...WOMEN will kindly refrain from dancing together?

We purchased a menu from the 400 Restaurant, New York, 1943. They had Tommy Dorsey and Orchestra performing nightly. Fun to read the prices.

What I found perplexing was a line which read Due to a recent ruling women will kindly refrain from dancing together.

What, praytell, was the ruling?

Maybe wartime conditions? Lots of men away in the service, leaving a surplus of women at home, often finding no one to dance with but each other? My not-so-wild A guess.

In what way would the wartime shortage of male dance partners be a ruling? samclem is asking why the women were being told not to dance with each other, not why they were doing it in the first place.

But I think it had to do with a Federal tax on dance floors. Maybe they wanted all the room for couples.

Maybe the management thought it detracted from the atmosphere in some way? Whose rule was it?

I would guess the ruling came out of a judge’s call on some city or state ordinance. I’d ask. I imagine it might have something to do with public acts of homosexuality and the judge interpreted that as women dancing together. Asinine, but not out of the realm of possibility.

Reeder: “Federal tax on dance floors”, indeed. But I do think you’re onto something with “they wanted all the room for couples”, as is Jomo Mojo with the wartime shortage of men.

A rule like this pairs women and men. It also sets up the club with more customers.

My thought is that just like in Jr High School, the women that want to dance would dance with each other if they couldn’t get men to… in wartime, of course this would be because men were in short supply. While it might look odd to some to see women dancing with women and possibly repel some of these customers, I don’t think that’s the main intent of the house rule.

Where the rule for the women is that “If you want to dance at all, you’ll dance only with whatever men are in here”, it means that it’s easier for men to break the ice with the women. This in turn draws more of the scarce male patrons for the club. Which in turn draws more women, and so on. The women like it, and the men like it. If you’re selling drinks and dinners, it’s good for business. So the club likes it, too.

Maybe Savoy Associates v. Valentine, 1943. It affirmed a city law that the police commissioner could revoke a dance hall licence on the grounds that disorderly, obscene, or immoral conduct is permitted on the premises. The case specifically dealt with dance hall prostitutes, but maybe the police commissioner let the management know women dancing together would be looked upon unfavorably.

pravnik scores a 100. Folks, not that long ago, even in NYC, homosexual “behavior” was against the law and such laws were enforced. Same sex couples dancing together was bad. A gay or lesbian club was considered evil. Go rent “Stonewall”, and that was just in 1969.

If the cops got that upset by two women dancing, think how they’d feel about seeing a whole group going into the lady’s room together.

It’s a good thing the rule doesn’t excist anymore.

Where on earth can you find a man who can dance ? :wink:

Umm, try a gay club? :slight_smile:
I have no rhythm, can’t dance a lick. Can’t march either.

So it was okay for men to dance together?