From the Archive: Dancing the night away

by Pat Walker, Local History Archive Research Assistant

From about 1910 to 1914, the ragtime dance craze was in its heyday. Dance halls like the Lindenmeier Lake Pavilion and Ault’s Hall (113 North College Avenue) sprang up to accommodate the demand. With the new craze came new dances — the so-called animal dances like the Turkey Trot, Grizzly Bear, Chicken Scratch, and Bunny Hug.

Not particularly elegant, the animal dances were mostly one step movements, one step per beat, and often included a slouched posture, shoulder shaking, head bobbing, hopping, and a tight embrace that had “proper” society in an uproar. Considering the new dances lewd and immoral, many attempts were made by the “good folk” of Fort Collins to ban the dances — with little success!

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Advertisement for a dance, July 1921

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William Lindenmeier

William Lindenmeier, circa 1911

lake boat house

Lindenmeier Lake Boat House, circa 1920. The dance room was on the second floor above the boat house.

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