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Fandangos and Bailes: Dancing and Dance Events in Early California
Pomona Faculty Publications and Research
  • Anthony Shay, Pomona College
Document Type
Publication Date
  • fandangos,
  • bailes,
  • early California,
  • dancing,
  • dance events
"A Californian would hardly pause in a dance for an earthquake, and would renew it before the vibrations ceased." It would be simplistic merely to say that the Californios loved to dance and play, because it is a truism. Dancing fulfilled a number of very real needs of a society which was politically and economically peripheral, and which was characterized by rigorous social customs and segregation of sexes. Almost every description of early California attests to the fanatical love for dancing, the numerous occasions when the Californians danced, and the importance and prestige accorded to an outstanding dancer. For an understanding of Colton's oft-quoted remark which depicts the passion and intensity with which the Californians danced, two factors must be taken into consideration.
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© 1982 Historical Society of Southern California. All Rights Reserved.
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Citation Information
Shay, Anthony. “Fandangos and Bailes: Dancing and Dance in Early California,” Southern California Quarterly 64, no. 2 (Summer, 1982), pp. 99-113.