1930s depression era dance marathons

But as the length of the shows grew, so did the effects of deprivation. These rest areas were segregated by sex.

dance marathon deaths

These modern marathons are usually hours, a far cry from the Spokane show that closed October 12,after 1, hours about two months. RaiseRED is an hour dance marathon that takes place in February to celebrate a year of fundraising efforts.

Top dance marathon schools

By the late s, dance marathons had faded from the cultural landscape. Thank you. 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. After 11 minutes the air horn sounded again and the contestants filed back onto the dance floor to begin another hour. If a female contestant did not wake up they sometimes received smelling salts and slaps, whereas the men were dumped into a tub of ice. Photo Credit: Northwest Public Radio Some organizations tried to block dance marathons using obscenity laws, based on the physical nature of the dancing. The craze was born from people wanting to try or just watch others try. The amenities at one of these dance marathons was described by the New York Times in great detail. As the hours rolled by people would shuffle from side to side slower and slower. Seeing already fatigued contestants grow cross-eyed with exertion was thrilling. Another popular event was watching a contestant "frozen alive" in a block of ice, a trick done with four hollowed out ice-blocks put together with a person inside. Cots and nurses were in full view of the crowd. Aside from using the restroom, everything a dancer did was considered part of the show.

Dance marathon historian Carol Martin reports that nearly every American city of 50, people or more hosted at least one endurance dance marathon. This would spur them on to return again and again in the hopes of seeing their favorite win.

Dance marathons desperate

There was a modest prize and some bragging rights that went along with it. There they would plop down and pass out immediately, to be woken up by the airhorn and shuffle back onto the floor. While there were some attempts to ban the dance marathons, most notably in Seattle in , colleges and schools today hold dance marathons as a way to raise money. Related Topics. These dance marathons became a spectacle, with dancers pushing themselves to their very limits. The official cause of death was heart failure. Many competitors developed signature songs or comic routines. But as the length of the shows grew, so did the effects of deprivation. The dancer was one of thousands of participants to push the limits of his body and mental state in dance marathons, a curious attraction born in the s that was twisted into a cruel spectacle by the s. Opponents to dance endurance events included movie theater owners, who lost money when their patrons attended a marathon instead of a movie.

Some even allowed for breaks every hour. Seattle native June Havoc ? All of this melodrama proved exciting to onlookers.

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