Image via Unsplash.com- Hulki Okan Tabak

The 24/7 Dance Marathon That Lasted 106 Straight Days Until The Government Finally Shut It Down

For nearly four months in Detroit, Michigan in the early Days of the Great Depression, an unusual contest went so overboard it had to be stopped

Andrew Martin
4 min readFeb 17, 2024

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In popular culture, there is usually at least a few fads occurring simultaneously. These popular activities rise out of nowhere and take the public by storm. During the 1920s and 1930s in the United States, dance marathons — literally couples dancing until only one pair was left standing — was all the rage. Things went to extreme lengths in Detroit, Michigan in 1929–1930, as one epic dancoff continued without interruption for nearly four months until the state government shut down this “degrading spectacle.”

Commencing on November 18, 1929 at Eastwood Park in East Detroit, a dance marathon raged unlike any ever seen before or since. When it began, participants were permitted to rest for 20 minutes every hour so long as they continued to dance every hour, 24 hours a day. As the days wore on, the rest time was reduced to 10 minutes per hour in an effort to get more people to throw in the towel.

Incredibly, five couples refused to give up and continued dancing through the winter, 24/7, with the…

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Andrew Martin

Dabbler in history, investing & writing. Master’s degree in baseball history. Passionate about history, diversity, culture, sports, investing and crypto.