Quotes about Dancing

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Dancing is a peculiarly human phenomenon: it is something common across all known cultures and peoples. Diets may be different, languages vary immensely as do attitudes to life, but one thing seems to be constant - dancing. Here we look at some quotes on, and about, dancing:

Not to go back is somewhat to advance
And men must walk at least before they dance.

- Alexander Pope

To start, Pope observes that it takes a little while before we can dance, we need to learn to walk first. Presumably if you cannot walk, you cannot dance!

The second best [desire of the heart] is a formal order
The dancer's pattern, dance while you can.

- W H Auden

A couple of quotes from Auden on dancing, this being the first. It is clearly a very important human phenomenon, as this is rated by Auden as the second highest desire of the heart (happily after a desire not to be born!)

Dance til the stairs come down with the rafters
Dance, dance, dance til you drop

- W H Auden

The philosophy here is simple - spend all the time you can dancing, literally until you drop. Clubbers would delight in such advice!

A dance is a measured pace, as a verse is a measured step
- Francis Bacon

In case you wondered 'what is a dance?' then here is an answer from Bacon - just like there is a rule to what is a verse there is a rule as to what is a dance, in terms of pace.

Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he

- Sydney Carter

Dance is so important in human culture that it is mentioned often in religious texts, and in his famous hymn Carter portrays Jesus Christ as the Lord of the Dance.

Learn then to dance, you that are princes born
- Sir John Davies

And no-one is exempt to the dancing phenomenon - even princes!

On with the dance! let joy be unconfined
- Lord Byron

He might have had a bear and been accused of madness, but he was sane enough to know the virtues of a good dance, and notes the connection with happiness and contentment.

But the zest goes out of a beautiful waltz
When you dance it bust to bust.

- Joyce Grefell

As with all things in life, there are many dances that have certain rules which need to be observed.

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learned to dance

- Alexander Pope

Again a quote from Pope, who draws the analogy between the ability to write easily and the ability to move easily - with art and dance being the respective reasons.

The only question left, then, is whether you personally believe in the dance ethic. Or, as Lewis Carroll eloquently put it in Alice in Wonderland:

Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?

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