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Seafarer's Ball
Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Attend?

Do I have to be a member of the Norfolk Towne Assembly to attend?

No. The ball is open to both members and non-members.  If you are interested in membership in the Norfolk Towne Assembly, visit our Join Us page.

Is it okay to come by myself or do I need a partner?

You are very welcome to come without a partner in tow...mainly because you won't need one!  English Country Dancing is social dancing, and we encourage our attendees to switch partners throughout the ball in keeping with the customs of the early 19th century.

If you are not being asked to dance, simply look for one of the ladies or gentlemen wearing a red, white, and blue rosette at the event and they will be happy to introduce you to someone willing to dance to join you on the floor.


Are children welcome?

We have been delighted to have children of a wide range of ages attend our Balls in the past.  All attendees, regardless of age, must buy a ticket.  The children who get the most out of the experience are those who want to be there, know left from right without having to think about it, can follow instructions, and are able to behave appropriately in public.  We simply ask that parents use discretion in deciding whether their children are mature enough to participate and take responsibility for supervising their children while at the Ball.



Ticketing Questions

Can I buy tickets at the door?

There are no ticket sales at the door.  Online ticket sales for the 2022 Seafarer’s Ball close June 3, 2022.  Admission may also be bought in person from Norfolk Towne Assembly members at the regular Tuesday night British Isles Dancers of Norfolk dance practices in Norfolk as several of us attend that each week.

What if I buy a ticket and then discover I'm not able to attend?

We are sorry but, due to certain “committed” costs we have, we are not able to offer refunds.  If you realize that you won't be able to join us after buying admission you have a couple of options.

  1. Your tickets are transferable, so if you find out that you can't make it, you are welcome to offer them to someone who can.  Please let us know if you give your ticket(s) to someone else to use.  Due to there being no physical tickets, we need to know so that your guest(s) is not prevented from being admitted or held responsible for buying another ticket to attend.

  2. Contact us at and, if the Ball is sold out and we have folks on a waiting list, we can put you in contact with them to allow you to negotiate a resale.


Is there any way to buy a ticket after registration closes?


We cannot guarantee ticket availability after the close of registration but e-mail us at to see if you can be accommodated.


I'm coming in from out of town. Do you have any lodging available?


There are no hotels near the venue however, there are several (including Marriott, Sheraton, Hilton, Courtyard, Wyndham Garden, and Residence Inn.  These are all found in downtown Norfolk within walking distance of the Harborfest Celebration, Nauticus, and other attractions.



Ball Specific Questions

What dances will you be doing?

We develop a new program for each year’s Ball based on the theme of the ball. A list of the dances, as well as downloadable dance instructions are posted on the Seafarer’s Ball main page on the Norfolk Towne Assembly website.


I don't have any/much experience doing English Country Dances.  Will I be able to take part?

Yes!  We understand that we will have people with a wide range of experience levels at our event and our object is to make certain that those who wish to dance will have many opportunities regardless of how long they've been dancing.  Our excellent dancing master will walk everyone through each dance before we dance it and will call out the figures during the dance so that you will know what comes next.

Is period clothing required?

No. While we certainly encourage folks to get into the spirit and wear late 18th and early 19th century attire, we do not require it and many of our guests in the past have come in modern attire. If you prefer to wear modern clothing, we simply ask that you respect the formality of the occasion and wear proper evening wear. (Dresses for the ladies; suits and ties for the gentlemen.)

Will there be food available at the ball?

During the intermission, all guests to the 2022 Seafarer’s Ball will be offered pre-packaged light refreshments.  Additionally, there will be water and period non-alcoholic beverages available throughout the evening.


Will you be requiring masks/proof of vaccination status for attendees?

We will not be requiring masks or proof of vaccination status so long as not doing so is not in violation of any governmental or venue-specific requirements in place at the time of the event.  We encourage attendees to follow current CDC recommendations for masking and will have hand sanitizer available during the evening.  Thank you in advance for your consideration of others by choosing not to attend if you are feeling sick or have been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the 10 days prior to the event.

I would like to attend but I'd rather not dance.  Are there any discounts for non-dancers?

As we have no way to enforce who dances and who does not, we are unable to offer discounted tickets for "observers." We would still enjoy the pleasure of your company of course.

Where can I get clothing if I choose to wear period attire?

If you know someone who has clothing for this period, then you could ask them if they have some in your size, they would be willing to loan.  Additionally, many costume shops have period costumes (generally referred to as Regency Era or Colonial Era) available to rent.  For those who wish to spend more, you can check online retailers (James Townsend & Son is one) for ready-made clothing for either the Colonial Era or the Early 19th Century.

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