My 1930's/40's Swing Dance Birthday Party

Monday, March 14

Good morning, my name's Katie and i'm addicted to themed dress-up birthday parties. I blame my mother who always had our home stocked with a massive dress-up box filled with loads of goodies. Come to think of it, her house is still loaded with heaps of dress-up clothes, but now it's 3 boxes to be exact!

Being a history nerd, I generally tend to gravitate towards dressing up from a particular decade. Not convinced of my obsession yet? Check out my mad men themed party, or my Downton Abbey party. Yep, the struggle is real. But I embrace it with gusto.

This year I was a little late in the game in deciding to have a party, so about 2 weeks ago, I picked a theme, and sent out an evite. My sister is on a swing dancing team, so I asked her if she'd be interested in teaching a swing dancing lesson. She agreed, and off to the races we went with this theme. I did a little research on swing dancing, and evidently it hit its heyday in the 1930's and into the 1940's. So we kind of combined the decades in planning our party. I gotta admit it's a little hard to dress for these decades as the fashion was not as obvious as other decades (like a 1920's flapper costume or 1950's poodle skirt) but we did our best. I showed up at my parents house the afternoon of the party and my mom and I tromped into the garage and opened the 3 dress up boxes to find some gorgeous dresses that were my grandmother's from back in the day. Dress…check, check.

So what did I do to set the mood of the party? Well, a few things…
1) I did a "Name that person" game for famous people in the 1930's and 1940's. I printed out their picture, taped them to the wall with numbers, and people had to guess each person. Winner got a prize! A few of the people up on the wall included Clark Gable, Elizabeth Taylor, Winston Churchill, Amelia Earhart, Shirley Temple, The Andrew Sisters, John Steinbeck and others…

2) Kevin and I made a Trivia game with questions about things that happened in the 30's and 40's. I gave every partner a sheet, and then let everyone take about 15 minutes to fill it out. We then went through and read the right answers. It actually was a total hit, I think people had fun.

3) I found a bunch of slang words used in the 1940's. I would read them off, and everyone had to guess what the slang word meant! I definitely learned something new…did you know that "gas" meant to have a good time…like you would say "that party was such a gas". Haha, hilarious!

4) Swing Dancing!! My sister taught everyone the basic steps to swing dancing, including spin moves and "skinning the cat". She did such a great job! And even if most of us weren't that great, swing dance music is just so jolly, right? You just wanna tap your feet! ….or is that just me?

Overall the night was a success and we had a great time. One really special part about the party was that many of my family members drove into town to celebrate with me. My 91 year old grandpa and grandma were there, my aunts and uncles came (and dressed to the nines!!), and 2 of my 3 siblings were there. And thanks for my parents for hosting! Good time had by all:) xoxo

{my dad wore the tie that my grandpa was married in during 1947! Way to be authentic dad!} 
 {whoops…fake mustache malfunction…}
{our youngest swing dancer above!} 
 {sweet sweet Grandpa!}
{you can see a few questions from the trivia game above…I spy a few wrong answers and a few right answers, haha!} 
 {seriously, how cute are my dad, sister and uncle getting their groove on? haha!}

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