M2001X.6.58 | Windsor Hall Wednesday, November 8th 1911

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Dance card
Windsor Hall Wednesday, November 8th 1911
1911, 20th century
12.5 x 7 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Dance card (154)
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Keys to History

This dance card lists the dances at a ball, with the signatures of gentlemen who have reserved them. The waltz and the two-step, which made its appearance in the late 19th century, predominate.

A very strict dancing étiquette applied to society balls. A young man could not ask the same young woman to dance more than twice in a row. A lady must not refuse to dance with one gentleman and then accept the invitation of another. The man had to salute, hold out his hand and then his right arm to his partner for the next dance, before walking about the ballroom while waiting for the music to begin.

All these rules of conduct shaped the behaviour of the upper classes between the middle of the 19th century and the first third of the 20th.

  • What

    This dance card is from a ball given under the patronage of the Duke of Connaught, governor general at the time, and his wife, who were accompanied by well-known personalities of the day.

  • Where

    The ballroom was the place to show off one's talent as a dancer, mastery of étiquette and latest finery.

  • When

    This dance card is from a ball held at Windsor Hall on Wednesday, November 8, 1911.

  • Who

    From the 15th century on, dancing masters published manuals to teach the latest steps; many such books were published in the 19th century.