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Hard Times Ahead For Jazz Dancers

The campaign to eliminate the “cheek to cheek”, jazz, shimmie, and other “modern” dances, which started in New York early in January, seems to have reached as far west as Omaha, as the newspapers of that city would indicate that movements are on foot there to stamp out such styles. This movement is directly traceable to the plans adopted by the American national association of dancing masters held in January in New York, the association putting the ban on such dances and asking the support of mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, dance hall proprietors, dancing teachers, and if necessary, the police, to exterminate them.

Cheap and vulgar music is also to come under the ban, and in a circular issued by the association, those in charge of community or public dances are urged to show their opposition to undesirable dances by distributing “You will please leave the hall” cards to those who persist in offending. Fast dancing, the masters say, is impossible to regulate, so they have set the following tempos for the dances which are looked upon with favor: Waltz, forty-eight measures to minute; one-step, sixty-six measures to minute; fox trot, forty measures to minute. The dancing masters become somewhat ironic, but tell a great amount of truth in the following very sensible suggestion:

“Dancing should be from the waist down, not the waist up. Copying of the extremes used on the modern stage is in bad taste. Remember that the majority of dancers desire to dance according to the best-accepted standards, that is, without the slightest trace of offense to dignity or decorum.”

The Alliance Herald (Alliance, NE) March 5th, 1920

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