The dancing all started when several homeschooling families in our Church were doing a unit study on the civil war about 5 years. They decided to put on an authentic ball as part of the study. So the young people set about researching and learning dances, and the girls began sewing ball gowns as well as outfits for their brothers. Actually, whole families were involved, and the much anticipated evening was a wonderful time of fellowship and fun.
In conservative circles, the fun – and exercise – in a traditional squared dance has often been judged as too worldly. We learned that dancing was not just a sensual experience that happened in bars, but COULD be a healthy, fun social activity for the whole family. That realization inspired us to start “The Society for the Restoration of Historic Ballroom Dancing”, and we spread the word that we would be willing to come and teach dancing to other homeschool groups, as well as call dancing for various celebrations, such as graduations and weddings. We emphasized proper etiquette and discreet hand-holds, making our dances not romantic events, but rather just a good time for everyone.
Since then, through hosting a few balls or square dances a year, the word has spread, and we have traveled all around our state to call a wedding reception, prom-alternative dance, a father-daughter dance, etc. When we go to teach a large group we usually take a few of our siblings along to help teach, but Jeremy is usually the caller, and has worked on learning more dances each year to add to our repertoire.
The Society has a fun (though outdated ) website where you can read more about our mission statement and see pictures from several balls.
Below, our original society members at the NY State Homeschool convention, where we did a live presentation of our dances and shared our vision.