Rules and Regulations

Governing Dance Halls
City of Cleveland
(About 1925)
*Section 8 of Ordinance No. 20456-A:

  1. Vulgar, noisy Jazz music is prohibited. Such music almost forces dancers to use jerky half-steps and invites immoral variations.
  2. Male dancers are not permitted to hold their partners tightly, -generally this is the fault of the gentleman's partner. Both dancers should assume a light, graceful position.
  3. Partners are not permitted to dance with cheeks close or touching. When dancers put their cheeks together it is simply a case of "public love-making."
  4. So-called "neck-holds" are prohibited. The gentleman's arm should encircle his partner's waist, his hand resting lightly at her spine, just above the waist line; the lady's left arm should not encircle the gentleman's shoulder or neck.
  5. So-called "shimmy" dancing is shaking or jerking of the upper body, while taking short steps, or standing still, and will not be tolerated. Short side steps, first right, then left, when done continuously, are not conducive to refined dancing, and will not be permitted. Teachers should not teach any steps or movements which cannot be controlled.
  6. Dancers are not permitted to take exceptionally long or short steps. The proper dancing step should be the same as the natural walking one, except in exhibition dancing, which belongs to the stage and not to the ball room.
  7. Don't dance from the waist up; dance from the waist down.
  8. Suggestive movements are not permitted.
  9. Dancers are not permitted to copy the extremes that are now used on the modern stage.
  10. Anyone carrying intoxicating liquor on their person into any dance hall, will be ejected from the hall and arrested.
  11. Raffling of any kind is prohibited, and raffle tickets must not be sold.
  12. Flirting, spooning and rowdy conduct of any kind, is absolutely prohibited.
  13. The announcing of prospective dances to be held, is not permitted, except by permission of the management of the dance at which such announcement is made.
  14. Smoking in the room reserved for dancing, is not permitted.
  15. Expectorating on the floor is prohibited. Persistent violators of this provision are subject to arrest and ejection from the hall.
  16. All men must remove their hats while in the dance hall.
  17. Indecent, profane or vulgar language will not be tolerated.
  18. Dance Halls must be kept clean, healthful, well ventilated and sanitary. All stairways, exits and passageways to rooms connected with the dance hall, must be kept open and well lighted.
  19. "Moonlight" dances are not permitted, unless there is sufficient light in the building so that the patrons can be easily seen.
  20. Gentlemen must wear coats while dancing. During the hot summer months, shirtwaists must be worn with full-length sleeves, cuff links fastened and belt.

By orders of
Charles P. Johnson
City Dance Hall Inspector

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