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I Could Have Danced All Night???

Updated on August 29, 2009

It is not possible to say when dance became part of human culture.  Yet, dance has certainly been an important part of ceremony, rituals, celebration and entertainment.  It has certainly been very entertaining to most of my ---seventy-seven years. 

•  Dance Marathons:

The earliest memory that I have is my wild parents, taking me to a (Dance Marathon,) at all hours of the day or night.  For those of you that have never heard of these events they went something like the following:

Dance marathons, also called walkathons, were popular but not fully respectable entertainment  during the 1920s and 1930s.  The fad began as one of many crazy, jazz-age diversions such as flagpole sitting, goldfish swallowing.

Dance marathon contestants were required to remain in motion 24 hours per day, with 15 minutes rest time per hour.  These marathons were human endurance contest in which couples danced or shuffled almost non-stop for many hundred hours, competing for prize money.  These marathons attracted large audiences.  Everyone that followed these marathons had their favorite couples to cheer on.  To keep up you would have to go there at different times of the day or night to see if you favorite couple was still in the competition.  A few radio stations would inform you only at noon time.  Finally these marathons were outlawed when several participants died.

  Dance Bands:

"Dance Bands" originated in America.  All the "big bands" of the 1930s and 40s were really just dance bands.  There was some sort of music at every venue, folks would leave their tables and --- dance, not because they had to---but because dancing around the floor in the arms of a partner that you admired was nice and more socially accepted.

Some bands were "Sweet" and some were "Hot." Benny Goodman was called the King of Swing, and leaned more toward the "Hot" then the "Sweet." Other bands, such as Guy Lomardo, leaned heavily toward the "Sweet" music.

1950s---Santa Monica Calif:

Saturday nights everyone headed for their favorite dance hall. Ours was the Santa Monica Pier. for the dance halls were all lined up in a row. You could start out dancing with Spade Cooley, "country western," then go next door and dance to a band playing "swing,"


The most popular at that time was Lawrence Welk.  Although there were strict dance floor rules.  It was waltz, ball-room and polkas.  You were at all times required to be in contact with your partner, as holding on to both hands---no complete separation.  So this made jitterbug dancing very difficult.  (yes, I admit I was asked to leave the famous Lawrence Welk dance floor after my third warning.) 

  Square Dancing:

Well, it was time to try something else and the the fad was square dancing.  They start out by telling you the rules--here too.  Yes, everything has rules?  The first thing that the tell you is that square dancing and liquor are not compatible dance partners.  You then get all dressed up in your western attire and you listen to the caller and try and do atwo-step with three other couples.  You get twirled around and around the square with all the others in your square.  On a hot summer night you can really work up a sweat.  (yes, they were right about a couple cold-ones and all that twirling they don't mix-well.)


Yes, I recommend dancing of all kinds.  It makes us happy and if you control yourself and follow the  rules  it is a healthy exercise.

Although I now have a slight problem---my feet still know what to do---but my body doesn't seem to be listening, maybe that is and AGE-RULE?


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    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 7 years ago

      saddlerider1 thanks, I have been fortunate to have danced through a great era of the big bands and as I sit here tapping on these keys my toes are also tapping to the music in the back-ground.

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 7 years ago

      I loved and still love dancing. Nothing better to get out on the dance floor and have a good time. And a slow dance to hold your partner close. Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly were two of my favorites way back when and they still stimulate a lot of interest in their films.

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 7 years ago

      Gigi all you have to do is keep those toes tapping and the laughter will follow---it's life music!

    • Gigi2 profile image

      Gigi2 7 years ago from UK

      I enjoyed this so much. I love to dance, and to be honest it's been too long since I did. I really feel alive when on a dance floor. Sadly my knees these days don't want to play ball, but they're getting replaced soon, so one day... :)

      Your hub made me laugh, reflect and yearn, great work, thank you.

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      KCC, yes you just need to keep those feet moving to the music of life.

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      Naddy, just keep those toes tapping with love.

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas

      "Young-uns".......are you taking notes, here? Ginn, Hank and Naddy are spilling some secrets to long happy living! Thanks for sharing! Great hub!

    • HeSaid SheSaid profile image

      HeSaid SheSaid 8 years ago from our favorite love seat

      Hank and I love to dance. It lifts the spirits and keeps the love good. Thanks Ginn. ~Naddy

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      Optimists, I'm glad you enjoyed my story. I don't think the lip gloss would have helped me, for I have always tested the limits and it has got me in trouble many times---but h--l why stop now?

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

      Ha ha mom, all those times we watched the Lawrence Welk show and I never knew. My fondest memory of you dancing, is being a little girl and you wearing your poodle sequined skirt to a dance and Mr. Lippold dancing.

    • OptimistsOnly profile image

      OptimistsOnly 8 years ago from Christchruch, New Zealand

      Love your story. Made me laugh out LOUD! Asked to leave the Lawrence Welk dance floor, at least you made it. You probably weren't wearing enough lip gloss. The girls on that show always had the shiniest lips. That is a dance floor not too many can claim they have danced on. Keep the stories coming!

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      Hey Cris, I don't know about shimmying but my feet are still moving---does that count?

      We all need another one of your great FICTION stories that you keep hidding.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I hope you haven't stopped shimmying Ginn! I would ask you for a dance if you're not half a world away! :D

      Keep them stories coming, your memories of them are priceless :D

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      Nelle, sounds like you better keep that dance partner and go out juke'n more often.

    • profile image

      Nelle Hoxie 8 years ago

      My husband grew up in rural Central Florida in the late 1950's and 60's. When he first met me, he asked if I'd like to go out juke'n. I had no idea what he was talking about - or if I had to inhale. But he has been my one and only dance partner for many years.

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      GT, I've never had a problem of just getting out there and making a complete fool of my self of course a couple of cold-ones help.

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 8 years ago from Free and running....

      I have two left feet, if you get me dancing for more than one song, its a miracle, or I'm slightly intoxicated.