Page 44 - "It is Wrong, Wrong to Dance"?? An Introduction to Cheticamp-Area Dance Prohibition with Folklorist Barbara LeBlanc
ISSUE : Issue 51
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1
And often what the priest would do is like--'cause there'd always be the tattle- tale, of course, or he'd find out some way. And then on the next Sunday after that party had been held, he'd kind of let it be known to the parish that he'd heard that there'd been a dance. And he might not mention the name of the person, but he'd do it in such a way that everyone knew who he was talking about. So it was kind of humiliating to be pinpointed out. They never did anything--like, for exam? ple, I was really shocked when they told me that if you got pregnant outside of wedlock, that often they'd make you sit up in front of the altar, facing the people. But they never did any kind of that type of public penance if you danced. It was more just a kind of a public humiliation in that manner. And of course, there would have been private, probably, penance. 'Cause you'd confess. I remember one lady telling me. She said her grandmother told her that she'd con? fessed to the priest that she'd danced. And the priest had given her, oh, I don't "V Blue Heron Gift Shop Books • Glassware • Figurines • Woodenware • Gifts for All Occasions BADDECK, N. S. 295-3424 INTRODUCING SOMSX FROM HYUNDAI MORE POWER THAN ANY CAR IN ITS CLASS! 2.4 L. OF OVERHEAD CAM POWER • BIGGER THAN HONDA ACCORD, TOYOTA CAMRY OR MAZDA 626 MORE ROOM MORE HEAD ROOM, MORE SHOULDER ROOM. & MORE LEG ROOM. IN FACT, OVER 10 CU. FT. LARGER THAN MOST COMPETITORS know, maybe the rosary to say as penance, or three "Our Fathers." I can't remember. But not a very large penance. And so the grandmother--like, she'd only danced once. And later she tells this to her grand? daughter. She said, "If I'd only known, I would have danced all night!" (If some dancing was permitted, I wonder why some of those dances did not have a better chance of surviving. For instance, they don't do "The Eights" any more, I don't think.) No, no. No, they don't do those. But I don't think that's got any? thing to do with the prohibition. I really think that's more got to do with the styles. You know how fads, and you enjoy this, and then something new comes and you get all excited because it's new and peo? ple are doing that.... And plus, we're getting into the period when waltzing started to become popular. I mean, just think, up until a certain peri? od, at least no one was really touching, except for touching hands. And even swing? ing originally wouldn't have been done with an embrace-type posture. It would have been done holding hands, and been more like a turn. And then when that type of thing came in--swings, and then holding people in a waltz position, closed or open social posi? tion- -the church went really nuts then. And they talked--the edicts--I could send you copies of that. The edicts they sent out about those types of dances. That it was pagan, that it was--what else did they say? Scandalous, lascivious. Just--lascive, that was the French word-- lascive. And then they'd name them. And plus, in do? ing my research, I found that in Catholic ency? clopedias, up until about 1950, if you looked up the word "dance" in many of them-- Settle for more. ARDOCCHIO 34 STATE STREET '-.' ' SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA 539-471 1 P.O. BOX 728 BlP 6H7 ''' Mairy Browifs FHed Chicken. King Street Welton Street Kings Road North Sydney EAT IN & DRIVE THRU & HOME DELIVERY 794-4410 5 Minutes from Marine Atlantic Wharf! Sydney EAT IN & DRIVE THRU & HOME DELIVERY 562-8200 Sydney River EAT IN & HOME DELIVERY 562-0739 Mary Brown has fee bestirs in town.
Cape Breton's Magazine