1930s depression era dance marathons

The long marathons usually had rules that a partner was allowed to take a break as long as the other one was still dancing.


This section needs expansion with: Despite their controversial status, during the s dance marathons were entrenched in American culture.

It allowed spectators to feel a bit superior. Professional marathoners often pretending to be amateurs mixed with authentic hopeful amateurs under the direction of floor judges, an emcee, and the merciless movement of the clock to shape participatory theater.

Despite this fact, he was sensitive to the needs of the dancers. They lived during the Great Depression, when money, jobs, and food were scarce.

Always, written on placards surrounding the dance floor and endlessly repeated by the marathon emcee was the question: Physicians tended blisters, deloused dancers, disqualified and treated any collapsed dancer, tended sprains, and so on.

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Often, viewers were able to pay 25 cents to watch the marathon for as long as they wished. Contestants rested for 15 minutes of every hour. This essay made possible by: Novelty and prodigious advertising was required to draw large crowds.

At a time when many out-of-work Americans were standing in bread lines or simply going without, many marathon contestants reported that, despite the constant motion, 12 meals a day meant that they actually gained weight.

The local press kept a death-watch as contestants dropped out: Rigorous and Rigged In truth, the marathons were usually somewhat rigged, or at least stacked, toward certain couples. Dancing in Montreal But in the end, these dance marathons would die out as a fad not because of government or group outrage, but because of an altogether different problem.

Dance marathon

The dances were often simple shuffling and moving of the arms and hips, as a means to conserve energy. Some of the best slang from the s era. Students reinvented dance endurance competitions as a way to raise money for organizations that help people instead of exploit them.

Special endurance events were heavily advertised and drew large crowds. If they did, contestants were disqualified. Why did people submit to such a self-punishing event?Depression-era entertainment was known as the dance marathon; however, dance marathons began years before the depression.

By the early s, dance marathons show more content Promoters of the marathons had changed the name so the marathons would last for longer periods of time. Dance marathons were wildly popular in the U.S. during the s and s.

This was a time when people were in the midst of the Great Depression, struggling to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. But unquestionably the hardest to fathom time was when dance took a dark turn in the s, and a simple fad became a serious method of surviving one of the hardest eras in America: the Great Depression.

Dance marathon. Dance marathons are events in which people dance or walk to music for an extended period of time. Dance marathons, endurance movement contests, and derbies can be traced back to London in They started as dance contests in the s and developed into entertainment events during the Great Depression in the.

s – Dance Marathon, Movie Musical, Big Apple, Jitterbug.

Dancing for your supper during the great depression

In the s, the dance marathon evolved from its original focus on endurance records to a monetized part of show business. Depression-era marathons lasted up to six months, with ten-minute hourly breaks for dancers. If one partner’s knees touched the floor, the couple. Dance Marathons (also called Walkathons), an American phenomenon of the s and s, were human endurance contests in which couples danced almost non-stop for hundreds of hours (as long as a month or two), competing for prize money.

Dance marathons originated as part of an earlys, giddy.

1930s depression era dance marathons
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