park, the site of one of the first summer resorts in the United States and former location of the the Nahant Hotel, and the Northeastern University Marine Science Center. There one can see the Boston skyline, Graves light, and almost 360 views around Boston Harbor.
This site has a very interesting history. The Nahant House was built in the early 19th century, and was the place to go in the Summer for relaxation and entertainment. The hotel burned in 1860. Later the land was home to grand summer estates, including that of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, whose ice house still remains today. During WWII the army built bunkers, watch towers, and gun batteries on the point in case of enemy invasion. The Bunkers are now covered with trees and brush and are used as research space. In the 1960s the government gave the land to Northeastern University and they now have a Marine Sciene Research Center there. In the 1988 Lodge Memorial Park was dedicated; the Park was created using fill from Boston’s “Big Dig” project.

East Point

East Point showing the Lodge Estate, early 20th Century



Katy Bishop

Katy Bishop, event coordinator, dance instructor, and costume class instructor, is a Nahant native and an avid flower sprayvintage dance enthusiast. She and her husband, Ben, have been organizing the Nahant Victorian dance weekends for more than 25 years; they will be co-teaching the Ballroom Basics class before the Grand Ball; she will also be assisting Chris Ricciotti. Her Viennese mother passed on her dressmaking skills, love of dance, and sense of fun, and her father from Budapest instilled in her a love of history and a desire to preserve her family’s heritage. She came to vintage dance for the costumes—but stayed for the dancing. Her hair, at a length of more than four feet, is the perfect accessory for Victorian ensembles.1910 hat She is currently an independent costume historian, vintage dressmaker, vintage dancer, long-time member of The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers, & mother of three kids who are developing a love of costuming, dance, and appreciation of the humor in life. Ben and Katy’s son Nick has become an avid vintage dancer and musician, much to the delight of his parents.

Ben Bishop

Ben Bishop Ben Bishop, event co-host, prompter, dance teacher, and dancemaster for the Grand Ball, has been involved in Vintage Dance with his wife Katy for over 25 years. In the real world he is a software engineer. Dear to his heart is seeing the humor in life and appreciating sarcasm, a fact that will not surprise anyone who knows him; as he has taught his three children: Sarcasm is your friend. And, as everyone should know: Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks auditioned a Polka Redowa; dance and humor go hand in hand (or rather foot in foot).

Idy Codington

Idy Codington, researches and recreates historic Spanish and Native American dance for Theater with a Mission in Tallahassee, FL; sue fischer a small company which produces Spanish Golden-Age plays in English peppered with Spanish. With an MA in American Dance Studies from FSU, Idy performs, teaches, choreographs, and recon-structs the dances of America’s past. She has danced professionally with The Ohio Ballet, toured the US and the world with the Kamikaze Jitterbugs, and danced and taught as a member of the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers. Idy is happily married and enjoys living and dancing in Tallahassee.

Sue Fischer

Sue Fischer, grew up in a family of craftspeople and will try almost any new craft once, but prefers embroidery, beadwork, and ribbon flower making. sue fischer She started collecting vintage clothing, lace, and trim in 1980, and was happy to find a use for all of it when she started working at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome and discovered vintage dance in 1986. After spending 5 years in New Orleans and 5 years in Chicago, she now lives within driving distance of Nahant and is excited about sharing vintage sewing techniques with her friends.

Chris Ricciotti

Chris Ricciotti Over 35 years of calling, organizing and leadership experience in traditional dance. Founder of the Lavender Country & Folk Dancers (LCFD), 1988, a community of gender-free dancing around New England and the US. His specialties are creating a warm, inviting and inclusive environment for dancers of all levels and ages, from first time dancers, to more experienced crowds with clear and patient instruction. His goal in dance leadership is to bring the enjoyment of a fun, social and interactive dance experience for all. He enjoys dancing a lot of different dance styles, which gives him a large repertoire to draw from. Though much of his focus is New England Contra & Square dancing, he also enjoys teaching and dancing International Folk dances, English & Scottish Country Dancing, Scandinavian turning couple dancing, as well as programs of historical, Vintage, and couple dances. Though not a regular musician, enjoys playing the melodeon occasionally for English, Contra, International, couple dances and Morris dancing.

