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DANCING
  Displaying page 1 of 3    Next Page >> 
[ Also see Amusements Art Awkwardness Theatre ]

This dance of death which sounds so musically
  Was sure intended for the corpse de ballet.
      - Anonymous,
        On the Danse Macabre of Saint-Saens

Dance, laugh, and be merry; but be also innocent.
      - Theodore Barriere

O give me new figures! I can't go on dancing
  The same that were taught me ten seasons ago;
    The schoolmaster over the land is advancing,
      Then why is the master of dancing so slow?
        It is such a bore to be always caught tripping
          In dull uniformity year after year;
            Invent something new, and you'll set me a skipping:
              I want a new figure to dance with my Dear!
      - Thomas Haynes Bayly (Bayley),
        Quadrille a la Mode

My dancing days are done.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        Scornful Lady (act V, sc. 3)

The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing.
      - James Brown

Fashionable dances as now carried on are revolting to every feeling of delicacy and propriety and are fraught with the greatest danger to millions.
      - Horace Bushnell

Chaste were his steps, each kept within due bound,
  And elegance was sprinkled o'er his figure;
    Like swift Camilla, he scarce skimm'd the ground.
      And rather held in than put forth his vigor.
        And then he had an ear for music's sound,
          Which might defy a crotchet critic's rigor.
            Such classic pas--sans flaws--set off our hero.
              He glanced like a personified Bolero.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
  Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
    Soft eyes look'd love to eyes which spake again,
      And all went merry as a marriage bell.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Childe Harold (canto III, st. 21)

On with the dance! let joy be unconfin'd;
  No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Childe Harold (canto III, st. 22)

And then he danced;--all foreigners excel
  The serious Angles in the eloquence
    Of pantomime;--he danced, I say right well,
      With emphasis, and also with good sense--
        A thing in footing indispensable:
          He danced without theatrical pretence,
            Not like a ballet-master in the van
              Of his drill'd nymphs, but like a gentleman.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto XIV, st. 38)

Endearing Waltz--to thy more melting tune
  Bow Irish jig, and ancient rigadoon.
    Scotch reels, avaunt! and country-dance forego
      Your future claims to each fantastic toe!
        Waltz--Waltz alone--both legs and arms demands,
          Liberal of feet, and lavish of her hands.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        The Waltz (l. 109)

Hot from the hands promiscuously applied,
  Round the slight waist, or down the glowing side.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        The Waltz (l. 234)

Imperial Waltz! imported from the Rhine
  (Famed for the growth of pedigrees and wine),
    Long be thine import from all duty free,
      And hock itself be less esteem'd than thee.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        The Waltz (l. 29)

No amusement seems more to have a foundation in our nature. The animation of youth overflows spontaneously in harmonious movements. The true idea of dancing entitles it to favor. Its end is to realize perfect grace in motion; and who does not know that a sense of the graceful is one of the higher faculties of our nature?
      - William Ellery Channing

No man in his senses will dance.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

No Sane man will dance.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

How inimitably graceful children are before they learn to dance.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The truest expression of a people is in its dances and its music. Bodies never lie.
      - Agnes George de Mille,
        in the "New York Times Magazine", May 11, 1975

Dancing is the poetry of the foot.
      - John Dryden

What! the girl I adore by another embraced?
  What! the balm of her breath shall another man taste?
    What! pressed in the dance by another's man's knee?
      What! panting recline on another than me?
        Sir, she's yours; you have pressed from the grape its fine blue,
          From the rosebud you've shaken the tremulous dew;
            What you've touched you may take. Pretty waltzer--adieu!
      - Sir Henry Charles Englefield,
        The Waltz--Dancing

Such pains, such pleasures now alike are o'er,
  And beaus and etiquette shall soon exist no more
    At their speed behold advancing
      Modern men and women dancing;
        Step and dress alike express
          Above, below from heel to toe,
            Male and female awkwardness.
              Without a hoop, without a ruffle,
                One eternal jig and shuffle,
                  Where's the air and where's the gait?
                    Where's the feather in the hat?
                      Where the frizzed toupee? and where
                        Oh! where's the powder for the hair?
      - Catherine Marie Fanshawe,
        The Abrogation of the Birth-Night Ball

Those elegant delights of jig and vaulting.
      - Elijah Fenton

The dancing pair, that simply sought renown,
  By holding out, to tire each other down.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

Alike all ages: dames of ancient days
  Have led their children through the mirthful maze,
    And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic lore,
      Has frisk'd beneath the burden of threescore.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveller (l. 251)

Well was it said by a man of sagacity that dancing was a sort of privileged and reputable folly, and that the best way to be convinced of this was to close the ears and judge of it by the eyes alone.
      - Gotthold (pseudonym of Christian Scriver)


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