Iconic Dance-Mor Ballroom in Swisher to Close
A legendary Eastern Iowa music venue is set to close its doors, due to the owner's retirement. The Dance-Mor Ballroom in Swisher says farewell, unofficially,
Saturday, May 24th when Morgan Lynn performs. However, additional dates could be added thru the end of June.
I spoke with owner Craig Davis this afternoon and he's decided to finish the venue's current season (which technically runs thru June 30) and then sell Dance-Mor, where he's been involved in day to day operations since 1974.
The venue in Swisher has been owned by just two families, despite being open since 1932. Craig reports the original owners held it for 42 years, prior to his parents taking over while they were still teaching school by day. His mom would sell tickets at every dance until she turned 80 years old.
KHAK has held many events at Dance-Mor, from concert/fundraisers with the likes of Joe Diffie to barn dances, and more.
Dance-Mor has played host to a wide variety of local and national acts and started as a rock-n-roll venue. It was enshrined as a member of the Iowa Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Over the years, a veritable who's who has played its stage including Guy Lombardo, Bo Ramsey and the Sliders, The Blue Band, Conway Twitty (as a rock-n-roll star, prior to his emergence as a country superstar), The Dorsey Brothers, Glen Miller, Lawrence Welk, and Tiny Hill and his Orchestra were performing the night the end of World War II was announced.
Craig looks back on four decades of Dance-Mor Ballroom this way: "I've watched two full generations grow up in here...this place has been the love of my life and I wouldn't change a thing."
I'd love it if you'd share your favorite memories of Dance-Mor Ballroom below: