That June, three Italians named the Vannis come to Black Hawk from Kansas City to teach dancing. They set up a temporary dancing pavilion in town, and a dancing frenzy ensues. Ántonia and the other "hired girls" love the pavilion, which is, as Jim notes, "a place where the girls could wear their new dresses, and where one could laugh aloud without being reproached." They dance freely with the sons of wealthier families.
Inside the pavilion, the class differences between native-born Americans and immigrants that have characterized the novel are cast aside for the first time. The immigrant girls take advantage of this freedom to socialize with wealthy young men.