how many other elementary schools had compulsory square dancing lessons
why the hell is this so universal
I’m sorry you had WHAT
k so I happened to run into this Twitter thread late last year, and following up, it appears to be true, despite the fact that it sounds outlandishly ridiculous. Here it is: The ubiquitousness of square dancing was actually a plot by Henry Ford to eradicate jazz, which he believed was a Jewish conspiracy.
So, first, article, if you’d like to read up on it.
To start, here’s an actual quote by Henry Ford in a book he wrote called The International Jew:
Many people have wondered whence come the waves upon waves of musical slush that invade decent homes and set the young people of this generation imitating the drivel of morons. Popular music is a Jewish monopoly. Jazz is a Jewish creation. The mush, slush, the sly suggestion, the abandoned sensuousness of sliding notes, are of Jewish origin.
So…yeah. In order to prevent moral decay in America, Henry Ford started pouring a lot of money into the promotion of square dancing—and that included schools. From the article:
Nonetheless, Ford saw these dances as intrinsically white, and thus more intrinsically wholesome. Along with his wife and their square dance instructor Benjamin Lovett, he campaigned to bring square dancing to the physical education classes of students across the country, believing it would teach children “social training, courtesy, good citizenship, along with rhythm.” The schools agreed, and by 1928, almost half the schools in America were teaching square dancing and other forms of old-fashioned dancing to students.
At this point, schools have compulsory square dancing simply because they’ve always had it, but originally they had it because Henry Ford wanted to save white America.
So hey, if you think the whole square dancing unit at your school is totally lame, informing the school about its history might be a way to get rid of it!