Saturday, August 23, 2008

Women's Accessories for a Ball

The woman wears her most elaborate evening wrap to the ball. Soft materials in light shades are suggested, with trimmings of fur for the winter months. A wrap of old blue or old rose velvet with a collar of white fog is becoming and attractive when it is within one's means. But the simple wrap of cloth, untrimmed, is certainly better taste for the woman whose means are limited. However, discrimination should be shown in the selection of lines and colors. A simple wrap, well-cut, and of fine material in a becoming shade, is as appropriate and effective as a wrap completely of fur. For the woman who must dress economically a dark loose coat of black satin is serviceable for many occasions.

Hats are never worn to the ball. A shawl or scarf of fine lace may be thrown over the hair and shoulders. Or a smaller shawl may be tied merely around the head. Satin pumps are worn, usually with buckle trimmings; and long gloves of white silk or kid, or in a color to match the gown, complete the outfit.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What a Gentleman Wears to the Ball

In summer, the gentleman may wear a complete suit of gray with a white duck waistcoat and light linen to the afternoon dance, completing his costume with black patent leather shoes or oxford ties, light gray gloves, and straw hat with black and white band. But whether it be for summer or winter, the dark suit is always better taste.

It may be of serge, twillet or homespun, preference being given always to the conventional navy blue serge. Double-Breasted models are appropriate for the young man; single-breasted for the older. Light linen and bright ties are in full accordance with the gay colors worn by the women at the dance. The coat may be the ordinary unlined, straight hanging overcoat of thin material in a light color, or it may be an attractive full belted raglan coat of tan or brown fleece. In either case it is worn with the conventional afternoon hat of the season.

How to Walk Across a Ballroom

If you analyze the precepts laid down by etiquette you will find that for each there is a perfectly good reason. Years ago a lady never walked across a ballroom floor without the support of a gentleman's arm, which was much easier than walking alone across a very slippery surface in high-heeled slippers. When the late Ward McAllister classified New York society as having four hundred people who were "at ease in a ballroom," he indicated that the ballroom was the test of the best manners. He also said at a dinner—after his book was published and the country had already made New York's "Four Hundred" a theme for cartoons and jests—that among the "Four hundred who were at ease," not more than ten could gracefully cross a ballroom floor alone. If his ghost is haunting the ballrooms of our time, it is certain the number is still further reduced. The athletic young woman of to-day strides across the ballroom floor as though she were on the golf course; the happy-go-lucky one ambles—shoulders stooped, arms swinging, hips and head in advance of chest; others trot, others shuffle, others make a rush for it. The young girl who could walk across a room with the consummate grace of Mrs. Oldname (who as a girl of eighteen was one of Mr. McAllister's ten) would have to be very assiduously sought for.

How does Mrs. Oldname walk? One might answer by describing how Pavlowa dances. Her body is perfectly balanced, she holds herself straight, and yet in nothing suggests a ramrod. She takes steps of medium length, and, like all people who move and dance well, walks from the hip, not the knee. On no account does she swing her arms, nor does she rest a hand on her hip! Nor when walking, does she wave her hands about in gesticulation.

Some one asked her if she had ever been taught to cross a ballroom floor. As a matter of fact, she had. Her grandmother, who was a Toplofty, made all her grandchildren walk daily across a polished floor with sand-bags on their heads. And the old lady directed the drill herself. No shuffling of feet and no stamping, either; no waggling of hips, no swinging of arms, and not a shoulder stooped. Furthermore, they were taught to enter a room and to sit for an indefinite period in self-effacing silence while their elders were talking.

Older gentlemen still give their arms to older ladies in all "promenading" at a ball, since the customs of a lifetime are not broken by one short and modern generation. Those of to-day walk side by side, except in going down to supper when supper is at a set hour.

At public balls when there is a grand march, ladies take gentlemen's arms.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ballroom Dancing: Public Dances

Very often public dances are given in honor of some special occasion or a celebrated guest. They are very much like private dances, except that a specially appointed committee fulfills the position and duties of the hostess. At most public balls, the committee is composed of men and women who wear badges to indicate their position, and who stand at the door to receive and welcome each guest. These men and women do not dance the first dance, but wait until later in the evening when they are quite sure that all the guests have arrived; and then they are always back at their duty during the intervals between dances.

