John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
As we got older, we used to go to dances and parties at the YWCA, 610 N. Jackson St. The YWCA Terpsichorean Club had many dances, on Thursday nights, and parties at various times. This group was founded by Henry Altstadt and centered on young people who liked to dance and mingle with other like minded people. No cursing or profanity, abusive behavior, or drinking of alcohol was allowed. People in the club took turns planning the parties. If a person seemed to be shy, the solution was to put him or her into the kitchen to interact more with the others. When they were relaxed enough, they returned to the main party. People were supposed to welcome new members and find things for them to do to get into the flow of the group. Many times we would go to each other's homes and dance together. Henry Altstadt taught dance classes and all of us were learning the various levels of dancing. We were all equal as far as Henry was concerned. We used to have coed softball games on Sunday mornings at Wilson Park. Sometimes we would go horseback riding as a group or go to Regner City Park in West Bend for coed softball, tennis, swimming and other activities. The members came from all walks of life, and many were students at Milwaukee School of Engineering. I can remember going down as a group to the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago to dance. As you learned how to dance, you also liked to practice and show off new dance steps. We always had good clean fun at these events. To this day, many of the members still get together with their families and friends to socialize together. The YWCA building has since been razed and the YWCA Terpschorean Club has faded into the past, but pleasant memories of still exist today. Many thanks should go to Henry W. Altstadt for founding this group.