November 23, 2008

November 23, 1918: Dance Recital

Unlike many of the classes at the College of William and Mary in 1918, physical education was not coeducational. Activities such as basketball and tennis were popular in the women's class, as well as "aesthetic dancing." Female students learned themed dances during class and later presented them to an audience - fully costumed. On November 23, 1918, The Colonial Echo noted that the women students "entertain[ed] with choral dances, Spanish and Russian specialties. The audience remained throughout."

These photos from the day are from Catherine Dennis' scrapbook.

Catherine Dennis, in Italian Dance costume

Marceline Galting, women's physical education instructor, in costume

Women's gymnasium class in costume

top row, left-right: Margaret Lee, Martha Barksdale, Florence Harris, Louise Reid, Elizabeth Scott, Alice Person, Margaret Bridges, Elizabeth Lee, Edna Reid, Janet Coleman

bottom row, l-r: Ruth Conkey, Margaret Thornton, Hope Baines, Evelyn Palmer

Editions of The Colonial Echo and Catherine Dennis' scrapbook are available in the Special Collections Research Center.

This post was composed by Kate Hill.

For additional information about the first women students at the College of William and Mary see: When Mary Entered with her Brother William: Women at the College of William and Mary, 1918-1945 by Laura F. Parrish; "The Petticoat Invasion": Women at the College of William and Mary, 1918-1945; The Martha Barksdale Papers; and the Women at the College of William and Mary page on the Special Collections Research Center Wiki.

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