Historic & Steampunk, Music & Dance

Silicon Valley is a great location for those interested in Trad Jazz, Progressive Jazz, historic dances, historic music, Steampunk, plus vintage and historic clothing. We are close to San Francisco and the East Bay, both home to many organizations which promote historic re-enactments, historic balls and historic dance instruction, plus sources for authentic or handmade historic clothing from each era, as well as the historic techno-fusion which is Steampunk.

There is a particular interest in Traditional Jazz here, with many dixieland and traditional jazz groups visiting Silicon Valley from all around the Bay Area. 

(Note: See my Quirky Silicon Valley Page for more on historical re-enactment groups related to military history or heritage transportation hobbyists, or my Archaeology, Ephemera and Vintage page for more on Vintage clothing purveyors and those whose passion is found or paper relics.)

In the heart of Silicon Valley:

In San Francisco and on the Peninsula:

In Santa Cruz:

In the East Bay:

  • Gaskell Balls: Heritage location at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland, with formal attire, vintage dance instruction preceding the balls, and information on costumes and period etiquette. 
  • The Greater Bay Area Costumer's Guild: Specializes in historic costume concstuction and reviving the guild experience for members. 
  • PEERS - The Period Events and Entertainments Re-Enactment Society hosts historic dance events in the Oakland area, however there are many members in Silicon Valley. This group is expert in locating historic clothing, or where to have it made to order.
  • San Francisco Bay AreaCajun Zydeco Dance Calendar: Traditional Cajun and Zydeco dances in the Bay Area. (Most dances include instruction.) 
  • SF Swing: One couple's guide to Swing and Lindy dance and culture in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Resources: Dance Ephemera, Descriptions and Etiquette:

Library of Congress: 

Stanford Dance:

University of Texas at Dallas:

Historic and Contemporary Dance Apparel and Costumes*:

*Links to purveyors are for informational purposes only.

---Catherine Alexander Bright, SiliconValleyLibrarian.org