by Auliya McCauley-Hartner
You step onto the gravel near the B25 airplane after getting out of your Buick Special and glance over to the girl near by you and admire her pin-curled hair and polka-dot dress. You look to the left and see a gentleman exhaling smoke from a freshly lit cigar which drifts over his porkpie hat, and you hear big band music off in the distance. You're at a hanger party and it's 1945, or at least it feels like it.
That's the scene the 1940s ball brings us every year, and this year did not disappoint. Held at the Boulder Airport with the Flatirons as a backdrop, this event takes us back to simpler times, and to the era when swing was king. We at Boulder Swing are very grateful for this event, as it is often the first taste for many into the world of swing dancing. Speaking from personal experience, I went to my first 1940s ball in 2011. I went with a friend and was enamored with the whole experience. After my friend's fun was expended, I took her home and couldn't help but drive back for the last hour and watch the few addicted dancers that remained on the floor. It was there I was told I too could learn to dance, and It's become more a part of who I am than any other hobby or interest.
At the 1940s ball one gets to have a number of experiences. Before the event even starts, ladies can have their hair and make-up done with Victory Rolls, fake Bettie bangs and curls galore. When walking into the event one is greeted by cars and planes from the past, and at one point a fly-over happens with these planes. Big Band music bellows throughout the whole event, and during the breaks one witnesses the 1940’s Pin Up contest and authentic costume contest. There are plenty of re-enactors throughout the event to entertain, as well as performances on stage from Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and hula dancers, along with performances on the dance floor from local swing teams.
This year we are proud to have had a huge group of dedicated dancers from Boulder Swing perform for everyone at the event. The Flatiron Stompers, some of whom had only been dancing for one or two months before learning the routine, did a fantastic performance, led by Freeman Bacon and Heather Ballew. Below are two videos, curtesy of Lisa and Kenny, of our team performing! We hope to see everyone at the Ball next year.
Here are some photos from the night taken by Lisa Kieffer.