Voices of the Jazz Era Ballroom

Voices of the Jazz Era Ballroom is a grassroots, web-based oral history project devoted to preserving and passing on the memory of dance in the Jazz era through the lives and words of everyday people. This is your story—please contribute by talking with a parent or grandparent, neighbor, or friend and explore the archive to see how others have shared their stories.

Search Results

From the Agnus Pottage collection

Agnus Pottage, "Queen of California" 1930's. Winner of a popularity contest, won herself a trip to Australia.

From the Lottie Brady collection

Lottie Brady pictured with her late husband and favorite dance partner Chester in the early 1940's on their way out to dance. This was taken when they were dating. Lottie relates her experiences dancing with her husband in her oral history interview.

From the Donald Russ collection

An ad for the "senior miss" line from a clothing boutique in Grand Rapids taken from Donald Russ' 1926 South High School Yearbook. For the collegiate who is at it "from early morn to charleston by-the-clock" they boast "just the smart, boyish or…

From the Donald Russ collection

A furniture company ad from the back of Donald Russ' 1926 South High School Yearbook. Clearly aimed at parents, the ad suggests that the only way to keep youth away from the dangers of "the silver flask and the jazz orchestra" is to furnish your home…

From the Donald Russ collection

Several students pose in a chorus line formation outside of South High School, Grand Rapids, MI. Photo taken from the 1926 yearbook of Donald Russ.

From the Donald Russ collection

Two Students Dance the Charleston outside of South High School, Grand Rapids, MI. Photo taken from the 1926 yearbook of Donald Russ.

From the Dorothy Porter collection

Dorothy Porter and her sister Helen out on the town, and showing off their lovely . . . legs, for the camera. The fact that they are wearing stockings suggests that this is well after WWII.

From the Dorothy Porter collection

Dorothy Porter in her point shoes (which she eventually learned to tap dance in upon insistence of her dance teacher. Dorothy describes her experiences of Mrs. Mansfield's dance classes, learning ballet and tap in her oral history video. Here she is…

From the Dorothy Porter collection

A young Dorothy Porter in costume before a dance recital. Dorothy describes her experiences of Mrs. Mansfield's dance classes, learning ballet and tap in her oral history video. Here she seems to be outfitted in historical garb and as a clown. She…

From the Dorothy Porter collection

A young Dorothy Porter in costume before a dance recital. Dorothy describes her experiences of Mrs. Mansfield's dance classes, learning ballet and tap in her oral history video. Here she seems to be outfitted as a bellhop and a pirate. She was forced…

From the Dorothy Porter collection

A young Dorothy Porter in costume before a dance recital. Dorothy describes her experiences of Mrs. Mansfield's dance classes, learning ballet and tap in her oral history video. She was forced to give up lessons when the Great Depression hit.

From the Rosemary Taylor collection

Transcript of Interview with Rosemary Taylor for
Voices of the Jazz Era Ballroom Project

Date: November 26, 2009, Seattle, WA
Interviewer: Kelly C. Porter
Interviewee: Rosemary Taylor of Manhattan Beach, CA
Others present: grandsons Joe and…