Peiss

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Topics: Dance
Heterosocial leisure is defined by Merriam-Webster as “of, relating to, or involving social relationships between persons of the opposite sex.” In this instance, it is applied to the leisure culture where men and woman actively participate in leisure activities together. This was far more emphasized in the Kathy Peiss, “Dance Craze” than in “Crowds and Leisure”.
Based on the reading I would say that dance culture, and how it changed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century captured a shift in the leisure culture towards heterosocial leisure. In the beginning, the events such as receptions, affairs, weddings, and balls were in public dance halls and held by various “reputable” organizations. They raised money for charitable purposes and offered opportunities to dance and visit among friends and family. Being as they were under partial familial supervision and community ties, they were considered to have a greater respectability such that a parent wouldn’t mind their daughter participating in such events because there was no improper dancing.
In the 1890s, new avenues for organized dancing emerged in what were called rackets. These were organized by social clubs and amusement societies and differed from previous affairs where neighborhood supervision and philanthropy existed in that the clubs had little interest in controlling admissions or chaperoning the dance floor. Massive advertising and indiscriminate ticket sales meant several hundred dancers at a single event. With this in mind, many people going the types of people attending became mixed with working class girls alongside the flashily dressed and the toughs.
This was further expanded on as dancing became commercialized as more public halls were built, and those were typically next to saloons. By 1910, the typical multi-purpose neighborhood hall and saloon could no longer accommodate the number of dancers, which brought the development of huge metropolitan halls and ballrooms specifically

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