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"I'd Rather Be Dancing": Wisconsin Women Moving On

"I'd Rather Be Dancing": Wisconsin Women Moving On Joan M. Jensen Joan M. Jensen “I’d Rather Be Dancing”: Wisconsin Women Moving On Some years ago, while sitting with my aunt drinking coffee, I asked her why she left her Wisconsin farm for the city of Milwaukee. What was there to do, she asked in return. Meet a boy down at the bridge? What did she do in the city, I asked. She said she had first worked in a candy factory and roomed with the family of a young friend. The year was 1916. What did you do after work, I persisted. We went dancing, she replied, every night except Monday. Why never on Monday, I asked. Because, she responded with a smile, the dance hall was closed on Monday. Dancing is one way to transcend place and space. Migrating is another. Rural women embraced both types of mobility. In this article I explore the paral- lelism between work and recreation by looking closely at these two types of mo- bility—dancing and migration. I use the experiences of young women in central Wisconsin during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for this ex- ploration. Recreational opportunities, in addition to the need for access to better employment, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies University of Nebraska Press

"I'd Rather Be Dancing": Wisconsin Women Moving On

Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies , Volume 22 (1) – Apr 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 Frontiers Editorial Collective.
ISSN
1536-0334

Abstract

Joan M. Jensen Joan M. Jensen “I’d Rather Be Dancing”: Wisconsin Women Moving On Some years ago, while sitting with my aunt drinking coffee, I asked her why she left her Wisconsin farm for the city of Milwaukee. What was there to do, she asked in return. Meet a boy down at the bridge? What did she do in the city, I asked. She said she had first worked in a candy factory and roomed with the family of a young friend. The year was 1916. What did you do after work, I persisted. We went dancing, she replied, every night except Monday. Why never on Monday, I asked. Because, she responded with a smile, the dance hall was closed on Monday. Dancing is one way to transcend place and space. Migrating is another. Rural women embraced both types of mobility. In this article I explore the paral- lelism between work and recreation by looking closely at these two types of mo- bility—dancing and migration. I use the experiences of young women in central Wisconsin during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for this ex- ploration. Recreational opportunities, in addition to the need for access to better employment,

Journal

Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Apr 1, 2001

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