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Danceland — Manitou Beach, Watrous, Saskatchewan, Canada

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    Posted 10 months ago

    Daisy1000
    (97 items)

    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.

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    Comments

    1. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 10 months ago
      I hope it continues on, I know my father sure enjoyed it during its heyday !~
    2. Manikin Manikin, 10 months ago
      Brings back memories of our dance hall in USA that I spent many nights dancing at . How wonderful it is still operating . Is it near Saskatoon ?
    3. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 10 months ago
      I’ve never danced on a horsehair floor, or even heard of one, but the pictures and description make me want to be there!
      The inside view reminds me of a huge dance hall where I went ballroom dancing in Chicago many years ago. Great memories!
    4. Daisy1000 Daisy1000, 10 months ago
      Phil — It’s quite the place. I so like how they have retained all the vintage features, including the overhead balcony — that’s where those benches are located. The mineral spa is sophisticated, and there are hotel rooms for people who come for the therapeutic waters ... and stay for awhile. The lake itself is wonderful, of course, as well.

      Manikin —Thanks for your comment. Saskatoon and Regina are, yes, both Danceland’s draw area.

      Watchsearcher — Oh, that sounds interesting — Chicago. If you have information, and want to post, I’d love to see it. Love that city ... it’s history is amazing. The waterfront, phenomenal.

      keramikos — Quite the floor. Dancing that floor is an experience. It’s not bales of horsetail hair, however. Sophisticated system. I’ll get the exact information ... and post. But it’s online somewhere. It’s a system of rollers and horsehair. The tension can be adjusted. They replaced the original entirety about 20 years ago; recreated original system. I saw part of the replacement.
    5. poticheman poticheman, 10 months ago
      nice write up ....
    6. poticheman poticheman, 10 months ago
      And Elvis did leave the building,.. just not this one ,,,,smiling

      a little snip...
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/dancing-never-died-music-lovers-hope-to-save-danceland-1.4753270
    7. Daisy1000 Daisy1000, 10 months ago
      Thank you for all the Loves for this old dance hall! Appreciate them ... very much.
    8. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 10 months ago
      Fantastic place. Makes be think of the lovely film "Strictly Ballroom" from 1992. It is nice when old places like this lives on.
    9. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 7 months ago
      I heard my father speak of the floors often as he hated cement floors, I look at this dark comp screen and will check your other posts when I break out of this joint. I am on 5th operating patients floor with superior care for my legs and feet, compared to last year when they got 0 care. I wlll have more comments when I get home.

      So nice to see added pics !!
    10. Daisy1000 Daisy1000, 4 months ago
      Phil — Seeing this comment of yours about floors now (and you are out of hospital and hopefully healing). Did you see the OS post by the Gene Dlouhy family about his passing, accompanied by an old dance advertisement photo. Dlouhy & his group played Danceland, even though the family seems to not have included that information in their sharing of yesterday. — October 24, 2020.
    11. Daisy1000 Daisy1000, 4 months ago
      Gene Dlouhy — https://m.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR0AGVCcrsmf5829TDaBYUU5N5yTlphNwkHKqoWZF4RUSweulNRIyWljqng&feature=youtu.be&v=ha_bqcwiZr0

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