Pulled from the Shelf | The Complete Book of Ballroom Dancing

The Complete Book of Ballroom Dancing. Richard M. Stephenson & Joseph Iaccarino. Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York. 1980. Discarded from the Oktibbeha County Library System.

In 1980, “one of the most interesting social changes in recent years [had] been the ‘return to the ballroom’ by students at colleges and universities throughout the United States” (Preface).

This interesting social change did not capture my attention. You?

Dancing is an integral part of life.


This is one of those books which reminds me there are whole universes out there about which I know nothing, but many know a lot. The history of dance? A distinction between social and other forms? Round dancing was a sin?!? Do tell.

Through a lot of the history discussion– lots of dances come from peasant folk– I had in mind the scene from the wedding reception in Fiddler on the Roof.

All quite interesting. And then we get to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers whose musical comedies really promoted dancing among the riffraff in the days before WWII.

If it’s been a while since you’ve watched one of their movies, do not delay. Watch one. They are beyond wonderful. Truly. I’m fond of Top Hat, but any will do.

And if watching Fred and Ginger puts you in the mood to learn The American Waltz, The Cha-Cha, or The Ballroom Polka, you can order The Complete Book of Ballroom Dancing from Amazon.

3 Responses

  1. I don’t remember the return of ballroom dancing in the 1980’s. I also had 3 small children so I’m not totally sure about my brain function during that decade. My parents were square dancing in the 80’s..and they still are.

    1. I don’t remember it either but I too had little kids. I think they were especially talking about dance clubs on university campuses. Plus, if all you’ve got is a hammer… .

  2. I don’t remember any ballroom dancing in the 1980’s. Of course I had 3 small children so I am not a reliable source of what happened beyond my own life. My parents were square dancing in the 80’s and they still are.

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