Newport Dancers' GazettePrevious Issue
The Newport Dancers' Gazette
Newport Dance Week
The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers are pleased to welcome you to our eleventh Newport Vintage Dance Week. We are especially grateful to Portsmouth Abbey School for allowing us to hold the dance week here this year. We hope you enjoy the new site. Information about some other things that are new this year is below. For your information, we share the campus this week with attendees of an Elderhostel conference.
WHICH CLASSES SHOULD I ATTEND?
Those trying vintage dance for the first time, including people with other types of dance experience, are encouraged to take the Beginner level classes, as are those with only a little vintage dance experience. This will help you learn the basic vintage dance steps. Dancers familiar with the basic vintage dance steps may want to try the more advanced classes. The afternoon classes may be attended by dancers of any level (beginners often find the dances of the 1920s and ragtime era easier to pick up than those of the nineteenth century).
We remind you that Vintage Dancers should be security conscious. Please lock your rooms, as the dormitories themselves are not locked. REMEMBER YOUR KEYS!!! Portsmouth Abbey does not have a 24 hr. security office, as Salve Regina did. It will be a hassle if you lock yourself out!
SMOKING & ALCOHOL POLICY
Smoking is not permitted in or near any of the buildings, including dormitory rooms. Alcohol may not be brought into the dining hall.
" The wave of wrath over the 'Turkey Trot' is just receding, though 'modern dances' are still in disrepute. Those who first appeared on dance floors to the stirring strains of Too Much Mustard were depraved beings, and conservatives sighed for the beautiful and discarded waltz, forgetting naturally enough that the waltz, when new, was not considered beautiful&endash;neither it nor the polka, the schottische nor the gavotte, which were the 'modern' and therefore 'scandalous' dances of of 1860! "
Ladies' Home Journal, October 1916
In giving a dance, avoid, if possible, sending invitations to bores - they come without them.
Manners for the Metropolis 1912
"Paris is still tango-mad Tango tea rooms have sprung up as if by magic, and straightaway have become so popular that tables must be engaged a week in advance ."
Harper's Bazar, January 1914
The editor wishes to thank Mr. Robert Chapman for bringing to her attention the existence of a Library of Congress web site of dance manuals and related works at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/dihtml/dihome.html
GREEN ANIMALS TOPIARY TOUR
DINNER TRAIN AND RAGTIME DANCE
The dinner train is scheduled to depart from the Boathouse at 7:00 pm - please do not be late, as you could miss more than the first course! Our private dinner train will pick us up right on campus and transport us along the coast of Narragansett Bay to Newport and back, as we enjoy an elegant dinner and watch the sunset. We suggest Ragtime evening attire for this excursion, as we will have an informal ragtime dance (to tapes) in the gymnasium upon our return at approximately 9:30 p.m.
AN 1890'S BALL AT THE ASTORS'
Wednesday's ball will be held at the Astors' "Beechwood" Mansion. It is located at 580 Bellevue Ave., Newport. To get there from Portsmouth Abbey School: drive down Cory's Lane to Route 114. Turn right on Rte. 114. Go 4-5 miles down Rte. 114. You will pass a plaza on your right with an Ames dept. store and the Ocean State Job Lot. At the next light, you should see a furniture store on the corner. Turn left here onto Valley Road (which is also route 238, though it may not be posted as such). Follow Valley Road/Rte. 238 for several miles. It eventually intersects with Memorial Blvd. which bears right and past Newport's First Beach (on left). Follow Memorial Blvd. up the hill to the first major intersection, which is Bellevue Ave. Turn left on Bellevue Ave. Go approx. 1 1/2 mi. down Bellevue Ave. Beechwood is on the left just after Rosecliff Mansion and just before Marble House. If you get to Marble House, turn around!
Thursday evening provides an informal break between balls as we attend, or not, one of the various house parties scheduled to take place:
The Haunted House Party: Be prepared to be scared (or to pretend to be). We encourage spontaneous reading from Edgar Allen Poe, Wilkie Colins, or other venerable sources of horror - Barbara Pugliese will have copies of suitable stories for anyone who wants to prepare their spontaneous reading. Feel free to make up a horrific (but short) tale - some possible themes are: "The Mansion Tour from Hell," "The Ghost of Portsmouth Abbey," "The Mad Dancing Master," "The Absolutely Very Last Waltz," "The Wallflower's Revenge," etc.
Other house parties will include a Tango/Milonga Evening hosted by Jim Griesemer and Sheryl Ruzek, a Folk Dance Evening hosted by Louis and Loretta Strassler and Joe Delaney, a New Orleans Houseparty hosted by Ralph McDonald&endash;master mixer of the Pimm's Cup. The two dance parties will actually take place in the gymnasium. Locations for the other events will be announced during the week.
ASK MRS. ASTORBILT
Mrs. Astorbilt has again agreed to grace The Gazette with her wit and advice. The following letters are reprints from the Newport Dancers' Gazette Vol. 2 Issue 1 (1995). Mrs. A will grace us with a brand new letter for the 2nd issue.
Dear Mrs. Astorbilt,
I have arrived at Newport with four nice outfits, but my roommate is busily unpacking twenty-five historically correct outfits. Am I grossly unprepared for this dance week?
While Newport Dance Week has about a dozen opportunities to dance, dine and socialize in a historical setting, the clothing for these activities pretty much falls into four classes: nineteenth century evening wear, early twentieth century evening wear, daytime "whites," and a costume. In fact, many people arrive at Newport planning to put together a fancy dress costume during the week, while others wear ordinary evening dress to that ball. I am sure that your four outfits will be quite suitable, though you may end up wearing your daytime outfit several times (there are laundry facilities in every dorm ). A cheerful spirit and a fair attempt (whatever your closet permits) at dress in keeping with the occasion will see you through. By the way, what is your roommate going to do with her other thirteen outfits, and how do you compare in size?
Dear Mrs. Astorbilt,
I brought twenty-five different outfits to Newport this year. My roommate has gone off to the opening party to have fun, while I am still unpacking. Did I overdo it?
Dear Mrs. Astorbilt,
I don't have a set of tails. Should I wear my white dinner jacket or my black tuxedo jacket to the formal balls?
Wear the black. The essence of proper dress, especially for gentlemen, is to avoid being conspicuous. A black jacket or even a dark suit or sport jacket will blend in with the tailcoats of others - a white jacket would stick out like a bandaged thumb.
"Glimpses of Castle House:
The Weight for Age A Queen and a Castle"
Castle House 1914
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