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The city of Lowell, Massachusetts was at the center of the Industrial Revolution in the United States for much of the nineteenth century. Numerous books have been penned about its growth and about the mill girls who came from across New England to work there. But very little has been written about the dance world of these young women.

Controversial and pervasive, was partnered dance a harmless entertainment or the road to the brothel?

A longtime dancer, textile worker, researcher, and writer, Ruth Evans is well suited to offer a peek into those long-ago ballrooms. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, and with help from her husband's decades of dance research, she has created a book brimming with illustrations, recollections and newspaper reports to bring us the where, what, when, and with whom of this timeless social activity.