Jeanette Watts

Jeanette Watts, has been performing, learning, and teaching a wide variety of dance forms since 1986. She discovered Vintage Dance upon moving to Ohio, Jeanette Watts and fell in love with it. She has studied with some of the world’s best teachers at the Flying Cloud Academy of Vintage Dance, the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers, Stanford University, New Orleans Dance Week, Prague in the Czech Republic, and Provence, France. She spent 14 years performing with the Forget-Me-Not Historical Dance Company, and has founded her own non-profit organization, the Terpsichorean Delights Dance Assembly, which teaches dances from the Renaissance to the present. She is the founder and director of four dance groups: Raks Devi (belly dance), Madame Gigi’s Outrageous French Cancan Dancers, the Terpsichorean Delights Dance Assembly, and Hard Core Vintage. She is also the new director for the Dayton Liederkranz-Turner. She had no idea she knew much about German dances until she looked at the troupe’s dance manual.



Spare Parts

About the band
spare parts 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 other ensembles.
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.


Nahant Dance Orchestra

On Friday night we will be enjoying Seaside Syncopation as we dance to the LIVELY rhythms of the Nahant Society Orchestra. We’ll enjoy period dance music from our 6 piece orchestra as they take us through the early 20th century, with tunes from the early 1900s during dinner, and music of the 1910s and 1920s during the ball.
Our band includes: band leader Dan Levinson on clarinet/saxophone, Sue Fischer on drums, Jan Frenkel on piano, Dan Gabel on trombone, Jeff Hughes on cornet, and Justin Meyer on bass.
About the band
Equally at home as both leader and sideman, Dan Levinson’s roster of musical associates includes such names as Mel Tormé, Wynton Marsalis and Dick Hyman. Originally from Los Angeles, Dan has been based in New York since 1983, although his busy schedule often takes him across the continent and around the world. He has performed in Brazil with filmmaker Woody Allen’s band, as well as in Japan, Iceland, Latvia, and eighteen European countries.
From 1990 to 2002 Dan toured with singer/guitarist Leon Redbone. Since 1993 he has been a member of Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, with whom he has appeared at Carnegie Hall, on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion radio program. Dan’s successful Benny Goodman tributes have been presented both on the East Coast with James Langton’s New York All-Star Big Band—NYC’s preeminent swing orchestra—and throughout Germany with Andrej Hermlin’s Swing Dance Orchestra. Dan has recorded over 150 CDs, including nine under his own name. He can be heard on the soundtracks to the films The Cat’s Meow, Ghost World, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, and Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, as well as on virtually all of the newly recorded music used on the soundtrack of the Grammy Award-winning HBO television series Boardwalk Empire, which ran from 2010 to 2014.
Sue Fischer began playing drums in 2005 while living in New Orleans. Her first paying gig, at the Miss New Orleans Pageant, was cancelled due to the band’s evacuating the city in advance of Hurricane Katrina. She has studied with jazz legends Hal Smith and Wayne Jones, and founded the Audacity Brass Band of New Orleans in 2008. She plays at the annual Armistice Ball in Morristown, NJ, along with Dan Levinson and friends.
Jan Frenkel, grandson of the prominent Ukrainian violinist and composer, is a renowned Connecticut pianist, well versed in the players of the 20s and 30s. At 6’ 9”, he barely fits his knees under the piano. Jan has played with Dan Levinson bands at the Hot Steamed Jazz Festival in the past.
Dan Gabel has been passionate about music since first hearing the sounds of Beethoven to Big Bands at the age of three. By age thirteen, Dan began his professional music life playing trombone in local Big Bands. In 2009, Dan was hired to play trombone with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, enjoying a year-long gig that included 46 states, Canada and an extensive tour of Japan. He worked as an arranger for the Miller band and served as the band historian. Dan also has his own big band, “Dan Gabel and The Abletones.”
Jeff Hughes is an American traditional jazz cornet player. Hughes plays and records with several bands including The Wolverine Jazz Band, The Paramount Jazz Band, The Brahmin Bellhops and has also extensively recorded with banjoist Jimmy Mazzy. Jeff has made a name for himself as a Bix-styled cornet player and disciple of Bunny Berigan in the Boston area with the Wolverine Jazz Band, Dave Whitney Orchestra, Dan Gabel and the Abletones, and numerous other groups.
Justin Meyer earned a Master’s Degree from the Longy School of Music, where he studied with Charlie Binacos. He attended the Berklee School of Music and holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is on the faculties of Brookline Music School, Indian Hill Music, and The Concord Conservatory. He also performs frequently at Boston Swing Central with his own band, The Meyertet, and other groups.



