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 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] 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.

An opulent ballroom at the Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia

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

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

These lists should only include ballrooms with permanent wood floors. The size of the floor should only include the largest contiguous area without obstructions. The web sites 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 BallroomSandusky, Ohio20,000[1]1907Amusement Park site


Aragon BallroomChicago, Illinois20,000[2]1926Official site
Sunnybrook BallroomPottstown, Pennsylvania15,2001931Official site
Casino BallroomAvalon, California14,0001929[No Site]
PalladiumWaikiki, Hawaii11,0001990[No Site]
Cotillion BallroomWichita, Kansas11,0001960[3]Official site
Val Air BallroomDes Moines, Iowa8,750[4]1961Official site
Spanish BallroomGlen Echo, Maryland7,5001933Official site
Hollywood BallroomSilver Spring, Maryland7,200[5] ????Official site
Elite HallHyrum, Utah7,000[6]1917Official site
Surf BallroomClear Lake, Iowa6,3001948Official site
Anhalt HallSpring Branch, Comal County, Texas6,300[7]1908Official site
Country Club Ballroom, Biltmore HotelCoral Gables, Florida6,200[8]1926Official site
Hammerstein BallroomManhattan, New York6,100[9]1906Official site
Vasa Park BallroomBellevue, Washington6,000 ????Official site
Willowbrook BallroomWillow Springs, Illinois6,0001921Official site
Vanity BallroomDetroit, Michigan5,600[10]1929No site[11]
Schroeder HallVictoria, Texas5,0001890Official site
Swiss Alp HallSwiss Alp, Texas5,0001899Official site
Electric Park BallroomWaterloo, Iowa5,103[12]1936Official site
Crystal BallroomPortland, Oregon3,600[13]1914Official site
Melody Grand BallroomPortland, Oregon3,5001925Official site
Historic BallroomTwin Falls, Idaho3,1701922Official site[permanent dead link]
Grand Palladian Ballroom at The Semple MansionMinneapolis, Minnesota3,000[14] 1880s-1890sOfficial site
Elks Tower BallroomSacramento, California2,400 ????Official site
Fullerton BallroomFullerton, California2,1451927Official site
Lakeside BallroomGuttenberg, Iowa ????1927Official site
Oak BallroomSchuyler, Nebraska ????1929Official site
Cain's BallroomTulsa, Oklahoma11,000[15]1924Official site
Diamond BallroomOklahoma City, Oklahoma ????1964Official site

See also


  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. Archived 2011-07-11 at the Wayback Machine From pictures, 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. Archived 2012-03-22 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-28. Retrieved 2010-09-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Archived 2010-12-30 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "" (PDF).
  5. "Event Rentals at Hollywood Ballroom Dance Center, Silver Spring, MD".
  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
  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. Not open to the public
  12. 81' x 63' Archived 2011-02-01 at the Wayback Machine
  13. The floor is definitely larger, but the size is irregular. This estimate is based on this floor plan
  14. Archived 2011-08-04 at the Wayback Machine
  15. capacity of 6,000 people Ralph G. Giordano, Country & Western Dance, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2010 p.42-3.

Further reading

  • 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