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keep dancing

a t-shirt from a 1984 zeta beta tau dance marathon in philly led me to this juicy account of the 19 day dance marathon at the seattle armory that led to the ban on dance marathons in seattle:

“The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that two nurses would be on duty night and day “in constant watch over the dancers” and that doctors would examine the dancers “frequently.” Besides this William Raths, director of a Bellingham physical culture school, would “direct a corps of trainers and rubbers” (Seattle P-I, July 21, 1928).”

“By August 11, it was over. The couple that finished first won $1000 prize money. On August 22, 1928, however, the Armory marathon was on page one again. Gladys Lenz, the dancer whose partner had punched her when he went “squirrelly,” had attempted suicide.”

all this and so much more, including contestants demanding new phonograph records, hysterical giggling, and an Oriental Garden in a crenelated fortress can be found here: – The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History – Essay – “Dance Marathon closes in Seattle after 19 days on August 11, 1928.”