When a public ball is given in honor of some special person, that person should be met on his arrival and immediately introduced to the women on the reception committee and escorted to the seat reserved for him. He should be attended throughout the evening, introduced to everyone he does not know, and all his wants carefully taken care of. When he departs, he should be escorted to his carriage, and if he is a celebrated personage thanked for his presence--although truly cultured gentlemen prefer not to have this honor paid them.

Asking for an Invitation to a Ball

It is always permissible to ask a hostess if you may "bring" a dancing man who is a stranger to her. It is rather difficult to ask for an invitation for an extra girl, and still more difficult to ask for older people, because the hostess has no ground on which she can refuse without being rude; she can't say there is no room since no dance is really limited, and least of all a ball. Men who dance are always an asset, and the more the better; but a strange young girl hung around the neck of the hostess is about as welcome as a fog at a garden party. If the girl is to be brought and "looked after" by the lady asking for the invitation—who has herself been already invited—that is another matter, and the hostess can not well object. Or if the young girl is the fiancĂ©e of the man whose mother asks for the invitation, that is all right too; since he will undoubtedly come with her and see that she is not left alone. Invitations for older people are never asked for unless they are rather distinguished strangers and unquestionably suitable.

Invitations are never asked for persons whom the hostess already knows, since if she had cared to invite them she would have done so. It is, however, not at all out of the way for an intimate friend to remind her of some one who in receiving no invitation has more than likely been overlooked. If the omission was intentional, nothing need be said; if it was an oversight, the hostess is very glad to repair her forgetfulness.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

When a Guest Does Not Dance

Always at a dance, formal or informal, there are guests who do not dance. Usually they are men, for there is rarely a woman who does not know the steps of the latest dances--that is, if she ever does accept invitations at all. But "the guest who does not dance" is one of the unfortunate things the hostess has to put up with at every one of her dances.

And there is rarely ever an excuse for it. Every man who mingles in society at all, who enjoys the company of brilliant women and attractive young ladies, who accepts the invitations of hostesses, is failing in his duty when he offers as an excuse the fact that he doesn't know how to dance for there are sufficient schools of dancing in every city and town where the latest steps can be learned quickly.

If for any reason, a gentleman does not know how to dance, and does not want to learn, he may make up for it by entertaining the chaperons while their charges are dancing--conversing with them, walking about with them and escorting them to the refreshment table, and altogether show by his kind attentiveness that he realizes his deficiency and wishes to make up for it. To lounge in the dressing-room, smoking and chatting with other gentlemen is both unfair to the hostess and essentially rude in the matter of ballroom etiquette. The true gentleman would rather decline an invitation than be unfair to his hostess and her guests in this respect.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Hesitation Waltz

The dancers assume the ordinary plain Waltz position. Then the man steps back with the right foot, taking two steps on two counts, alternating the right and left foot; then he moves forward two steps--right foot, left foot--again allowing each step to fill in one count of the music. Thus, to be very explicit, four counts have been occupied, but the steps should not be directly forward and backward, leaving you in the same position; you should turn and travel just a little. For the next two counts the gentleman allows his weight to rest on his left foot. This creates the sense of hesitation in the dance which has given it its name.

The lady starts forward--left, right, and back left, right--finally holding her weight on the right foot through the fifth and sixth counts. Then she goes back on her left foot for the next part of the step--left, right, and then forward, left, right--finally holding her weight as before on the two last counts. I might add here that a great many people start with the hesitating steps and finish with the Waltz. That is a matter of preference.

This measure could be continued indefinitely. By counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and holding or hesitating the 5, 6, you can't very well go wrong; and you are doing the Hesitation Waltz.

Of course, were this all, it would be a very tiresome dance. So you vary it slightly by doing either two or three' ordinary Waltz measures--or some of the figures I am about to explain or some of your own. After you have a rough idea of this first step, I advise you to cease counting and try to do the hesitation when the music seems to "ask it"--if you know what I mean. Nearly every good Waltz has certain strains which, if you have a good ear for music, you will not fail to recognize as calling for some sort of hesitation or pause.

