Kansas Statehood Ball

Saturday night in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, there were dapper gents in suits with tails, lovely ladies in sweeping ballgowns, and a string quartet playing mid 19th century dance tunes. It was the 3rd annual Flint Hills Victorian Dance Society’s Statehood Ball. There were probably 50 couples there dancing the waltz, contra, polka, and reel. And all ages were represented, from very young kids dancing the old dances for the first time, up to the young at heart who for one evening danced as though they were young again. The clothing was mixed – most couples wore 1860s and 70s period attire, but those who could not obtain clothing from that time period wore thrift store bridesmaid’s dresses or tux.

No one seemed to notice though as the couples skipped, hopped, and twirled their way across the dance floor.




Swishing ladies skirts, stomping feet, fiddlers playing, and laughter were the sounds to be heard throughout the evening.


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For Harland and me, this was our first period ball, and while we had dressed in 1860s attire, we had no clue how to do the 1860s dances. But there was an instruction period before the ball started, and before each dance the different dance steps were reviewed and practiced. And so we tried our best, and if we couldn’t remember how to complete a dance step, we winged it and laughed our way through. As midnight approached, we said our goodbyes, and walked down the quiet brick street of Cottonwood Falls toward our little motel at the edge of the Cottonwood River.

Behind us the dancing continued past midnight and into the wee hours…..

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Harland took lots of pics, and I got some video too. Soon, I’ll have more pics to share, including ones of us, and video too.

Stay tuned.

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