The vertical expression of a horizontal desire

Boingboing linked to From the Ball-room to Hell, a polemic against ballroom dancing written in 1892 by a dancing teacher who has turned from the evil of ballroom to the Lord. It’s always fun to see the holy being somewhat excitable in their descriptions of depravity. Quotes from his work ought to form the basis of next term’s CDC advertising posters.

She is now in the vile embrace of the Apollo of the evening. Her head rests upon his shoulder, her face is upturned to his, her bare arm is almost around his neck, her partly nude swelling breast heaves tumultuously against his, face to face they whirl on, his limbs interwoven with hers, his strong right arm around her yielding form, he presses her to him until every curve in the contour of her body thrills with the amorous contact. Her eyes look into his, but she sees nothing; the soft music fills the room, but she hears it not; he bends her body to and fro, but she knows it not; his hot breath, tainted with strong drink, is on her hair and cheek, his lips almost touch her forehead, yet she does not shrink; his eyes, gleaming with a fierce, intolerable lust, gloat over her, yet she does not quail. She is filled with the rapture of sin in its intensity; her spirit is inflamed with passion and lust is gratified in thought. With a last low wail the music ceases, and the dance for the night is ended, but not the evil work of the night.

The girl whose blood is hot from the exertion and whose every carnal sense is aroused and aflame by the repetition of such scenes as we have witnessed, is led to the ever-waiting carriage, where she sinks exhausted on the cushioned seat. Oh, if I could picture to you the fiendish look that comes into his eyes as he sees his helpless victim before him. Now is his golden opportunity. He must not miss it, and he does not, and that beautiful girl who entered the dancing school as pure and innocent as an angel three months ago returns to her home that night robbed of that most precious jewel of womanhood–virtue!

I’m not sure whether hardcore Christians still frown on ballroom. Nobody seemed to mind it when I was a Christian, but a more recent graduate told me that The Square Church regarded it as suspect. There are a lot of Christian dancers, so I assume that these days it’s the lesser of two evils when compared to going clubbing and pulling strangers.

I must report that the only time I have taken a lady from a dance to my waiting carriage, it was all her idea and I ended up refusing her very kind offer because at that time I was in thrall to CICCU. This, my friends, is why we must erase them from the face of the earth.

6 thoughts on “The vertical expression of a horizontal desire”

    1. Aren’t baptists banned from dancing?

      No. (More technically, Baptists believe in the autonomy of the local church, so any such belief could very well vary between different Baptist churches).

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