In my opinion it is much better to hesitate when the music hesitates, and, when it does not, simply do the ordinary Waltz movement or steps to that tempo. Avoid always the terrible schedule which obliges you to waltz, hesitate, waltz, hesitate, etc., no matter what tune is being played or who is in your way. That kind of dancing belongs to the people who count to themselves, looking up at the ceiling, 1, 2, 3--1, 2, 3--1, 2, 3.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cutting In

A modern system of "cutting in" seems to be enjoying a vogue among our young people. While a dance is in progress, a young man may "cut in" and ask the lady to finish the dance with him. If the dance has not been very long in progress, and the young lady wishes to continue it, she may nod and say, "The next time we pass here" The dance continues around the room, and when the couple reach the same place again, the lady leaves her partner and finishes the dance with the young man who has "cut in."

Perhaps this custom of "cutting in" carries with it the merest suggestion of discourtesy, but when we consider the informal gayety of the ballroom, the keen and wholehearted love of dancing, we can understand why the privilege is extended. Like many another privilege, it becomes distasteful when it is abused.

It is not good form for a couple to dance together so many times as to make themselves conspicuous.

Men should not neglect their duty as dancers because they prefer to smoke or simply to act as spectators.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

When the Lady is Asked to Dance

Before asking anyone else to dance, the gentleman must request the first dance of the lady he escorted to the ball, Then he takes care that she has a partner for each dance, and that she is never left a wallflower while he dances with some other lady.

At the conclusion of the dance, the gentleman thanks the lady for the dance and goes off to find his next partner. The lady does not seek her partner for the next dance, if she has promised it to anyone, but waits until he comes to claim her. A man should never leave a woman standing alone on the floor.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dressing Rooms

Whether the dance be large or small, dressing rooms, or coat rooms, as they are sometimes called, are essential for the convenience of the guests. There must be one for the gentlemen and one for the ladies, each properly furnished.

It is usual to have a maid servant in attendance in the dressing room set apart for the ladies. She helps them relieve themselves of their wraps when they arrive, and to don them again when they are ready to depart. A dressing-table, completely furnished with hand-mirror, powder, perfume and a small lamp, should be provided. A full-size mirror is always appreciated. Sometimes, when a great number of guests are expected, a checking system is devised to simplify matters and aid the maid in identifying the wraps.

The men's dressing room may be provided with a smoking table supplied with all the necessary requisites for smoking, matches, ash-trays, cigar-cutters, etc. Here also a servant is usually on hand to offer the gentleman his service wherever it is needed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Two-Step Waltz

Also referred to as the Deux Temps.

The Gentleman begins by sliding to the left with his left foot, then performing a chassee towards the left with the right foot, without turning at all during the first two times. He then slides backwards with his right leg, turning half round; after which he puts his left leg behind to perform with it a chassee forward, again turning half found at the same time. He must finish with his right foot forward, and begin again with his left foot as before.

To dance the Deux Temps well it must be danced with short steps, the feet sliding so smoothly over the surface of the floor that they scarcely ever seem to be raised above it. Anything like springing or jumping is altogether inadmissible.

Tall gentlemen should avoid, if possible, waltzing with short ladies, as their difference in height, must necessarily destroy the ease of blended movement, which should act like one person.

The Three-Step Waltz

1st. Gentleman slides left foot diagonally backwards.
2d. Slide right foot past the left in the same direction, turning slightly to the right.
3d. Bring the left foot again behind the right.
4th. Slide the right forward, still slightly turning to the right.
5th. Slide left foot forward again.
6th. Turn on both feet, finishing with the right foot forward.

All turns are to the right for the gentlemen, to the left for the lady.

Dinner Dances

At the dinner dance, the hostess issues two sets of invitations, one for those whom she wishes to invite for dinner and dance both, and one for those whom she wishes to invite to the dance only. For the former the ordinary dinner invitation may be issued, with the words "Dancing at Nine" added in the left-hand corner. For the latter, the ordinary "at home" invitation with the same words "Dancing at Nine" added also in the left-hand corner is correct form.

