Jake Rosen

The Age of Reality TV Is Rooted in 1930s Dance Marathons

It’s possible that no one was particularly alarmed when Homer Morehouse stumbled off a dance floor and collapsed in North Tonawanda, New York on April 14, 1923. Morehouse, 27, had been dancing with his partner for 87 consecutive hours without a break. Men and women of weaker constitutions had been broken in only a fraction of that time; others were held up by their companions as they slept on their shoulders, with their feet moving in an automatic, semiconscious shuffling motion. When they finally fell to their knees, rest and hydration usually restored them.

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