Tag Archives: auditory history

Liveness, Hawaiian arm exercises, and a bit of sensory history

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Scrolling through The Art of Dancing (1919)  on Forgotten Books, I came across a quaint-sounding exercise, Basic Hawaiian Arm and Italian Body Exercises Combined To Promote Arm and Body Grace. If it hadn’t had such an exotic title, I wouldn’t have stayed on the page long enough to notice the fact that under the title was the indication

Music: Wailana Waltz…………..Victor Record No. 17767-B

From "The Art of Dancing" 1919, on Forgotten Books

From “The Art of Dancing” 1919, on Forgotten Books

Possibly, just possibly, I thought, someone out there has uploaded a digital version of this record. Within seconds, I found it:

There are a million reasons to be excited by the internet, but this kind of thing is top of my list. You can have a pretty good go at re-living the sensory experience of a dance class of nearly a century ago. Just put on the Wailana Waltz and follow the instructions. Maybe close the curtains first.