From the Archive: Shall We Dance?

by Lesley Drayton, Curator of the Local History Archive

It’s always fun to come across little bits of personal ephemera here in the archive; I especially enjoy viewing items that I’m certain the original owner never imagined would end up saved in a museum.

Dance cards are great examples of this. The Local History Archive has many of these diminutive booklets that were carried by attendees at formal balls to keep track of dance partners during the evening. Dance cards also served as sweet souvenirs of a fun event; many cards have decorative covers and pages that reveal the date, location, sponsors, and even chaperones of the ball.

The dance card below is from the Kappa Alpha Theta Midwinter Dance that took place on February 12, 1932. The card still has the wrist cord with a tiny pencil attached. It appears that “Joan” was the favored partner of this dancer.

Kappa dance card

Kappa dance card

Kappa dance card, inside view

Kappa dance card, inside view

Dorothy Bunn’s card is from the Spring Dinner Dance sponsored by the Tau of Gamma Phi Beta. This dance occurred on May 16, 1931 at the famous Lewiston Hotel in Estes Park. Tragically, the hotel burned on September 4, 1941 and was never rebuilt.

Dorothy Bunn's dance card

Dorothy Bunn's dance card

Lewiston Hotel

Lewiston Hotel

Finally, this beanie-shaped dance card is from the Class of ’35 Frosh Party at Colorado Agricultural College (present-day Colorado State University) that took place January 8, 1932. A page on the interior reveals that Donelly James was on hand that evening, “dispensing melodies.”

Class of '35 Frosh Party dance card, Colorado Agricultural College

Class of '35 Frosh Party dance card, Colorado Agricultural College

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2 Responses to “From the Archive: Shall We Dance?”


  1. 1 robyn June 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    I’ve always wondered what a dance card looked like… thanks for showing me!


  1. 1 Yr all up in me dance crd « And Also That Trackback on October 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm
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