Dancing to the
Convention Tune
New trouble for Wake Forest began to develop in the spring of
1957 when, in response to student petitions, the Board of Trustees
approved a resolution introduced by Dr. Carl V Tyner which would
have allowed dancing on the campus when "properly chaperoned and
properly supervised."
Campus dancing had been a hot and recurring issue in the three
previous decades. After agitation in the twenties and early thirties
dancing was specifically prohibited in 1933, approved in 1936, and
flatly banned by the Baptist State Convention in 1937 in a decree that
was to be effective for twenty years. The convention's 1937 position
was set forth in these words:
We disapprove and condemn the modern dance as a means of social
amusement. We recognize that it is demoralizing and that it tends toward
immorality… [We] desire that no college or school of any grade …owned
and maintained by this convention promote or allow promoted dancing in
its buildings or on its premises or elsewhere under its official auspices. The
Baptists of North Carolina cannot give their sanction or approval to a
custom so clearly calculated to injure or demoralize character.
There had been dances in the Wake Forest Community House near
the old campus, but not on college property. In the fall of 1947 a
Campus Social Committee appointed by the Student Council
scheduled an "All-Campus Dance" at the Raleigh Memorial Audi-
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