Often the hostess has a buffet supper instead of a dinner. All the guests partake of this refreshment. On a long table, decorated with flowers, are salads, sandwiches, ices, jellies and fruits which may be partaken of throughout the entire evening. Sometimes hot bouillon is also served, and very often a midnight supper is given at which hot courses are in order.

If a dance is scheduled to be held in the ballroom of a hotel, the guests who are invited to dinner may be served in the dining-room of that hotel. The small tables are usually decorated with lamps and flowers for the occasion, and the dinner may be ordered by the hostess several days in advance.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Invitation to a Ball

The word "ball" is never used excepting in an invitation to a public one, or at least a semi-public one, such as may be given by a committee for a charity or a club, or association of some sort.

For example:

The Committee of the Greenwood Club

request the pleasure of your company

at a Ball

to be held in the Greenwood Clubhouse

on the evening of November the seventh

at ten o'clock.

for the benefit of

The Neighborhood Hospital

Tickets five dollars

Invitations to a private ball, no matter whether the ball is to be given in a private house, or whether the hostess has engaged an entire floor of the biggest hotel in the world, announce merely that Mr. and Mrs. Somebody will be "At Home," and the word "dancing" is added almost as though it were an afterthought in the lower left corner, the words "At Home" being slightly larger than those of the rest of the invitation. When both "At" and "Home" are written with a capital letter, this is the most punctilious and formal invitation that it is possible to send. It is engraved in script usually, on a card of white Bristol board about five and a half inches wide and three and three-quarters of an inch high. Like the wedding invitation it has an embossed crest without color, or nothing.

The precise form is:

Mr. and Mrs. Titherington de Puyster

At Home

On Monday the third of January

at ten o'clock

One East Fiftieth Street

The favour of an answer is requested



Mr. and Mrs. Davis Jefferson

At Home

On Monday the third of January

at ten o'clock

Town and Country Club

Kindly send reply to
Three Mt. Vernon Square


(If preferred, the above invitations may be engraved in block or shaded block type.)

Dancing The Cotillion

Cotillions are picturesque and amusing, and, besides, gives the opportunity for the exchange among the dancers of pretty trifles provided by the generosity of the host. At large semipublic balls like the Patriarchs' the favors are very simple, but at special cotillons or at those danced at private houses they are extremely elaborate and costly.

Cotillion seats are generally secured in the early part of the evening by tying handkerchiefs to the backs of the chairs. At the Patriarchs' and other large balls they can be secured by arrangement with one of the stewards, as each Patriarch has so many reserved for him, and the man invited by one of them can obtain permission and ask for two of his host's seats. But this is not usual, and is known as a "little trick of the trade."

To be a successful leader of cotillions it requires the skill and the tact of a general--I might almost say of a Napoleon Bonaparte. One's talents should not be altogether in one's heels and one's toes. The leader must be an excellent dancer and a firm disciplinarian. He must see that the wall flowers have an occasional turn, and that every one gets at least one favor. As he has to marshal a large force of people he is bound to find among them -- of course in the orthodox society manner -- a few turbulent spirits, a few who would mutiny, and who must be taught their places in a conciliatory but positive manner.

The cotillion in New York is generally danced after supper. It lasts about two hours. At large balls two figures are all that can be danced, owing to the number of guests. Sometimes it is led by two couples. A leader frequently dances stag--that is, without a partner. All men dancing without partners are called stags. These usually have their place by the door and are given their turn last. The leader must announce after supper the time for the cotillion to begin. He must see that the partners are all in their places. The favor table is generally placed at the end of the room opposite the doors, but this depends on the shape and the style of the apartment.

Formerly a cotillon leader used a whistle for the different figures; to-day, however, he simply claps his hands to denote the changes.

