Tangos & Turkey Trots, Page 3


Proms and Christmas Parties


Chevy girls attended lots of dances and parties, not just at the school, but also at other schools and at home during holidays and summer vacations.  For example, in the 1936 yearbook The Chaser, we learn that many Chevy girls visited Annapolis – and that the “road to love” had its ups and downs:

 

 

“Half of Chevy has spent week-ends at Annapolis. At the beginning of the year only two girls were going down; but as time passed, others, by hook or crook, have managed to meet the midshipmen. We are proud to see Chevy so well represented at the Academy.  We also wonder how many loves have been born, have faded and died and been buried down there. We hesitate to ask.”

 

 

In 1942, though the nation was at war, school proms and holiday parties were still held.   In May, the Chevy Chase Spring Dance was held at the Shoreham Hotel, and a photo of two couples appeared in The Washington Post.  Jean Rountree kept a copy of the photo in her scrapbook.
Spring Dance, May 9, 1942, CCHS 500.17.08

 

 

Every December, just before the students left for the winter holidays, they hosted a Prom, as described here from the 1942 edition of The Chaser: “The Friday before vacation was Prom night, an evening of soft lights and music, white ties and orchids and best beaux. We’ll always remember it as one of our nicest Christmas presents.” These memories would certainly have been cherished by Chevy girls, especially as their “best beaux” entered the armed services.

 
Christmas Dance, Chevy Chase Junior College Catalogue, CCHS 500.09.06

 

 

"Chevy Charmers"

Going to dances with servicemen was fun, but also a way to show support for the war effort in the early 1940s. During World War II, girls from Chevy Chase Junior College would volunteer their time every Friday night to serve as hostesses at the Stage Door Canteen. Wearing their red, white, and blue aprons, the "Chevy Charmers" would dance with and entertain the service men, listening to their stories of life back home. The importance of these events were described in an issue of the school newspaper The Barker: 

 

"The Canteen girls always return to school tired but happy, hoping they have done something, no matter how small it may be, for those who are doing so much for us."

 

Chevy Charmers Dancing, The Barker Newspaper,
Feburary 29, 1944, CCHS 500.28.02

 

 

 

Dancing played a key role in the social life of Chevy girls, and though the forms of the dances and the conventions that surrounded them would change over time, these social events with boys and young men provided the opportunity for “safely supervised” courtship.  Indeed, some Chevy girls met their future husbands at such dances.

 

 

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