Dancing as an Aspect of Early Mormon and Utah Culture



Under Joseph Smith’s leadership, dance and other forms of recreation were sponsored because his followers were socially isolated, because they were organized with intimate social relationships, because they were good followers, and because the doctrine had been propounded “Man is that he might have joy.”

Brigham Young is credited with having had a revelation, which reads in part: “If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving.” This gave the Mormons the final sanction they needed for dancing, the sustaining and morale building activity which was to become a part of their cultural pattern.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has continued to give emphasis to dance in all of its reputable forms. Ballet, ballroom, folk, square and modern dance carry a cultural and quality expression. Dance is a contemporary, cultural, creditable activity in Utah, stemming from early Mormon practices and practiced by modern Mormons.


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