21 March 2013

MIA Bans The Twist

In the 1960's Chubby Checker created a song and dance that was looked at by many conservatives as too provocative. The lyrics were interpreted as a threat to both family and religious values. "My daddy is sleepin' and mama ain't around... were gonna twisty, twisty, twisty till we tear the house down... she knows how to rock!" This was too much for the MIA general boards and executives to just leave alone and on February 3, 1962 the Deseret News published their decision to ban the "twist" from all church activities. 

"After careful consideration and discussion, the executives and general boards of the MIA have issued the following statement: The 'twist' should not be done in the cultural halls of our Church. This dance is not up to the standards of good taste. Since it is a self-expression dance, it is felt that even if it were taught in a dignified and modest manner, the participants through their self-expression could make it undignified and immodest. We feel therefore, that it should not be done at our dances and should be discouraged at all times among our young people. Encourage our young people to be leaders of high standards of conduct and not follow the world in lower standards of conduct." If you would like to read the newspaper article follow this link

Joseph F. Smith caused much injury to the subject of dancing when he said, 

"No Latter- day Saint needs to be told that two or three dances a week for his children are out of all sense of reason. Too fre- quent dances are not only injurious to stability of character, but they are highly detrimental to good health." (Gospel Doctrine by Joseph F. Smith 'Amusements and Fashions p. 401)

There was a strict moral in the early 1900's. In 1907 a women by the name of Annette Kellerman was arrested in Massachusetts for indecency because she was wearing a one-piece bathing suit at the beach. Many places would check women's bathing suits to make sure that they were not showing too much skin. 

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