hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon

hello and happy friday! it’s that quiet time between christmas and new years when we sort of slow down stop the madness. it’s during those slow times when we can really let go, indulge and enjoy falling into the abyss that is the internet!

while at my parents’ house yesterday, i came across this little book i picked up in paris. it’s so sweet with a pencil attached by a silk ribbon and list of dances inside including the waltz and polka. i knew a little about these books but when i started really looking into it, realized that it’s more than just a novelty, it represents a way of life for mankind since time immemorial.

these ‘carnet de bal‘ were cards that a woman would use to keep track of her dance partners at a formal or organized event. today they’re just souvenirs but upon closer inspection, they tell a wonderful story.


we could go back in time to the caveman, the etruscans, the egyptians and every other civilization in between and find that all cultures danced. a lot.

i wonder why our own day and age we sort of abandoned dancing as a society?  it seems that it’s something that brought people together in a way we might not even realize we need. of course we have clubs and salsa nights, even tango on the seine in paris. but what about balls or supper clubs where on any given night, there’s dinner and dancing?

back in the day, dancing was a simply way of life. at home, you just rolled up the rug and got down!

digging deeper i found there are many others who are fascinated by this custom that was once a part of daily life but has all but left our culture now.

anyway it was fun to delve into it and there’s an infinite amount of info from the kinds of dances like the charleston and foxtrot, to the rules that were observed at the events.

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

it was probably a great way to meet people…

to get dressed up and just have a good time…

collect these pretty little keepsakes

and have a sort of diary of the evening

the carnets are a piece of history, a memoir of a night of great fun

“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”

things are never perfect in any era no matter how much we romanticize it

but the dances were a time when differences were put aside and people of all ages came together for just one thing

with an unbridled joy

“Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.”
-Sarah Dessen

today these are lovely relics of nights long ago

do you know any old dances? wouldn’t it be fun to revive a few?

anyway i love this invitation to the ‘pleasure ball’ where their tagline is “While we live, let us LIVE.”

they were really living it up. well enjoy your holiday, i hope you dance the night away on new years and beyond!

PS we’re hosting a giveaway for the little dance card book. if you’re interested, let me know in the comments and we’ll choose the winner on monday. good night!

images via pinterest and google

December 29, 2018. Life.


  1. Denise replied:

    Loved this little visit to days gone by! I collect vintage cosmetics items so this carnet would be a lovely addition!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      Hi Denise, I’m happy you stopped over! I’d love to see your collection, sounds wonderful…i love the packaging and color of vintage cosmetics too.


    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      Hi Denise! Congrats! We just ran the random number generator and you won the carnet! Can you email me your address?


  2. Carole Renzullo replied:

    would love to win…they are all lovelt

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carole Renzullo replied:



  4. Susan H replied:

    The invitation to the dance held in Lower Falls, Newton is from my home town. Incidentally, Newton is the city that the Fig Newton was named for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      Hi Susan, wow that’s fascinating! I wish i had that invitation but it was something i found on the internet. What a cool history, thank you for sharing that!


      • Susan H replied:

        I should also add that Newton is in Massachusetts.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Louise C replied:

    That was fun reading ☺️ I thought the Carnet de bal was to reserve a dance with a lady. Isn’t it what a dance card was for? She would note the men who asked her in order they asked her and noted them in her carnet. That way, they had a chance to dance with her.

    Liked by 1 person

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