It is almost unnecessary here to illustrate the form of the cotillion. It consists in waltzes and sometimes polkas, danced by eight, ten, or twelve couples at a time. The couples are seated in chairs around the room, the men without partners known as the stags being near the door. The leader begins the first figure, which is usually the simplest one, by "taking out" or choosing a partner and motioning the first four, six, or eight couples with places nearest him on one or both sides of the room to rise. All waltz. After a turn around the room the leader stops and claps his hands. The partners all separate, and each of them goes and chooses a new one--the man a new woman, the woman who was his partner a new man. The figure is then arranged and danced. After the evolution required by the figure is finished there is another short waltz, and the dancers return to their places. The leader then calls out the next party, and this is repeated until every one in the room has had a turn. The stags are called out last. Having no partners to dance with, each has the privilege of taking out two ladies--the first before the figure is formed, and the second when the change of partners is signalled by the leader. The leader directs the figures and dances all the time.

Every second figure is one for the distribution of favors. The same procedure occurs, and when the leader claps his hands the dancers separate, waiting for the favors to be distributed. The latest custom is for the leader and his partner to carry around the favors, to the couples whose turn comes next. He gives to the ladies, she to the men. The scramble at the favor table has been abolished. The men present their favors to the new partners whom they select, and the women do likewise. It is very embarrassing and not good form to give your favor to the partner with whom you are dancing the cotillon. Favors must be sufficient in quantity not only to go once all around, but there should be some left over, as the advent of the stags gives the ladies a double chance to bestow favors upon men. The most graceful way of offering a favor is to present it with a little bow. Try and locate the places where your friends are sitting. It is certainly rude, if not tantalizing, to search through a long row of girls dangling a favor. It is not difficult in the figures to become well acquainted with the local geography. Matrons are asked frequently to preside at the favor tables, but recently some of the floral trifles are brought in arranged in a sedan chair of flowers, at which two powdered lackeys are stationed, like the linkboys of old. Originality, however, has not been rampant in cotillions. Favor figures are the most popular. The woman who brings the greatest number of favors from a cotillion scores an undoubted triumph. She comes from the ballroom flushed and delighted, carrying with her the trophies of her victory, which she is pleased to call her "scalps." Social obligations are often paid off by men in this way.

Dance Programs

The dance program is rarely used now except at college dances, or army and navy dances. It has lost prestige with the passing of the old-fashioned ball. But sometimes there are special occasions when the hostess wishes to have programs, in which case they serve not only as pretty and convenient adjuncts to the occasion, but as appropriate mementos.

Gilt-edged cards attached with a silk cord and provided with a tiny pencil are pretty when an attractive little sketch or a bit of verse enlivens the front cover. Each dance is entered on the program--and many a delightful memory is kept alive by glancing at these names days after the dance was held. These programs may be filled beforehand or they may be filled at the dance.

The Ballroom

Everything in the ballroom should suggest gayety, light and beauty. The floor, of course, is the most important detail. A polished hardwood floor offers the most pleasing surface for dancing. If the wood seems sticky, paraffine wax adds a smoothness that actually tempts one to dance.

Flowers are always pleasing. Huge ferns may grace unexpected corners and greens may add a festive note, if the hostess so desires. But there must not be an obvious attempt at decoration.

Rather nothing at all, than so very much that it borders on the ostentatious.

In fact, the dance is tending more and more to become a simple and unpretentious function. The elaborate decorations and fashionable conventions that attended the minuet and quadrille of several decades ago have given way to a jolly informality which makes the dance so delightful and popular a way of entertaining.

The Bachelor Dance

Wealthy bachelors find pleasure and diversion in giving huge balls and dances. Dinner or a midnight supper may be a delightful adjunct to the dance. A fashionable ball of this kind is sometimes given for the important purpose of introducing a young sister or another relative to society.

The ball is rarely, if ever, held in the bachelor's own apartments. He hires a hall for the occasion, and arranges with several of his married friends to act as chaperons. They also receive with him and help him introduce the guests. As these arrive, they divest themselves of their wraps, in the dressing-rooms provided for the purpose, and then are received in the ballroom by the host and the chaperons. Introductions are made, and the music and dancing begins.

