You’re under arrest … for good dancing


Dancing cops … seems unusual. But according to dance historian Jennifer Homans in her seminal book from 2010, Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet, classical ballet had its origins not with white-tutu’ed swans on pointe, but with drilling military men, much like the dancing Columbian cops seen in the video above. Writes Homans:

Dance was taught in fencing and riding schools and was also a regular part of the curriculum in the academies established by the nobility in the early seventeenth century to give their children an advantage in the military and court arts. Dancing was thus an adjunct military art, a peacetime discipline akin to fencing and equestrianism, with which it shared some of its movements and a disciplined approach to training and physical skill. With the establishment of the Academy of Dance, however, Louis (XIV, king of France] signaled once again the shift away from the martial arts and toward courtly etiquette: away from battles and toward ballets.

Thank you for sharing the dancing cops, Candace Allen.

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