Jessie L. Pocock

Name: Jessie L. Pocock
Birth Date: 1889
Birth Place: St Louis Missourri, USA
Death Date: November 6, 1983
Death Location: Evanston Illinois, USA


Jessie Pocock’s life was filled with dance. She began teaching dancing in Evanston in 1921 as the principal dance instructor for children with the Bournique Dance Academy. She was a member of a ballroom dance team and joined the American Society of Teachers of Dancing in 1924. She taught ballroom dancing to debutantes and fathers, among other dance classes, all over suburban Chicago for many years. The ballet and ballroom dancing classes at the Evanston Country Club and Woman’s Club of Evanston, beginning in 1926 and continuing through the 1960s, were taught by Pocock as well. After WWII these classes became known as Fortnightly, where she was the director and founder. She continued to coordinate events like the annual Infant Welfare Ball and the Passavant Hospital Debutante Christmas Ball even after retirement.


“[H]er primary goal in working with Evanston youngsters has been two-fold: (1) to develop in them a sense of respect for anyone in authority and for each other; and (2) to make her students aware of – and to help them observe – the “small niceties” of social behavior” (Lowndes III, Mrs. Richard). “Miss Pocock is convinced that her greatest satisfaction has come from the accomplishments of these handicapped children.” She taught dance to blind, deaf, dumb, and crippled children” (Lowndes III, Mrs. Richard T.).

Father: Frederick Pocock
Mother: Alvina Pocock
Education: 1913 Studied under Alva L Bournique of Chicago dance and later taught with Bournique.
Years in Evanston: 1913-1983

Sources: Evanston History Centre House Cards, Evanston Illinois. Evanston History Centre Costume Exhibit, Evanston Illinois. Evanston History Centre Clippings Bio Files: POC file, Evanston Illinois.

Associated Addresses: