The Most Scandalous Dance 👀
Today, we’re visiting one of my favorite fun facts from dance history. The Waltz is beloved for its elegance and grace; it’s considered a classic and is danced at weddings, debutant balls, and ballrooms around the world.
But when Waltz began appearing at European balls in the 1800’s, it was the height of scandal. Before the Waltz, the courtly dances of that era had little contact between partners. But with the Waltz you danced in your partner’s arms, and society looked harshly on the youth who would dare to perform this shocking dance.
The writings from this period show the fervor with which Waltz was condemned. I’ve compiled a list of hilarious quotations from the 1904 book “The immorality of modern dances”. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do ☺️
See what the fuss is all about; learn to dance the “scandalous” Waltz with us at Intro To Social Dance Tuesdays at 7 PM.
QUOTES FROM “THE IMMORALITY OF MODERN DANCES” 😅
Let me know your favorite
📜But in the name of God, we ask how can young persons share carnal feelings or emotions and continually arouse them by assuming the Waltz position, going backward and forward, receding and rotating, and always in close embrace as though they were spitted on the same bodkin and still claim that they do not commit sin?
📜In waltzing, bodily contact cannot be avoided. It would be presumptuous to assume the position of the Waltz and claim modesty and innocence. Men and women are not justified in exposing themselves to lust or to allure partners or onlookers to it. We think this doctrine is according to the teaching of Christ and His Church and her saintly Fathers.
📜We are sure that no conscientious Bishop would approve filthy amusements for his flock. Benedict XIV lived in 1758. Had he lived in 1800 or thereabouts he would have been horrified at the immorality of the modern Waltz, and would in very deed have stigmatized it as the most vehement destroyer of morality.
📜Modern dances “transform all wives to Delilahs.” They know too that hugging other people’s wives and daughters is an immoral action. They know that vendettas and tragedies without number are recorded in the annals of nations as sequels of the Waltz and other modern dances. They know, moreover, that such dances are the wide road which leads to the divorce court, and that they bring in their wake universal strifes and miseries, abomination and desolation into what had been once happy homes.
📜Roman Catholics ought to know that the Archdiocesan Synod of Baltimore held in 1875, under that venerable Prelate, the late Archbishop James Roosevelt Bayley, forbids teaching Waltzes and round dancing in the colleges, schools and academies of the archdiocese, and prohibits even persons of the same sex from round dancing. The good Archbishop, like his worthy predecessor Archbishop Martin J. Spalding, knew full well the evil tendency of modern dances and did all in his power to prevent such an evil gaining any inroad into the flock intrusted to his care by Christ.
📜The Bishops did not refer their condemnation to the old-style square dances, which exclude bodily contact of the different sexes and which could be performed decently, but they condemned the Waltz and other modern dances which according to the code of corrupted modern society, demand close embrace.
📜Good Christians will never call the Waltz, the Polka, the Mazourka, the Redowa, the Dip, the Glide, the Saratoga, the German, etc., etc., “dangerous,” but in regard to the pose assumed in these dances they claim it to be sinful and as such never to be tolerated. They have a right for such opinion, and to be adherent to the realistic camp on this question.
📜The habitues of the ballroom are, as a general rule, weak spiritually, and of their own strength are not able to resist temptation. They are like reeds which bend to the ground with every wind that blows, and the grace of God will not come to their assistance while they hug each other in the voluptuous Waltz. And carrying our argument still further, we would ask what do the dancing masters mean by “reciprocity of feeling and emotion by male and female partners engaged in the Waltz?” They mean nothing else but enjoying the natural pleasures of the flesh coming from such close contact of their bodies. They speak from experience.
📜Mr. T. A. Faulkner, ex-dancing master and practical authority on modern dances and the author of a convincing booklet, “From the Ballroom to Hell,” edited in 1894, describes the position assumed in waltzing according to the rules of modern dancing. The following is his description of the sinful pose. “A beautiful girl, pure and innocent, the only remaining treasure of wealthy parents, is presented to a dancing master to learn the fashionable modern dances according to their well-established rules. At first she seems shocked at the manner in which he embraces her to teach her the latest Waltz. It is her first experience in the arms of a strange man, with his limbs pressed to hers; and in her natural modesty she shrinks from so familiar a touch. It brings a bright blush of indignation to her cheeks, and she thinks what an unladylike and indecent position to assume with a man who but a few hours before was an utter stranger. But she says to herself, ‘This is the position everyone must take who learns to dance in the most approved style—church-members and all, so of course, it is no harm for me.’ She thus takes the first step, casting aside that delicate God-given instinct which should be the guide of every pure woman in such matters.” The ex-dancing master adds that at the end of three months this very girl was ruined.
📜The rule of modern dances is close contact between male and female in order to dance well. The same authority says, “It is a horrible fact, but a fact nevertheless, that it is absolutely necessary that a woman shall be able and willing to reciprocate the feelings of her partner before she can graduate as a perfect dancer, so that even if it be allowed that a woman may waltz virtuously she cannot in that case waltz well. And it matters not how perfectly she knows and takes her steps; she must yield herself entirely to her partner’s embrace and also to his motions. Until a girl can and will do this, she is regarded as a ‘scrub’ by the male experts.” How can a decent man or woman reconcile such a diabolical doctrine with the Sixth Commandment as explained above?
📜Roman Plenary Baltimore Council by giving to the American young descendants of the faithful and pure Irish nation the authority of Archbishop 59 Walsh of Dublin, addressing his people in one of his Lenten Pastorals, saying: “Never engage in those improper dances imported “from other countries and retaining foreign names, “such as Polkas and Waltzes, which are so repugnant “to the notions of strict morality, are condemned by “many of the highest and most respectable members of “society and are at direct variance with that purity and “modesty of the female character for which Ireland “has been ever distinguished.”
📜The Rev. William S. Potts, D.D., of the Second Presbyterian Church, of St. Louis, Mo.,in a sermon which he published, condemns modern dances in the name of his church, because of their filthiness. Of the public ball he says: “The female is expected to make her appearance in a ball dress, which means that as much of the person as modesty will at all permit shall be exposed. She may be held in the embrace of a smooth stranger whom she never saw before, and whose heart is filled with lust, and her panting breast drawn close to his while waltzing or practising any of the still more delicate dances now so fashionable.”
📜We do not believe girls or young men whenever they claim that they do not experience improper feelings or emotions while engaged in the Waltz.
Amuse yourself further by reading the full text of “Immorality of modern dances” here