Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Old Time Dance Calls]
Text of Interview (Unedited)
Federal Writers' Project
Works Progress Administration
OREGON FOLKLORE STUDIES
Name of worker A. C. Sherbert Date 12/27/38
Address Project Office, 614 SW Eleventh Avenue, Portland, Oregon
Subject Old Time Dance Calls
Name and address of informant George Duffy, 5605 SE 71st Ave[.,?] City.
I have been am enthusiastic follower of the dance, ball-room dancing I mean, since I was a boy of fifteen, and that's a good many years ago. As might be supposed, I have seen a great many changes in dance technique, dance forms, and dance-ball conduct during the past half century.
In early days dancing was not the commercialized proposition that it is today. It was not a business in any sense of the word. Dancing was purely a neighborhood social event with profit no consideration and was indulged in by mostly all classes of people, excepting the followers of one or two religious groups that thought it sinful to dance.
As with all things people enjoy doing, it was discovered that money could be raised by charging admission to the dance. First to benefit were charitable causes, church purposes, (yes, church purposes) and other community needs. From there it was a short step to commercialization and the public dance hall was the result. At first, though, public dance halls were found only in the larger centers. Later, small towns had their public dances in which anyone