“From the Waltz to the Jitterbug”: Dances at Syracuse University, 1900-1960

Dances at Syracuse University, 1900-1960 Dances were a significant part of student life at Syracuse University in the first half of the twentieth century. They affirmed campus and social traditions and unified classes, sororities, fraternities, and the SU student body as a whole.

Student groups put time and effort into planning dances, as reflected by the elaborate decorations set up around the dance floor, advertisements posted in newspapers, and the well-known bands that performed at the events. These preparations were usually well-received, and couples packed the dance floors. They were the social events of the year and added to students' university experience.

The Syracuse University Archives is delighted to present this online exhibition about dances at Syracuse University between 1900 and 1960. You will come across images of photographs (both original prints and images from the Onondagan, SU's yearbook), dance cards, programs, tickets, and other ephemera from a variety of balls, proms, and formal and informal dances. Hopefully they will give you a glimpse of what it was like on the dance floor at that time.

~This exhibition was curated by Meg Mason.