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Going to the PalaisA Social And Cultural History of Dancing and Dance Halls in Britain, 1918–1960$
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James Nott

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605194.001.0001

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Women, Dancing, and Dance Halls, 1918–60

Women, Dancing, and Dance Halls, 1918–60

(p.159) Chapter 6 Women, Dancing, and Dance Halls, 1918–60
Going to the Palais

James Nott

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 looks at the impact of dancing and dance halls on women. It shows that the most frequent dancers were women and the importance of dancing to women was perhaps one of the most significant of all the groups examined here. This chapter examines the extent to which dancing offered an important form of independence and physical expression for women. It explores how women behaved at the dance hall, the preparations they made for dancing (dressing up, fashion, and notions of ‘glamour’ are significant), and how it aided their self-expression. The chapter also discusses the advice that women were given on how to behave, from various dancing manuals, magazines, etc. It shows the extremely important functions dancing performed for women from factory girls to wartime members of the Women’s Land Army and elaborates its importance in their growing emancipation across the century.

Keywords:   factory girl, self-expression, glamour, fashion, Women’s Land Army, emancipation

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