From 5:30 pm until 10:30 pm
At Pavilion Center, Washington Township Parks and Recreation Department
435 Whipple Lane, Avon, IN 46123
$20/person or $50/family
Do you love Jane Austen, Bridgerton, or Sanditon? Dream of twirling around the dance floor and sipping punch? We cordially invite you to the Regency Harvest Ball!
Everyone is welcome at this ball. Singles, couples, and teens will enjoy dancing the night away to live music provided by Entwyned. All dances will be taught and called by Alice Smith-Goeke. Beginners are welcome! Younger children may not be ready to join the dance sets yet but are always welcome to dance alongside in their own set.
Got two left feet? Consider spending the evening in our game room and trying your hand at a Regency parlor game like Whist or Charades.
Regency attire is admired, but not required. Any era of fancy dress is highly encouraged.
Doors Open: 5:30 pm
Beginner Lesson: 6 pm
Ball: 6:30 pm
Pre-registration requested, but some tickets will be available at the door.
- Site located on the far west side of Indianapolis in Avon
- Take your best way to Rockville Rd / US-36 - west of US-267
- Turn south on S County Road 575 E
- Turn Left on Broyles Rd (the playground will be on your left)
- Broyles turns into Whipple Ln as you head downhill
- Go slow and follow the winding road to the end to the Pavilion Center
Alice Smith-Goeke will be the dance caller at the Regency Harvest Ball. She has been leading monthly English Country Dance nights at Garfield Park Arts Center in Indianapolis for the last 10 years. She began teaching dance with the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) and has continued to branch out into different types of social and folk dance. She loves working with beginners and has a way of making dances easy to learn. Alice also calls dance at weddings and festivals. Contact her here: alice.the.seamstress (at) gmail (dot) com.
Alice and Entwyned have been working together for many years. They play folk tunes - compelling Celtic-influenced melodies, friendly old-time tunes, haunting Scandinavian songs - accented with influences from world music, swing, and popular tunes; all driven by a lively rhythmic flow. They specialize in playing for contradances, English country dance, and other community dances, and are known for their tune arrangements that match the music to the figures of the dance, molding the dance energy and raising the dancers' spirits.
Entwyned includes John Paolillo on mandolin-family instruments (including mandola, bouzouki, and mandocello) and Twy Bethard on fiddle, nyckelharpa, and keyboard. Audiences find their musical menagerie intriguing. They are based in central Indiana and tour nationally. https://sites.google.com/site/entwyned/ entwyned (at) gmail (dot) com
What should I wear?
Regency attire is admired, but not required. Any era of fancy dress is highly encouraged. Seriously we mean it! If you want this event to be the excuse to go all out on your regency fantasy outfit, go for it! If you have some fancy 1920's outfit you are dying to wear, we are excited to see it! If you just want to grab your favorite outfit from the closet, more power to you. Dress in a way that makes you feel good. Remember you will be dancing, if you want, so make sure you can walk and move your arms in whatever you pick.
Want to wear modern clothes, with Regency flair? Here are some options you might already have. A long dress (floor or ankle length ideally) with an empire waist. You can also tie a ribbon under your bust to give the illusion of an empire waisted dress. Also consider a white or pale color dress shirt, long dark dress pants and a vest of any color or pattern. Pop your collar and add a white or colorful neck cloth to add some flair. You are ready to go!
Adding accessories can also be fun. Shawls were super popular, as were reticules and fancy hats, some even had feathers. Vests were often colorful and elaborately decorated. Be the peacock. Show off!
Can I really come alone?
Absolutely! No need to bring a dance partner with you. In the regency era, dancing with the people you came to the ball with was rare and if you were caught dancing with the same person more than once a night, you might be the talk of the town. We don't have such strict rules here, but dancing with many different people during the night is the norm. If you want to dance, we are sure you will have someone to dance with.
Can I dance with a same gendered partner?
Of course! You can dance with whomever you wish. Be aware that in historic dances we often refer to the "Lord and Ladies" or "Ladies and Gentlemen" roles in the dance. For example, "Lord 1 and Lady 2 bow and switch." I realize this may be very frustrating. The dance community is still working though producing non-gendered ways to call dances. In the dance world today, "Gender is where you are standing, not who you are." If you have any concerns, please reach out to the caller, Alice Smith-Goeke alice.the.seamstress (at) gmail (dot) com.
I don't know how to dance!
No experience necessary. We mean it! You don't need to know anything about regency dance to enjoy dancing the night away. If you can walk, you can dance. Some dances are spritelier than others, but the live band can slow music down, so it matches the speed of the dancers. Beginner lessons will take place at 6:00 for those who would like a step primer. All dances will be taught and called, so you don't need to remember what comes next.
English Country Dancing was the precursor of contra and square dancing and was popular in England and America in the 1600’s, 1700’s and early 1800’s. If you’ve seen any of the recent Jane Austen movies (Pride and Prejudice, Emma) you’ve seen this form of dance. Civil War re-enactment dances also are English Country Dances. Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) events sometimes include English Country Dancing. It is similar enough to contra dance to be familiar, but different enough to be interesting.
What if I physically cannot dance, or simply don't want to?
If you are not interested in actually dancing, there are many other opportunities to enjoy yourself at the Regency Harvest Ball. We do want to take a moment to mention that this is a beginner friendly space. If you are just nervous about dancing, consider giving it a try.
Some non-dancing activities:
- Listening to the live band and watching the dancers. Imagine the conversations they are having on the floor. Every period movie has a great dance sequence.
- Play some croquet. Grab a rowdy Bridgerton bunch or a statelier striker and play a round. The hoops are waiting for you.
- Enjoy the view from the patio or take a stroll. Washington Twp Park is beautiful and there is a lovely patio where we will be serving light refreshments. Nature is always a part of Jane Austen novels.
- Learn a Regency parlor game in the game room.
Did you say game room?
Dancing and reading are not the only Regency pastimes. Games were also extremely popular. Parlor games, as they were often called, include Whist (similar to Euchre) and modern favorites like Charades. The Game Room will have several different stations set up, and a facilitator that will teach you how to play. You may bet with small tokens like beads or pretend coins, but no real money can be wagered.
What's on the menu?
Light refreshments are included in your ticket price, but they are not intended to replace a meal. Please eat dinner beforehand. The exact refreshments are yet to be determined but are likely to pull from the Harvest theme. Some foods might include local cider, apples, baked goods, and sweets.
Can I get dressed on site?
Yes, you can get dressed on site. We understand that corsets can be difficult to drive in and perhaps you don't want to wrinkle your dress or suit on a longer drive. Maybe you need help lacing up or closing the back of your dress. To start with, there are accessible bathrooms for both Men and Ladies that can be used. In addition, there will be a Ladies Dressing Room with a full-length mirror, dressing screen, and a helper. The dressing room has some counter space and a small sink available. Although this room is intended for dressing, ladies are also welcome to hangout in there for some time away from the dance floor.