There are not very many bachelors who can entertain in this lavish fashion; but the simpler entertainments, if they have the correct spirit of cordial hospitality, go a long way in establishing the desired relationship between the host and his friends. After all, it is the little things that count; and little courtesies may fittingly repay elaborate ceremonials and fashionable functions, if they are offered in sincere friendliness and warmth.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Subscription Dances

What is the purpose of the subscription dance? The question is a common one. And the answer is simple.

A subscription dance is given for the same reason that any other dance is given--to be surrounded by one's friends, to enjoy music and dancing, and generally to have a "good time" It is conducted very much on the order of the formal dance, except that it is semi-public and is usually held in a public hall. There is no host or hostess, of course; their place is held by an appointed committee or by the patronesses of the dance. They stand at the door of the ballroom to welcome guests, and they may either offer their hands or bow in greeting. It is the duty of the patronesses to introduce those of the guests who are not already acquainted.

Each subscriber to the dance has the privilege of inviting a certain number of friends to the function. Or, if the membership decide to give several periodic dances, he is entitled to invite a certain number of friends to each one of them. The invitations are issued two weeks ahead and require a prompt acceptance or regrets.

Sometimes elaborate suppers are served at the subscription dance, the money for the expenses having been appropriated from the subscription fees for the entertainment. Or simple refreshments, such as dainty sandwiches, salads, ices, cakes and punch, may be served at small, round tables.

In departing, it is not considered necessary to take leave of the patronesses. However, if they are on duty at the door, a cordial word or two of consideration for their efforts may be extended.

Costume Balls

The costume ball is conducted very much on the same order as the formal ball. The invitations are issued two or three weeks before the date set for the dance, and as for the debut dance, the word ball does not appear on it. Instead the words "Costumes of the Twelfth Century" or "Shakespearean Costumes" or whatever may be decided upon are printed in the lower left-hand corner of usual "at home" cards.

In selecting a fancy costume, one must be careful to choose only what is individually becoming. It must be in perfect harmony with one's personality. To assume a character that is in every way opposed to one's own character is unwise and ungratifying. A sedate, quiet young miss should not choose a Folly Costume. Nor should a jolly, vivacious young lady elect to emulate Martha Washington, And furthermore, a character must not be merely dressed--it must be lived. The successful costume ball must be realistic.

The Debut Dance

Perhaps the most important dance of all is that given in honor of the debutante. No matter how large or formal a dance may be, it is never called a "ball" in the invitation. The latter is used only in case of a large public dance or function. The usual "at home" form of invitation is used, and in the lower left-hand corner the word dancing is printed. The name of the young debutante may be included if it is so desired, although it is not essential. But if it is an evening occasion, the name of both host and hostess must appear on the invitation.

Whether the dance is held in her own home or in a hall hired for the occasion, the hostess receives and welcomes each guest. She may be assisted by several of her friends who are well-known in society. Her daughter stands beside her and is introduced to those of her mother's guests whom she has not already met.

The debutante has her first partner selected for her by her mother. She may not dance with one man more than once on the occasion of her introduction to society. But she is expected to dance every dance, returning to receive guests during the intervals. Sometimes the young debutante has several of her chums receiving with her for the first half hour. She offers her hand to every guest who arrives, and introduces in turn the friends who are assisting her.

The father of the debutante may receive with his wife, but his duty is more to see that all the women have partners, and that the chaperons are taken into supper. He also sees that the gentlemen do their duty as dancers instead of remaining in the dressing room to smoke and chat. The hostess does not dance at all, or if she does, it is usually late in the evening. She remains at her post at the door, welcoming guests and seeing that all shy men get partners and all the young girls have a good
time. One paramount duty of the hostess is so to arrange her invitations that there will be very many more men than women; this eliminates the chance of there being any unhappy wallflowers. Another consideration is to arrange the chairs in informal little groups instead of close to the walls in a solemn and dreary line.

Ballroom Dancing as a Healthful Art

Ballroom dancing is an art. More than that, it is a healthful art. In its graceful movements, cadenced rhythms, and expressive charms are evident the same beautiful emotions that are so eloquently expressed in music, sculpture, painting. And it is through these expressions of emotion, through this silent poetry of the body that dancing becomes a healthful art, for it imparts to the body--and mind--a poise and strength without which no one can be quite happy.

