Evil, thy name is Waltz
July 9, 2006 4:14 AM   Subscribe

"And any woman with a nature so cold as not to be aroused by the perfect execution of the waltz, is entirely unfit to make any man happy as his wife, and if she be willing to indulge in such pleasures with every ballroom libertine, she is not the woman any man wants for a wife." Fact: two-thirds of the girls who are ruined fall through the influence of dancing.
posted by sluglicker (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
And your point is?

*waltzes off with malicious intent*
posted by Wolof at 4:50 AM on July 9, 2006


Wolof - how many times have I told you to keep your hand off my bum?

*checks who is next on her dance card*
posted by gomichild at 5:33 AM on July 9, 2006


When she raises her eyes, timidly at first, to that handsome but deceitful face, now so close to her own, the look that is in his eyes as they meet hers, seems to burn into her very soul. A strange, sweet thrill shakes her very being and leaves her weak and powerless and obliged to depend for support upon the arm which is pressing her to himself in such a suggestive manner, but the sensation is a pleasant one and grows to be the very essence of her life.

If a partner fails, through ignorance or innocence, to arouse in her these feelings, she does not enjoy the dance, mentally styles him a "bore," and wastes no more waltzes on him.


Somehow I'm thinking this book was written by a "bore."
posted by papercake at 6:02 AM on July 9, 2006


I prefer females who've indulged in the rough, unprotected pleasures of moshing.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:28 AM on July 9, 2006


Testimonials:
Surely nothing worse could have been found in Sodom than these Dancing Academies, as a reason why the righteous God sent fire and brimstone and destroyed them all.
But one hep cat later appended the testimonials with this:
Is it true what they say about the big Apple?
posted by pracowity at 6:30 AM on July 9, 2006


Yay retro porn.

No, seriously. It's porn published under a plausible guise. Polite society for that era would have a real hard time dealing with his vivid descriptions - hence all the warnings and such. But the majority of the people who bought the book would have done so under pretenses. *fapfapfap*
posted by loquacious at 6:35 AM on July 9, 2006




For those of you who want to learn this abomination yourself, go here.

Personally, I teach the waltz to a couple hundred gifted teenagers every summer, and it's true what they say. We began with the waltz, and this week we have descended so far as to tackle the tango! And next week, a Grand Ball! With dance cards and everything!
posted by ancientgower at 6:37 AM on July 9, 2006


Loquacious is right. The narrative style does render it more like a steamy romance novel.

It reminds me of other contemporary zealous Christian ideas. Namely any one of a number of diatribes on Christian Rock Music [search query -have your pick], or on Christian Cursing:

"Good grief! I had no idea!" There you go again! Jesus Christ was a man of sorrows and acquainted with GRIEF (Isa. 53:3). His grief was "good" grief because He bore your sins. You should show more reverence and respect for your Saviour and quit throwing God's word around too loosely.

posted by yeti at 7:08 AM on July 9, 2006


and that other 1/3 of girls are ruined by meeting guys like me.
posted by birdherder at 7:10 AM on July 9, 2006


Although I haven't ever seen or heard of this particular book, it's no surprise to me, because late nineteenth century religious fiction (basically, tracts with plots) is one of my guilty pleasures.

It's standard practice for this kind of fiction to argue strenuously against any and all practice of dancing, card playing, drinking, and theatre going, and often the characters refer to works of non-fiction in order to back up their arguments. No, I haven't seen anything referred to that is as salacious as this linked one, but one I do come across is Plain Talks About the Theatre by Herrick Johnson. I haven't ever seen the book, and it doesn't seem to be online anywhere, but I'm sure it's a gem of its kind. For instance, it makes the argument that although there may be wholesome and moral plays, one cannot attend these plays without giving one's patronage to theatres which also run objectionable plays, and therefore the only morally safe course of action is not to attend any plays at all. The fact that this argument would also apply to book publishers and thus make it a moral imperative to refrain from reading most books never seems to occur to the characters.

