Freak Dancing (1998)

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Wed Jan 12 00:16:31 UTC 2005

Please remember that us American Baptists are dancin fools.


>A prior sense, apparently meaning "that wacky shit those kids are doing
>nowadays," without a explicit sexual component (although we all know
>that dancing leads to, well, you know . . . Why don't Baptists/Church of
>Christ/(insert your favorite conservative Southern Christian
>denomination) have sex standing up?  Someone might think they are
>New York | Syracuse | Syracuse Herald | 1912-05-05
>>From a Roller Rink ad, p. 22
>"Their Married Life" by Mabel Herbert Urner  | Lincoln Daily Star |
>1914-04-17 p. 10/4
>"Well, it will be a long time before I shell out my good money to any of
>these counter jumpers for their freak dancing lessons."
>Ohio | Mansfield | Mansfield News | 1910-12-14
>>From a Dance Academy ad, p. 12
>"No freak dancing allowed. "
>"Freak Dancing Has Caused a Complete Revolution in the Terpsichorean
>Artistry" [unsigned]
>Ohio | Zanesville | Zanesville Signal | 1926-10-27 p. 11/4
>"A concensus of opinion indicates when the freak dances were innovated
>last year, both young and old
>were then enjoying dancing, but after the jazz steps had really
>developed, dancing became so uncomfortable for the middle-aged and older
>dancers that they soon quit visiting the parks and pavilions where
>assembly dancing was permitted. The result is that, this year, with the
>Charleston, Bobby Jones and other freak steps being barred, and dancers
>of these eccentricities are not visiting dance places while the older,
>more graceful dancers have not yet realized that an effort is being made
>to restore the more conservative dances."
>"Officer Loses First Round To Dancer"
>Michigan | Holland | Holland Evening Sentinel | 1966-02-26 p. 6/1
>"Brodie, 40, hauled Karen's boss, Henry Roman, into court Wednesday on a
>charge of "allowing immoral, vulgar, suggestive or freak" dancing at the

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages
A-740 Wells Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 432-3099
Fax: (517) 432-2736
preston at

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