Dancing and the Dance Hall Industry at War, 1939–45
Chapter 2 examines the wartime boom in dancing, looking at the dance hall industry at war from 1939–45 and at the challenges to dancing created by the war, and asking how the industry responded to government restrictions, loss of personnel, shortages, and the Blitz. Causes of the wartime boom in dancing are also explained and the changing experience of the dance hall, and the changing audience, examined. Driven by an era of full employment, the palais was a key beneficiary of a contracted leisure industry on the Home Front. Significantly however, this chapter also explores the wide range of venues for dancing available during the war, as dancing moved into new settings, such as factories, and became sponsored by local and central government in ventures such as the Holidays at Home scheme. Seen as vital to the war effort, it was also a key feature in the lives of the armed forces.
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