Youth Fellowship Modern Dance Group – 1955

During the 1950s, my father’s Central Congregational Church had a very active youth program. In 1955, when these photographs of the modern dance group were taken, the church was meeting at Crossman School and all activities were taking place in the parsonage at 2254 Chicago Blvd.  As always, click on images to enlarge.




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15 thoughts on “Youth Fellowship Modern Dance Group – 1955

  1. Kristin,
    Your dad’s church sounds like a great place to have had as a foundation — and a fun place as well. I also like the emphasis on scholarship. Lucky girl — and very nice pics too.

  2. I find it interesting reading about a modern dance group being run by a church. In my home town when I was growing up one of the well known churches wouldn’t allow any dancing connected with their church. I suppose they found it immoral but what better way for young people to mingle and make friendships.

    1. Our church never had that belief but I have been reading some Christian novels from the late 1800s/early 1900s and that is one of the main tenants – that and abstaining from cards and alcohol and tobacco. The argument against dance was that young women would be so close to young men, in a way that would not be allowed in any other interaction. And that often they didn’t know the men they were dancing with very well or in some situations, at all. That wouldn’t apply to modern dancing but probably they would have frowned on that too as it wasn’t being used as praise dance. I never liked social dance in those days and much prefered when they set up a ping pong table where you could interact without dancing.

  3. We were just beginning to have teen dances in 1955. They held them at the community hall and they used to dim the lights so we could sway along to the “Drifters” and the “Coasters”. I fell madly in love for the first time at one of those dances.

  4. They sure look like they were having fun! My Presbyterian church youth group didn’t do anything like that.

  5. Lovely photos of lovely girls. I think modern dance was (and still is) a great way to express different things…much more was available that way, and it fit right in with the 50s culture, the beat movement, coffee houses, abstract art, poetry.

  6. I find it interesting (and maybe a bit intimidating) that they mention the ‘exceptional’ grades of their youth. Still, it looks like there was something for everyone.

  7. Static photographs of dance never manage to capture the thrill or the style of the art form, making fluid movement look like odd poses. In these days of new technology, such programmes would be able to incorporate a video clip which would have illustrated the beauty of dance far better.

  8. The more I read, the more I feel that your father was an amazing man.

    I wrote also wrote about religion this weekend. My grandmother, being the eldest of four children was not allowed to go to dances, even after she was married. Her father felt that the “riff raff” went to dances.

  9. The girls’ pose in the opening photo is really a fine match to the prompt. I agree with the others — that looks like a great church in tune with youth.

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