Posted 2 years ago
Danceland ... for dancers!!! — at Manitou Beach, Watrous, Saskatchewan. This hall was ... is, arguably, the most famous dance floor in all of Saskatchewan. It’s zenith years were those immediately after WWII when groups such as The Six Fat Dutchmen performed on its stage for people who travelled hundreds of miles to dance on its horse hair dance floor. The horsehair floor is 5000 square feet ... and dancing on it is a special kind of magic. The floor is actually a 5000 square foot maple floor suspended over coils of horsetail hair on rollers. The tension of the floor can be adjusted. It is my understanding that the horsetail hair and support system replacement completed around 2000 cost over $ 1 Million, and necessitated a province-wide search for new investors, as Danceland attempted to forestall a group that wanted to move the iconic hall to Alberta. My information comes from the 2004 manager of the hall. The big hall still exists at Manitou Beach, despite various challenges through the decades. It is, however, closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite contemporary rumours to the contrary, I have yet to find evidence that Elvis Presley performed at Danceland. There is no Saskatchewan media support for any such event — which some say supposedly occurred around 1954. Also, I knew and have the records and photos of the Saskatchewan agent of that period who did the majority of the booking of bands into Danceland (as well as his own dance hall, River Park, in Estevan) during the 1950s. There is nothing about Elvis Presley in those records; he never ever said that Elvis was at Danceland. A better case can be made for Johnny Cash, however.
Photos are mine.