you believe it? Back in the early 1800s when the waltz first
came out, it was known as the dirty dancing of the
age? Though the older people denounced and reviled it as another
form of depravity, the young folk took to it heart and soul,
as youth have always taken to anything new and exciting.
the papers, in the pulpits, in the schools there poured forth rivers
of complaints pointing out the lewdness of the dancers bodies
being frequently tight up against each other as they whirled and
glided across the dance-floor. Not only were there fierce objections
over the too-closeness, the prudes of the day didnt like the
spins and the movements which they said, intoxicated the brain
and that the dancing surely would lead to sin and degradation. Even
the great lover and poet, Byron himself looked down with disfavour
on this new dance. He wrote a poem to vent his hostility:
Hot from the hands promiscuously applied,
The breast thus publicly resigned to man
Round the slight waist or down the glowing side,
In private may resist him, if it can.
Even when the waltz inevitably was exported to North America, it
was scorned as a scandalous way of dancing, and one paper went so
far as to say, We feel it is our duty to warn every parent
against exposing their daughter to so fatal a contagion. This
beautiful dance was subjected to poor reception and treatment in
America for nigh on fifty years. Parents forbade their children
to dance it, waltz instrumental music was outlawed and those who
succumbed to the beauty and gracefulness of the waltz did it behind
closed doors or suffered the consequences of verbal abuse.
But despite all this, the waltz survived and eventually became popular
thanks to wiser heads and the fact that those who hated this so-called
decadent dance of the devil had either died off or were
too old to maintain their outrageous views on it.
But just as likely, another dirty dance the Tango, had
come along to replace it.