How To Dance

Thomas E. Parsons

Barnes & Noble / LC No. 56-7841 (1947)

This book was originally printed in 1937 as:

Popular ballroom dances, including rumba, big apple, modern waltz,
collegiate shag, Parisian tango, Manhattan strut, conservative
fox-trot, beginner's fundamentals

No, I'm not kidding.

It was continually in print (under different titles) from that time
to 1985, when I'm assuming we lost Mr. Parsons. My copy is dated 1947
(the year of my birth) and cost one dollar - brand-new. (Probably so did I.)

The first thing you'll notice about it is that Mr. Parsons may have been
the one who invented the step-by-step instruction method. That is to say,
you actually follow in the printed footsteps provided by the instructor -
white outlined shoes for "left", solid black for "right", with arrows in
between each and every step. If there is a more lethally dull and deadly
way to learn dance, I've never seen it. I suspect Mr. Parsons of having
an engineering degree. Only someone with a background in applied science
could have come up with this, and only such a person could possibly follow it.


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