Travel / The Dolley Madison Ball | Pennies & Paper: Travel / The Dolley Madison Ball


Travel / The Dolley Madison Ball

Monday, February 17

Last weekend, on February 8th, I attended the Dolley Madison Ball in Salem! The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers host a wonderful variety of events throughout the year, although I've only ever attended their Regency ones (last year were the Pride & Prejudice Ball and the Regency Dance Intensive Weekend).

I suppose I kept costs down fairly well. Since I didn't buy any new accessories, I haven't finished (or even properly started) my own Regency dress, and I got my ballet shoes for free thanks to Swagbucks [affiliate link], my expenses were the ticket ($15 for students and paid for with a Visa gift card received as a birthday gift), $13.50 for round-trip train tickets, and lunch and dinner (about $17). I did finish hemming my dress, and I didn't trip over it at all (unlike last year). Success!

I made sure I did my hair before we left. I had stayed over at home Friday and came back Saturday morning, so my Saturday was very hectic!

The day really started by catching a train around 2 and having some time to kill before the dance lesson at 4. It was a great warm-up and reminder since I haven't done this is almost a full year, although after the Dance Intensive Weekend it seemed almost too easy! I was able to focus more on my waltz step, so that was nice.

Both lunch (before the lesson) and dinner (after) were had at Front Street Cafe, which is one of my favorite places to eat in Salem. Such delicious food, and an awesome atmosphere and staff. I even had my first "real" juice--pineapple, ginger, lemon, and pear! We also found a Tardis while walking around :D
Doctor Who TARDIS ice sculpture

The ball itself was so incredibly fun. I love the historical-but-modern atmosphere, the live music, being social, taking silly photos, and dancing. I skipped only a few dances. Sadly, we had to leave a little early to be sure and catch our 10:30 train, but the hosts know us by know and made sure our last dance was fun and short. I now have serious clothing envy though! I want a proper Regency dress so badly--I won't go into it but mine is so inaccurate it's painful. I would almost rather not wear it. Almost.

Regency Era
Photo by Jen
The Miss eBays (we got our dresses from eBay...see how they're all the same?)
I'm on the left, Alex in the middle, and Mel on the right
Regency Era
Photo by Jen
Erin, me, Alex, and Mel
See how even my hem came out? I'm so happy :D
Regency Era
Photo by Jen
One of my favorite photos: Marcy, "the rake," flirting with poor me
Fun fact: of the ten girls I went with, three were dressed as guys
Regency Era
Photo by Jen
Prince Regent's Angels

Regency Era
Photo by Adam
The whole group from my school! Some were there as a requirement for a literature class, some went with friends from that class, and some (like me) went just because it's awesome.
Since I can't justify borrowing photos taken by people I don't know very well, I'm going to link to some other blog posts about this event :) Each of the following ladies I had the pleasure of dancing in a set with.

"Dolley Madison, Social Butterfly, and BAMF"on Plaid Petticoats (I'm actually in the background of many of her photos...see if you can spot me!)

"The Dolley Madison Ball" on Sew 18th Century

"Millinery Flowers as Trim on Regency Ball Gowns" on Dames a la Mode

I really hope I have the money and time to go to the next Regency weekend in April!

Have you ever done historical dancing? Are you as Regency-crazy as I am?


  1. This looks so cool! What a fun experience. I'm glad you had a good time! :)

    xo Megan, Lush to Blush

    1. :) Thanks for the comment! And it was super fun. I highly recommend historical dances to everyone :D


Thank you for your comment--they are the highlight of my day :)

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