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An opulent ballroom at the Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia
The Oranjezaal in palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague, The Netherlands

A ballroom or ballhall is a large room inside a building, the primary purpose of which is holding large formal parties called balls. Traditionally, most balls were held in private residences; many mansions and palaces, especially historic mansions and palaces, contain one or more ballrooms. In other large houses, a large room such as the main drawing room, long gallery, or hall may double as a ballroom, but a good ballroom should have the right type of flooring, such as hardwood flooring or stone flooring (usually marble or stone).[citation needed]. For most styles of modern dance, a wooden sprung floor offers the best surface.

In later times the term ballroom has been used to describe nightclubs where customers dance, the Top Rank Suites in the United Kingdom for example were also often referred to as ballrooms. The phrase "having a ball" has grown to encompass many events where person(s) are having fun, not just dancing.

Ballrooms are generally quite large, and may have ceilings higher than other rooms in the same building. The large amount of space for dancing, as well as the highly formal tone of events have given rise to ballroom dancing. The largest balls are now nearly always held in public buildings, and many hotels have a ballroom. They are also designed large to help the sound of orchestras carry well throughout the whole room.

A special case is the annual Vienna Opera Ball, where, just for one night, the auditorium of the Vienna State Opera is turned into a large ballroom. On the eve of the event, the rows of seats are removed from the stalls, and a new floor, level with the stage, is built.

Sometimes ballrooms have stages in the front of the room where the host or a special guest can speak. That stage can also be used for instrumentalists and musical performers.

List of hardwood US floor ballrooms[edit]

Postcard of the ballroom at the Metropolitan Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, undated

This list only includes ballrooms with permanent wood floors. The size of the floor only includes the largest contiguous area without obstructions. The websites and materials about some places add up multiple spaces, rooms, and balconies, and floors. However, this list ranks ballrooms based on the size of one single open space with a hardwood floor.

Currently Existing Hardwood Floor Ballrooms in the United States
Name Location Size (sq. ft.) Year Reference
Coliseum Ballroom Sandusky, Ohio 20,000[1] 1907 Amusement Park site


Aragon Ballroom Chicago, Illinois 20,000[2] 1926 Official site
Sunnybrook Ballroom Pottstown, Pennsylvania 15,200 1931 Official site
Casino Ballroom Avalon, California 14,000 1929 [No Site]
Palladium Waikiki, Hawaii 11,000 1990 [No Site]
Cotillion Ballroom Wichita, Kansas 11,000 1960[3] Official site
Val Air Ballroom Des Moines, Iowa 8,750[4] 1961 Official site
Spanish Ballroom Glen Echo, Maryland 7,500 1933 Official site
Hollywood Ballroom Silver Spring, Maryland 7,200[5] ???? Official site
Elite Hall Hyrum, Utah 7,000[6] 1917 Official site
Surf Ballroom Clear Lake, Iowa 6,300 1948 Official site
Anhalt Hall Spring Branch, Comal County, Texas 6,300[7] 1908 Official site
Country Club Ballroom, Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables, Florida 6,200[8] 1926 Official site
Hammerstein Ballroom Manhattan, New York 6,100[9] 1906 Official site
Vasa Park Ballroom Bellevue, Washington 6,000 ???? Official site
Willowbrook Ballroom Willow Springs, Illinois 6,000 1921 Official site
Vanity Ballroom Detroit, Michigan 5,600[10][11] 1929 No site[12]
Schroeder Hall Victoria, Texas 5,000 1890 Official site
Swiss Alp Hall Swiss Alp, Texas 5,000 1899 Official site
Electric Park Ballroom Waterloo, Iowa 5,103[13] 1936 Official site
Crystal Ballroom Portland, Oregon 3,600[14] 1914 Official site
Melody Grand Ballroom Portland, Oregon 3,500 1925 Official site
Historic Ballroom Twin Falls, Idaho 3,170 1922 Official site[permanent dead link]
Grand Palladian Ballroom at The Semple Mansion Minneapolis, Minnesota 3,000[15] 1880s–1890s Official site
Elks Tower Ballroom Sacramento, California 2,400 ???? Official site
Fullerton Ballroom Fullerton, California 2,145 1927 Official site
Lakeside Ballroom Guttenberg, Iowa ???? 1927 Official site
Oak Ballroom Schuyler, Nebraska ???? 1929 Official site Archived 2013-08-17 at the Wayback Machine [9]
Cain's Ballroom Tulsa, Oklahoma 11,000[16] 1924 Official site
Diamond Ballroom Oklahoma City, Oklahoma ???? 1964 Official site

See also[edit]


  1. ^ This rough estimate is based upon photos and not from measurements. Two unofficial pages say that the ballroom is 45,000 square feet, and that the building itself is 300 ft x 150 ft. [1] Archived 2012-03-22 at the Wayback Machine [2] Archived 2011-07-11 at the Wayback Machine From pictures Archived 2013-08-18 at the Wayback Machine, the dancable area without columns is currently smaller than the building although very large. It was billed as the "Largest Dancing Pavilion on the Great Lakes," in David Nasaw, Going out: the rise and fall of public amusements,(Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1999), p. 90.
  2. ^ [3] Archived 2011-09-17 at the Wayback Machine[4] Archived 2012-10-05 at the Wayback Machine[5] Archived 2012-03-22 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "The Cotillion – Concerts and Events in Wichita, Kansas – Home". Archived from the original on 2010-11-28. Retrieved 2010-09-08.[6] Archived 2010-12-30 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "iowaballroom.com/p/act/valair.html" (PDF). valairballroom.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2022-03-11. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  5. ^ "Event Rentals at Hollywood Ballroom Dance Center, Silver Spring, MD". hollywoodballroomdc.com. Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
  6. ^ The building is 70' x 122' but the dance floor sits in from the walls approximately four feet and is raised up a few inches. 62' X 116' = 7192
  7. ^ "Austin TX entertainment, events, food, movies, music | Austin360.com". Archived from the original on 2012-03-29.
  8. ^ Lisa Light, Destination Bride, (Georgetown, ON: North Light Books, 2005), p. 170.
  9. ^ estimate based on architectural drawing Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Savage, Rebecca Binno; Greg Kowalski (2004). Art Deco in Detroit. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 98–104 Although this page says just 5,000 Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Connecticut Flooring Contractors". Retrieved 2 December 2023.
  12. ^ Not open to the public
  13. ^ 81' x 63' http://www.iowaballroom.com/p/act/ep_wloo.html Archived 2011-02-01 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ The floor is definitely larger, but the size is irregular. This estimate is based on this floor plan Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ [7] Archived 2011-08-04 at the Wayback Machine[8] Archived 2011-10-03 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ capacity of 6,000 people Ralph G. Giordano, Country & Western Dance, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2010 p.42-3.

Further reading[edit]

  • Robert Meyer,"Millennium Maple – Glorious, Historic, Legendary, Treasured Ballroom Dance Floors", Amateur Dancers, Jan/Feb 2000, Issue#123.
  • Geronimo Trevino. Dance Halls and Last Calls: A History of Texas Country Music. Lanham, MD: Republic of Texas Press 2002. ISBN 1-55622-927-5. Copyright

External links[edit]