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DANCING
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[ Also see Amusements Art Awkwardness Theatre ]

Where wildness and disorder are visible in the dance, there Satan, death and all kinds of mischief are likewise upon the floor. For this reason I could wish that the dance of death were painted on the walls of all ball-rooms in order to warn the dancers, not by the levity of their deportment, to provoke the God of righteousness to visit them with a sudden judgment.
      - Gotthold (pseudonym of Christian Scriver)

Dance is the hidden language of the soul.
      - Martha Graham, Bloody Memory

To brisk notes in cadence beating
  Glance their many-twinkling feet.
      - Thomas Gray, Progress of Poesy
         (pt. I, st. 3, l. 10)

Charity balls are a curse. The name is a subtle argument in favor of their existence, but if ever anything belied its name, it is a charity ball.
      - George F. Hall

The ball-room is one way and a very broad way, too, to ruin. May God help every lover of the race to sound a note of alarm both to those already astray and to those who thus far have not set foot in the slippery path.
      - George F. Hall

And the dancing has begun now,
  And the dancers whirl round gaily
    In the waltz's giddy mazes,
      And the ground beneath them trembles.
      - Heinrich Heine, Book of Songs--Don Ramiro
         (st. 23)

Twelve dancers are dancing, and taking no rest,
  And closely their hands together are press'd;
    And soon as a dance has come to a close,
      Another begins, and each merrily goes.
      - Heinrich Heine, Dream and Life

The uniform testimony of all religious specialists is that as the love of dancing increases, the love of the Lord and his work decreases. The spirit of the dance is not the spirit of the Master. If the one be harbored the other will not remain. Where the experiment is tried of retaining both, a horrible muddle is the result, a corruption that disgraces the holy vocation wherewith we are called. The dance is a deadly poison to the higher life and he who professing Christianity takes it into his spiritual system wounds our Lord afresh, and by the act classes himself with the traitors of old who killed the world's only hope by nailing Christ to the cross.
      - Sam Jones

I love these rural dances--from my heart I love them. This world, at best, is full of care and sorrow; the life of a poor man is so stained with the sweat of his brow, there is so much toil and struggling and anguish and disappointment here below, that I gaze with delight on a scene where all those are laid aside and forgotten, and the heart of the toil-worn peasant seems to throw off its load.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Merrily, merrily whirled the wheels of the dizzying dances
  Under the orchard-trees and down the path to the meadows;
    Old fold and young together, and children mingled among them.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline
         (pt. I, IV)

He who esteems the Virginia reel
  A bait to draw saints from their spiritual weal,
    And regards the quadrille as a far greater knavery
      Than crushing His African children with slavery,
        Since all who take part in a waltz or cotillon
          Are mounted for hell on the devil's own pillion,
            Who, as every true orthodox Christian well knows,
              Approaches the heart through the door of the toes.
      - James Russell Lowell, Fable for Critics
         (l. 492)

Come, knit hands, and beat the ground
  In a light fantastic round.
      - John Milton, Comus (l. 143)

Come and trip it as ye go,
  On the light fantastic toe.
      - John Milton, L'Allegro (l. 33)

Dancing in the chequer'd shade.
      - John Milton, L'Allegro (l. 96)

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.
      - Angela Monet

Dear creature!--you'd swear
  When her delicate feet in the dance twinkle round,
    That her steps are of light, that her home is the air,
      And she only par complaisance touches the ground.
      - Thomas Moore, Fudge Family in Paris
         (letter V, l. 50)

I would only believe in a god who understood how to dance.
      - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
      - Alexander Pope

Oh! if to dance all night, and dress all day,
  Charm'd the small-pox, or chas'd old age away;
    . . . .
      To patch, nay ogle, might become a saint,
        Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint.
      - Alexander Pope, Rape of the Lock
         (canto V, l. 19)

Others import yet nobler arts from France,
  Teach kings to fiddle, and make senates dance.
      - Alexander Pope, The Dunciad
         (bk. IV, l. 597)

I know the romance, since it's over,
  'Twere idle, or worse, to recall;--
    I know you're a terrible rover;
      But, Clarence, you'll come to our ball.
      - Winthrop Mackworth Praed, Our Ball

I saw her at a country ball;
  There when the sound of flute and fiddle
    Gave signal sweet in the old hall,
      Of hands across and down the middle
        Here was the subtlest spell by far
          Of all that sets young hearts romancing:
            She was our queen, our rose, our star;
              And when she danced--oh, heaven, her dancing!
      - Winthrop Mackworth Praed,
        The Belle of the Ball

He, perfect dancer, climbs the rope,
  And balances your fear and hope.
      - Matthew Prior, Alma (canto II, l. 9)

The gymnasium of running, walking on stilts, climbing, etc., steels and makes hardy single powers and muscles, but dancing, like a corporeal poesy, embellishes, exercises, and equalizes all the muscles at once.
      - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul)

It wasn't that no one asked me to the prom, it was that no one would tell me where it was.
      - Rita Rudner


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