Amazing but true—laws about dancing:
Local statutes often include laws that have remained on the books long after
their relevance has passed. In other cases, a certain humor seems to have
been present from the start. Just consider these examples:
- Ticaboo, Utah: Citizens are prohibited from eating onions when going dancing
between the hours of 7 P.M. and 7 A.M.
- Forestdale, Rhode Island: It is prohibited to ask anyone to square dance
within four hours of having eaten garlic.
- Russelville, Pennsylvania: Tickling a girl under her chin with a feather
duster to get her attention at a square dance is punishable by law.
- Ballantine, South Carolina: Every woman must be found to be wearing a corset
when going dancing. A physician is required to inspect each female at a
dance to ascertain that she complies.
- Lugert, Oklahoma: Under no circumstances may a man with hair growing over
his upper lip ask a female to dance.
- Rock Springs, Wyoming: No woman may chew tobacco while square dancing unless
she has the written permission of her husband.
- Moosehead, Maine: Violin lessons may not be given on a dance floor while
others are dancing.
- Cotton Valley, Louisiana: No man is allowed to use handbills to advertise
for a spouse at a local square dance.
- Clearbrook, Minnesota: It is forbidden to go onto a dance floor while
wearing a hat that would scare a timid person.
- Constantia, New York: Young women may not drink coffee at a public dance
after 6 P.M.
- Parkersburg, West Virginia: No married woman may go dancing unless her
husband stays close by, carrying a loaded gun over his left shoulder.
Palisades, Ohio: It is illegal to make silly or insulting faces at someone
who is trying to learn how to square dance.
Adapted from an article by Robert W. PeIton in American Square Dance magazine, April 1987. [I got it from “The Square Dance and Contra Dance Handbook” by Margot Gunzenhauser—bob]