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*Balboa Park Centennial Vintage Dance Weekend
*Balboa Park Centennial Vintage Dance Weekend REGISTRATION
*Photo Gallery

Biltmore in Bloom: SDVDW 2015 is now history!

Join us for our next one time only dance week, in some great vintage location, in 2017. Our events are always an amazing week of food, fashion, music, history and dance.

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Mary Jennings

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The San Diego Vintage Dance Society is a 501C nonprofit organization dedicated the study and preservation of historic social dances of the 19th and early-mid 20th Centuries. We are available for special dance performances, and have appeared at the San Diego Symphony, the Lyceum Theater, and most recently at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the National Museum of Scotland. Our group also sponsors vintage dance events complete with authentic live music, encouraging appropriate historic style attire and behavior by attendees. Recent dance events include the Downton Abbey Ball, April 2014, the Mari Black Trio, November 9, 2014. and most recently, the Fall Flapper Fling 2015.

We also periodically host special weekend dance festivals which include lessons as well as themed dances. Our last dance weekend was A Victorian Weekend at the fabulous Glen Tavern Inn in Santa Paula, November 2013. We hosted a Titanic 100 Year Anniversary Commemoration Weekend in 2012.

We have hosted 6 dance weeks, each one unique: our recent historic/vintage dance weeks have included Mackinac Island in 2013, and most recently, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. Our vintage dance weeks are always spectacular, one-of-a-kind events, featuring incomparable vintage dance instruction, plus evening themed events, authentic live music, tea & much more! We may even consider another dance week in San Diego, possibly in 2016.

Join the San Diego Vintage Dance Society on Facebook to get event notices and updates on future events. The link is in the left column at the bottom. If you are not on Facebook, you'll need to check this webpage periodically for updates/news, as we no longer maintain a separate email list.

Balboa Park Centennial Vintage Dance Weekend, December 26-27, 2015 

As the Centennial year of San Diego's beloved Balboa Park comes to an end, join us in our favorite ballroom, the Balboa Park Club, for a last musical extravaganza. We promise a great weekend, to help celebrate the Centennial of our beloved park. Partnered with WaltznSuch, this event features a full weekend of dancing with Richard Powers' dance classes, as well as the Boxing Day evening ball Saturday with the Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra. Sunday will include more dance classes and an afternoon tea dance, featuring the Gordon Kohl Orchestra to provide a Paris bistro sound.

More information and Registration form is available in the links on the left margin.

Vintage Dance Lessons in San Diego
There are (nearly)free beginning/intermediate vintage dance lessons on Fridays in Balboa Park at the Casa Del Prado Bldg. Rm 207, from 7:30-9:45 PM. Learn basic dance steps as well as choreographies.

Contact WaltznSuch link(left) for more information.

SD Vintage Dance Week


Balboa Park Club


On January 30, 2016 we will again experience the enchantment of a traditional Waltz Ball, celebrating the music and dances of the Strauss family and their contemporaries. Last year we were excited to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Balboa Park with a special set of music circa 1915. Many attendees encouraged us to continue this special set for our future balls.

San Diego's own Grand Pacific Waltz Orchestra,under the direction of Mr Joe Dyke, provides LIVE authentic music for Waltzes, Polkas, Quadrilles, Schottisches and wonderful ragtime dances! The fabulous Ms. Joan Walton of San Jose, California is our favorite Dance Mistress for the evening. Ms Walton, an authority on historic vintage dances, also teaches a basic class in "survival waltz", as well as the Quadrilles of the evening, in the afternoon prior to the ball.

In 2015, we were thrilled to have several members of our local Marine Corps attending and assisting with evening activities, and we hope this continues.

The Ball takes place in our favorite grand ballroom, the Balboa Park Club, a 12,000 sf 1915 ballroom in famous Balboa Park, here in San Diego. This year we will have the afternoon class in the Recital Hall, next door to the Balboa Park Club. Class will be from 11:30am-1:30pm, $20pp at the door.

We always encourage vintage formal wear of the 19th Century or early 20th Century, but this is not required. However, this is always a formal event, and formal wear is required (no jeans, tennis shoes, mini-skirts, sandals, etc. allowed.)

Tickets will be available very soon.

Viennese Nights Ball


Richard Powers: Musings & Thoughts on Dance
Going Out Dancing – How to have more fun; how to let your dance partners have more fun!A few (MUST) ground rules:
Some dances travel in line-of-direction, like waltz, polka, one-step and foxtrot. For these dances... 1) The fast lane is on the outside. Please don't block or slow down the traffic. Dance in the fast lane only if you can keep up.... don't be a rock in the rapids! 2) The slow lane or stationary steps are in the center, the eye of the hurricane.
If you're not dancing for a moment, please clear completely off the floor. The dancers will appreciate it.
Floorcraft-- Please take extra care not to bump other couples. i.e. don't step on others, don't rock-step back onto others, don't throw your partner into someone else (!) and don't ram another couple (!!). Always be aware of the others around you. Guys, look where you are going to lead her before you send her there. Don't start a move unless there is room. Protect her from collisions.
In swing, don't do aerials or kicks in crowded conditions. Even if you have lots of space, never attempt to lead an aerial with someone unless you've carefully practiced that move with them.
Don't wear heavy perfumes and colognes to a social dance. Most people don't consider it very sociable, and some have allergies. And similarly...Dance hygiene! Need we say more? (Your partners may find it hard to dance while holding their breath.)
We encourage you to dance with people you don't already know. Most dancers will be happy to dance with someone new.
If you are far more experienced than your partner, dance for your partner's style and comfort. Yes, some challenges and surprises are fun, but being pushed around uncomfortably isn't.
Give your partners all of your attention. Let them know, somehow, that you'd rather be dancing with them than someone else.
Dancing is all about having fun. Criticizing your partner isn't fun. Don't give an impromptu lesson unless asked.
If there is live music, don't treat the musicians like canned music. Let them know that you appreciate their presence and their talent.
Relax. Don't get flustered, keep moving, laugh at what happened if appropriate but keep dancing. Truly exceptional dancers will almost always make a mistake look like something they planned if at all possible. There are no mistakes in dancing, only new moves.
Dance for your partner. But also dance with your partner — have fun yourself and let your partner know that you're having fun with them.
Happiness itself is the way to dance and to live. It isn't something you try to get from dancing or living. Happiness is something that you bring to dancing, and to life.

— Richard Powers

San Diego, CA

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