This week’s Big Friday Find was inspired by a photograph of Gladstone in Albert Square.

Statue of William Ewart Gladstone, Albert SquareThere was a hint of Saturday Night Fever in his pose.
This led us to look at other images of dancers and dancing in the collection.
The popularity of Strictly Come Dancing has raised the profile of the celebrities and sports men and women who take part. Manchester United footballers missed their chance back in 1910.
Group of Manchester United players clowning during a training session, Old Trafford, c.1910

There are more conventional images of dance halls and ballrooms in the archive collections. Belle Vue was a popular venue for staff dances and ballroom competitions.
Great Universal Stores Limited Staff Dance, Belle Vue, 11 Mar 1938

Dream Girl dance, Belle Vue, n.d.

Dream Girl Dance at Belle Vue, no date

The Ritz on Whitworth Street also had its regular dance nights.  It always make me think of the the Ray Davies’ song, ‘Come Dancing’.  Luckily no sister’s tears have been shed watching this dance hall’s demolition.
Dancing, Ritz Ballroom, 1930 (m06741)

There are photos of street dances.  Not break dancers but Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977.
Dancing, Jubilee Celebrations, 1977

Morris dancing is also represented – anyone else remember doing country dancing at school?  It was part of the curriculum thanks to the influence of the English Folk Dance and Song Society in teacher training colleges early in the 20th century.  These aren’t the lively contemporary Morris sides we see nowadays, but schoolgirls with flower garlands and Sunday best white frocks.
Morris Dancing, Wilmslow Carnival, 1910

Some danced alone, Isadora Duncan style.
Mary dancing

Others danced with themselves ( thanks to a bit of darkroom trickery).
Peggy Cadman dancing with herself, c.1930

Nowadays people go to Zumba as an exercise class.  Back in 1936 the policemen of Manchester were combining sharp moves with keep fit too.

Police Physical Training Class, 1936

Happy feet!