The Library of Congress THE LOC.GOV WISE GUIDE
HOME What's Important About Jan. 8? Need a Calendar . . . From 1939? Second Prize Become a Dancing Fool! Cultural Exchange A Brief History of Puerto Rico Some People Call It 'Organized Mayhem.' Others Call It 'Football.'
Become a Dancing Fool!

Have you always wanted to learn ballroom dancing but were too embarrassed to admit in public that you have two left feet?

Thomas Nast, artist. Tweed-le-dee and Tilden-dum. Illustration in Harper's Weekly, July 1, 1876 T. Johnson, engraver, from a photograph by James Notman

Then go to "An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals, ca. 1490-1920," for some free dance lessons in the privacy of your home. First, you can read a "Special Presentation" on the history of Western Social Dance. Then get ready to cut a rug by hitting the Dance Instruction Manuals: Video Directory, where you can watch someone demonstrate how to dance a pavanne or a waltz, or a polka or an esmeralda.

For a guide to "An American Ballroom Companion," visit the Learning Page's companion "Collection Connection." Not only will you find helpful links to the highlights of "An American Ballroom," you will also have an opportunity to work through several activities associated with these materials. These activities from the Learning Page are a great way to introduce younger users to the fascinating resources in American Memory, a Web site of nearly 8 million items from the collections of the Library of Congress.


A. "The Dancing-master: or, The Art of Dancing Explained ... In Two Parts ... The Whole Containing Sixty Figures Drawn from the Life, and Curiously Engraved on Copper Plates. Done from the French of Monsieur Rameau," by J. Essex ... London, 1728. Music Division. Reproduction information: Call No.: GV1590 .R4; digital ID musdi 143

B. "How to Dance. A Complete Ball-room and Party Guide. Containing All the Latest Figures, Together with Old-fashioned and Contra Dances Now in General Use. Also, a Guide to Ballroom Etiquette, Toilets and General Useful Information for Dancers," New York, Tousey & Small, 1878. Music Division. Reproduction information: Call No.: GV1751 .H8; digital ID: musdi 098

The Library of Congress | Contact Us