My enjoyment of this genre is rather complex and I'm not even sure I understand it. I read it to laugh at it, sure, but it's not as simple as that. I don't have that much patience with the worst of the genre, which tends to feature hysterically melodramatic touches such as disobedient children getting eaten by bears and young men becoming instant alcholics upon their first sip of wine.
posted by orange swan at 7:10 AM on July 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


Dancing is the only time I've ever been pressed up against pretty girls and been bored to tears.
posted by ®@ at 7:23 AM on July 9, 2006


Very timely. I've got waltz lessons with my wife this evening. I'll keep this in mind and see where it leads... Although the perfect execution part may be out of my reach...
posted by pmbuko at 7:52 AM on July 9, 2006


Makes about as much sense as the gay marriage ban. Different times, different repressive hangups.
posted by squirrel at 7:58 AM on July 9, 2006


It seems that dance was innocent till the time that a guy and a girl began dancing and holding each other...and that led to ...well, deep bends etc. But disco cleaned things up and people got up and tried to look good irrespective of a partner. In many instances, dancing alone was sufficient. And girls with girls? still and always acceptable but boys with boys? nah. But as the Richard Gere character in the film remade from the Japanese films discovered, he could learn from J. Lopez--yummy--and renew his marriage.
Do anything you want. But save the last dance for me...and just remember who's taking you to a motel when the dance is over.
posted by Postroad at 7:59 AM on July 9, 2006


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.

Hot.
posted by cortex at 8:30 AM on July 9, 2006


Remember, the lights go back on halfway through "Stairway To Heaven".
posted by stinkycheese at 9:10 AM on July 9, 2006




Dancing is the only time I've ever been pressed up against pretty girls and been bored to tears.
posted by ®@


Then you either can't dance or danced with the wrong girls.
posted by justgary at 9:32 AM on July 9, 2006


justgary:

If you don't like video games, you can't play or are playing the wrong ones.

If you don't like tripe, then you either have no taste or you're eating the wrong tripe.

If you don't like anal sex, you're either bad in bed or are getting it from the wrong person.

Hey, this is fun!
posted by ®@ at 10:06 AM on July 9, 2006


I'm pretty sure that dancing to the music and trying to imitate the moves on Soul Train when I was a little kid had something to do with my eventual fall from grace.
posted by tula at 10:10 AM on July 9, 2006


For a rant, this was surprisingly well written. The author of this book may not be a dancer, but he knows how to turn a phrase. He should have written a novel instead.
posted by Termite at 10:45 AM on July 9, 2006


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.
Hot.

Totally hot.

I'd put on Strauss, but it's Sunday.
posted by weston at 10:52 AM on July 9, 2006


When she awakes the next morning to a realizing sense of her position her first impulse is to self-destruction, but she deludes herself with the thought that her "dancing" companion will right the wrong by marriage, but that is the farthest from his thoughts, and he casts her off--"he wishes a pure woman for his wife."

She has no longer any claim to purity; her self-respect is lost; she sinks lower and lower; society shuns her, and she is to-day a brothel inmate, the toy and plaything of the libertine and drunkard.
Yeah. Uh-huh. After reading that passage, I'm totally convinced that waltzing is the problem with that guy's society.
posted by verb at 11:33 AM on July 9, 2006


The waltz seems like the most unarousing dance imaginable.
posted by delmoi at 1:17 PM on July 9, 2006


Come into my arms, delmoi, and let me convince you otherwise.
posted by ancientgower at 1:45 PM on July 9, 2006


the toy and plaything of the libertine and drunkard.

Hoorah! I needed a new plaything. The old one broke.
posted by Sparx at 3:44 PM on July 9, 2006



The waltz seems like the most unarousing dance imaginable. In its time it was anything but. Compare waltzing with the chaste, mannered dances of earlier times (for a long time men and women didn't clasp hands except through a handkerchief). Never before in European society had men and women faced each other, body to body, in each other's arms, in public. That, plus the swinging 3/4 beat, was considered erotic, hypnotic and addictive. In fact, dancing remained the proverbial vertical expression of a horizontal intention until the '1960's.
posted by QuietDesperation at 3:56 PM on July 9, 2006


I totally agree with justgary. If you're dancing and not having an awesome time, the chances are good that you're doing it wrong. Take a lesson or two or learn Tango, salsa, etc. If you have the right partner and know what you are doing, dancing is the next best thing to sex. I like to get sweaty with a variety of women dancing WC Swing to "Fever" by Peggy Lee. I'm sure Faulkner would get heavily aroused just watching.
posted by JJ86 at 6:46 AM on July 10, 2006


The waltz is the only dance I know*; if a person cannot appreciate the sensuality and sheer fun of it, they have both my sincere pity and scathing contempt.

You haven't sinned 'til you've sinned in 3/4 time.

*Not counting Full-Contact Inebriated Polka, and the always dangerous Shit-Faced Butterfly, which claims over 37 lives every year.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:54 AM on July 10, 2006


The prose is all wrong, there’s no barns on fire or idiot man-child (although this libertine drunkard looks promising, I wonder if he’s an octoroon...?)
posted by Smedleyman at 11:51 AM on July 10, 2006


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