The Tucson Barn Dance
There were few things that Americans of the 19th century liked better than dancing.
Pioneers, homesteaders, soldiers, farmers, politicians, ministers and indeed all sorts of people wrote in diaries, letters and published articles regarding attending dances. Of course good dancing is a very joyful experience. As our forebears realized, dancing positively engages the mind, exercises the body and has a wonderful tonic effect on the soul. But there was much more than just the pleasure of dancing to attract participants. With no radio, CDs or MP3s available, dances were an opportunity to hear and enjoy music. With no telephones or email available, dances provided an opportunity to socialize, communicate and share news with others. With cultural expectations of manners and good behavior, dances were especially an opportunity to polish one’s manners and develop the social skills expected of those in "decent company."
While the formal “Grand Ball” may have been the height of the 19th century dance experience, people from throughout the social spectrum also enjoyed dancing in less elegant settings and less ostentatious circumstances.

On prairies and plantations, in parlors and presidios, rural Americans of all sections and classes enjoyed any opportunity to do some lively stepping.

From Atlantic to Pacific and The Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast, they reeled and promenaded at soirees, shivarees, stomps, hoe-downs, corn-huskings, fandangos, harvest balls, barn dances, county fairs, birthday parties, wedding receptions, patriotic gatherings and church socials to tunes like “Soldier’s Joy”, “Jefferson & Liberty”, “Bonaparte Crossing The Rhine” or "Cotton Eyed Joe."

Often no more than a single experienced fiddler was required but a good 3 or 4 piece string band could draw folks in from miles around. Some came on foot or straddling the back of a mule while others pranced on racehorses, rolled up in carriages or arrived perched in fashionable buggies. Some wore their homespun “Sunday best” while others wore silken “store bought” goods. Some came from busy, growing towns while others traveled from distant frontier homesteads.
It may have been a New England Church Social, an Appalachian Wedding, a Carolina Soiree, a Kentucky Hoe-Down, a Nebraska Corn Huskin' Party, a Texas Fandango, a Prairie Harvest Dance or a Louisiana Cajun' Stomp.
It might even have been a Tucson Barn Dance!
But wherever it was or whatever it might have been called - one could be sure of warm smiles, friendly faces, a well-tuned fiddle and some fine lively dancing!

When:  The evening of Saturday, September 28th, 2013 there will be a social time at 6:30 with the Dance to commence at 7 and end about 10:30.

Where:  Tanque Verde Lutheran Church at 8625 E. Tanque Verde Rd. in Tucson

Fashion, Music & Dance:  Our focus is Rural America of the 19th Century ... and our music and dance will reflect that. But modern western folks of the 21st century are welcome too. Whether "Old Country" or "New Country" come and have a good time!




In advance we ask for a contribution of $10.00 each by mail. You may send a check with a stamped, self-addressed envelope and your email address to We Make History, P.O. Box 1776, Queen Creek, Arizona 85142 or alternately make use of the PayPal link below. All requests for advance discount passes must be RECEIVED by September 25th.

Please note that use of the PayPal option includes a small extra charge to cover related expenses.



At the Dance we will request a contribution of $20 per person.

See Photos from past Tucson Barn Dances  2010   2009   2008   2007





House Standards

We are grateful to our wonderful guests who make the effort with us to create a special ambience and atmosphere of respect. We uphold these standards out of regard for our much-appreciated friends and for the sake of the integrity of our events.

1. The use of either tobacco or alcohol is prohibited.

2. Videotaping is not welcome other than by our house videographer. We work hard to create a special and comfortable historic ambience that all will enjoy. Discreet photography is welcome but please leave video equipment at home.

3. No unauthorized distribution of literature is allowed. Nor is this event an opportunity to recruit persons for purposes either modern or historical. Please allow all of our guests to enjoy the evening in peace.

4. Our dress code will be a bit different for this occasion than for the other balls we organize but this is still a themed ball and we ask that all conform to certain standards. An honest attempt at looking like someone from rural America of the 19th century is much appreciated. (Civil War era day dresses, ball gowns or uniforms, "Prairie Dresses", and frontier, pioneer, homesteader or Old West attire are all good suggestions.) Alternately, modern western attire of the 21st century is also welcome such as boots, jeans, skirts or dresses, shirts, hats, belts, bolos, etc. Please no spurs or other paraphernalia that could harm a floor ... or a dance partner.

5. Appropriate footwear is required. (i.e. historic footwear, footwear as per the theme of the ball, dress shoes, dancing slippers, ballet flats, etc.) Please no sandals, flip-flops or athletic shoes. For the sake of your safety as well as event ambience dancing barefoot is impermissible.

6. We do not offer refunds of contributions.

7. Ages 13 and up are welcome. Younger persons ages 8 to 12 are also welcome if accompanied by parent(s) or guardian and if well-mannered, responsible and able to exhibit the necessary social maturity.

8. Gracious and respectful conduct & conversation are expected of all, to all and at all times.

9. We desire to be good stewards of the facilities we use, to treat them with care and to leave them in at least as good of condition as when we arrived.

10. For the good of all, any who might consider themselves exempt from any of the above may be asked to leave.

Please also see our “Etiquette & Expectations” page as well as our "All About Us" page.


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