They teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing master.
(Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, 1754 entry (1791).
Referring to Lord Chesterfield's Letters to His Son. Of ChesterfieldJohnson's erratic patronhe remarked, "This man I thought had been a Lord among wits; but, I find, he is only a wit among Lords.")
How inimitably graceful children are in general before they learn to dance!
(Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), British poet, critic. repr. In Collected Works, vol. 14, ed. Kathleen Coburn (1990). Table Talk, "1 Jan. 1832," Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. Henry Nelson Coleridge (1835).)
We look at the dance to impart the sensation of living in an affirmation of life, to energize the spectator into keener awareness of the vigor, the mystery, the humor, the variety, and the wonder of life. This is the function of the American dance.
(Martha Graham (1894-1991), U.S. dancer, choreographer. "The American Dance," Modern Dance, ed. Virginia Stewart (1935).)
Remember to take the best dancing master at Berlin, more to teach you to sit, stand, and walk gracefully, than to dance finely. The Graces, the Graces; remember the Graces!
(Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Jan. 10, 1749, Letters Written by the Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl, Esq, 5th ed., vol. II, p. 132, London (1774).)
When I dance, I dance; when I sleep, I sleep; yes, and when I walk alone in a beautiful orchard, if my thoughts have been dwelling elsewhere, I bring them back to the walk, to the orchard, to the sweetness of this solitude, and to me.
(Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of Experience," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. III, ch. 13, Abel Langelier, Paris (1588).)
In song and dance man expresses himself as a member of a higher community: he has forgotten how to walk and speak and is on the way toward flying up into the air, dancing.
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter 1980. Basic Writings of Nietzsche, p. 37, trans. and ed. By Walter Kaufmann, New York, Modern Library (1968). The Birth of Tragedy, section 1 (1872).)
I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and complaisance are the principle duties of both; and those men who do not choose to dance or to marry them selves, have no business with the partners or wives of the neighbors.
(Jane Austen (1775-1817), British novelist. Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey, ch. 10 (1818).)