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.


Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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10 Responses

  1. Laura says:

    Such a tease. ha

  2. Doe in Mi says:

    This is looking really neat. Anxious to see your next post. The dresses are so pretty.

  3. WenDee LaPlant says:

    Oh how fun! I’ve always wanted to go to this event. Thanks for posting the pics. Wonderful as always.

  4. That is wonderful! How fun! I’m dieing to see pics of you and Harland!!!

  5. JB says:

    Was so anxious to see pictures of you and Harland….and you kept us hanging!!! Looks like great fun.

  6. Lynda M O says:

    Suzanne, what a lovely tine was had. We had a square dance here in our co-op in Dec and it too was an amazing experience. I am so glad that you all had fun and look forward to seeing more photos of the festivities. I just love that you were able to make parts of your costume-all the outfits are grand looking and so brightly colored. I just love it, Thanks soo much for sharing with us.

  7. Oh, it looks like everyone had a grand time!!! Can’t wait see you two turned out in your period best.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Looks like a good time was had by all!
    Looking forward to more pics and a video!

  9. Kathy S. says:

    How exciting! I love the period costumes. I’m sure you and Harland were the best dressed couple there. Looking forward to the rest of your pictures.

  10. Glyndalyn says:

    Awesome! Everyone was having a wonderful time. Looking forward to seeing you and Harland’s picture together. Noticed the quilts on the wall.

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