Saturday, January 13, 2007

Moonlight dances not allowed

Regulations posted in the dance halls of Lansing, Michigan, c. 1920:

Rules and Regulations for Public Dance Halls

1. No shadow or spotlight dances allowed.
2. Moonlight dances not allowed where a single light is used to illuminate the Hall. Lights may be shaded to give Hall dimmed illuminated effect.
3. All unnecessary shoulder or body movement or grotesque dances positively prohibited.
4. Pivot reverse and running on the floor prohibited.
5. All unnecessary hesitation, rocking from one foot to the other and see-sawing back and forth of the dancers will be prohibited.
6. No loud talking, undue familiarity or suggestive remarks unbecoming any lady or gentleman will be tolerated.


1. Right hand of gentleman must not be placed below the waist nor over the shoulder nor around the lady's neck, nor lady's left arm around gentleman's neck. Lady's right hand and gentleman's left hand clasped and extended at least six inches from the body, and must not be folded and lay across the chest of dancers.
2. Heads of dancers must not touch.


No beating of drum to produce Jazz effect will be allowed.

Any and all persons violating any of these rules will be subject to expulsion from the hall, also arrest for disorderly conduct.


Source: Vice: an anthology – ed. Rupert Davenport-Hines (Hamish Hamilton, London)

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