There are no hotels on Nahant itself, these are the two closest hotels and a B & B with easy access to Nahant, there are also many Air B & B listings in Nahant, Lynn, Swampscott, and Marblehead within easy driving distance of Nahant. Please email us if you have any questions.

Hotel Room Block:
We have two room blocks reserved at two nearby hotels for the dance weekend. The Sheraton Four Points room block is no longer available($169 single/$179 double occupancy) and The Boston Marriott Peabody ($159 per night, rate available through July 12)

Room Block deadline extended

Hotel Block deadline for the Boston Marriot Peabody (8A Centennial Drive) has been extended to July 16. VERY Limited availability.
Use the WEB LINK to register online or call 978-977-9700.

407 Squire Rd, Revere, Massachusetts 02151
Phone: 781-284-7200
$169 (king or double)/$179 double occupancy, rate available through July 13
You can make your reservations by using the
EVENT CODE: “Nahant Victorian Dance Weekend”
8A Centennial Drive, Peabody, Massachusetts 01960
Phone: 978-977-9700
$159 per night, rate available through July 12
You can make your reservations by using the
EVENT CODE: “Nahant Victorian Weekend Room Block Aug2018” Use the WEB LINK to register online or call 978-977-9700.
  • 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:, 11 Ocean Street, Lynn, 10 minutes away
    Informal period ambiance.
  • Other hotels and Bed & Breakfast listings can be found on our Lodging and Dining page.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    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 events. 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.

    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. If you wish to watch the promenade come to East Point, along Nahant Road and Canoe Beach after 5PM Sunday. Be aware, if you are coming from out of town, there is no public parking in Nahant. Weekend attendees will be allowed to park at the event venues, you will get a parking placard upon arrival. Parking restrictions are strongly enforced, especially during beach season.

    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. We will not be providing any special children’s activities or supervision.

    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 the evening events, dress of the era is popular but we also have many attendees in modern dress. See below for suggestions for period dress.
    For those who wish to recreate the 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. For the dinner dance, the era is early twentieth century, long flowy gowns, in styles evocative of 1900-1930, and Tailcoats or tuxedos for the gents. Modern formal dresses and suits are also appropriate. For afternoon events, in addition to full period dress, of any era, summer day wear, dresses, in modern styles for the ladies and button up shirts and slacks for the gents is appropriate.

    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 makes 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.
    1890s ladies 1890s ladies Dress for classes: There is no need to wear period dress for classes, but you may dress in period clothing if you wish. If we weren’t running around organizing the event we would probably be dressing in period wear all weekend.
    Thursday Silent Film:For the Thursday evening silent film we recommend early twentieth century fashions, or something inspired by a silent film. The music Thursday night will be mixed eras so plan your shoes accordingly. Moderate heels or flats are probably best for ladies, dance oxfords for the gents.
    Friday Dinner Dance:Friday night, the setting will be late 1900 to 1920s, so elegant evening wear, period or modern is recommended, especially fashions of the styles popular from the 1890s-1930s. But any era of dress is appreciated! Moderate heels are probably best for ladies, dance oxfords for the gents.
    Saturday Evening Grand Ball:Costumes of the Victorian era, 1830s through 1900 are encouraged at Saturday’s ball; full-length skirts that are full enough for dancing, and low heeled ballet slipper style shoes are best for the 19th century dance floor. Spike heels can be dangerous.
    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.
    Sunday Tea and Promenade: There is no set era for the Sunday events. Most attendees wear summer day wear from a variety of eras, we might have an 1870s bustle dress standing next to a 1920s flapper or a lady in a modern sun dress. Fashions of the bustle era and early 20th century are especially popular. Gents wear suits in a variety of styles, but a button up shirt is fine, especially if the weather is hot. Choose your favorite era, vintage or modern, we just ask that you don't wear jeans, shorts, or t-shirts. Also bring shoes appropriate for a promenade as you may wish to walk on the rocks at East Point.

    1850s couple 1870s ladies 1890s ladies 1899 tailcoat 1919 tailcoat 1910 daywear ladies

    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 3 aug 2018/csb