It is because the vital importance of dancing on the Mind and body has been universally recognized, that it has been added to the curriculum of public schools in almost every country. We find the youngsters revelling in folk-dances, and entering dancing games with a spirit that gives vigor to their bodies, balance and grace to their movements.

Consider, for a moment, the irresistible witchery of music, of rhythmic cadences. We hear the martial note of the drum, and unconsciously our feet beat time. We hear the first deep chords of the orchestra, and involuntarily our fingers mark the time of the measure. With the soft, mellow harmony of triplet melodies we are transported to the solemn vastness of a mountain beside a, gayly rippling stream. With the deep, sonorous bursts of triumphant melody, we are transported to the ocean's edge, where the rumbling of the waves holds us in awed ecstasy. Thoughts
of sorrow, of gladness, of joy, of hope surge through us and cry for expression. Dancing is nature's way of expressing these emotions.

Then let us dance, for in dancing we find poise and strength and balance. Let us dance for in dancing we find joy, pleasure, hope. It is the language of the feelings, and nature meant it for the expression of those feelings.

It is only when dancing is confined to hot, crowded rooms where the atmosphere is unwholesome, that it loses its healthful influence on mind and body. But where there is plenty of room and fresh air, plenty of good, soul-inspiring music--we say dance, young and old alike, dance for the keen pleasure and joy of the dance itself, and for the health that follows in its wake!

Dress of the Debutante

A gown is chosen with much premeditated consideration for so momentous an occasion as being ushered into society. The young lady does well to seek the advice of her friends who are already in society, and of her modiste who knows by long experience just what is correct and becoming. But perhaps we can give some advice here that will be helpful.

A delicately tinted gown, in pastel shades, or one that is pure white is preferred for the happy debutante. Tulle, chiffon, net and silk georgette are the most popular materials. The style should be youthful and simple, preferably bordering on the bouffant lines rather than on those that are more severely slender. The neck may be cut square, round or heart-shaped, and elbow-length sleeves or full-length lace sleeves are preferred. The sleeveless' gown is rarely worn by the young debutante.

The debutante who wears many jewels displays poor taste. Just a string of softly glowing pearls, or one small diamond brooch, is sufficient. Her hair should be arranged simply in a French coil or youthful coiffure, and should be wholly without ornamentation. Simplicity, in fact, is one of the charms of youth, and the wise young person does not sacrifice it to over-elaboration, even on the day of her debut.

Wraps for Women

The woman wears her most elaborate evening wrap to the ball. Soft materials in light shades are suggested, with trimmings of fur for the winter months. A wrap of old blue or old rose velvet with a collar of white fog is becoming and attractive when it is within one's means. But the simple wrap of cloth, untrimmed, is certainly better taste for the woman whose means are limited. However, discrimination should be shown in the selection of lines and colors. A simple wrap, well-cut, and of fine
material in a becoming shade, is as appropriate and effective as a wrap completely of fur. For the woman who must dress economically a dark loose coat of black satin is serviceable for many occasions.

Hats are never worn to the ball. A shawl or scarf of fine lace may be thrown over the hair and shoulders. Or a smaller shawl may be tied merely around the head. Satin pumps are worn, usually with buckle trimmings; and long gloves of white silk or kid, or in a color to match the gown, complete the outfit.

Ball Dress for Men

Nothing less strictly formal than the complete full dress suit is worn by the gentleman at the evening ball. His costume strikes a somber, yet smart, note.

Whether it be summer or winter, the gentleman wears the black full dress coat, lapels satin-faced if he so desires, and trousers to match. Full rolled waistcoat, small bow-tie and stiff linen are all immaculately white. Patent leather pumps and black silk socks complete the outfit.

In summer, the gentleman wears over his full dress suit a light unlined coat, preferably black in color. If the lapels of the suit are satin-faced, the coat lapels may correspond. White kid gloves are worn, and a conventional silk hat. In winter, the coat may be a heavy, dark-colored raglan, although the Chesterfield overcoat more suits his dignified dress. With it he wears white kid gloves and a high silk hat or felt Alpine as he prefers.