Marathon Dancing was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Many unemployed people competed in the contests in order to achieve fame or win money. The couples had to continuously move for 45 minutes every hour for hundreds of hours up to 2 months. The contestants were fed 12 meals a day, which during the Great Depression, was a huge incentive. The dancing was considered immoral and lewd by some and, because of attempted suicides from non-winners, was banned in several cities. Here is more information about this fascinating competition.
It's interesting to note that most of today's charities, such as the Walk-a-thon and others, can be attributed to marathon dancing. There is also an annual Dance Marathon held as a fundraiser by Penn State University for various charities.
One notable account of marathon dancing comes from the early chapters of Anita O'Day's memoir, High Times Hard Times: "It seems unbelievable now but there were once fifteen thousand people-- promoters, emcees, floor judges, trainers, nurses, cooks, janitors, cashiers, ticket-takers, publicity agents, promotion men, musicians, contestants and even a lawyer-- whose main source of income over a number of years came from endurance shows."
This is a video by David Bowie about Marathon Dancing. the song is called Never Let Me Down.
Never Let Me Down - song: Never Let Me Down, artist: David Bowie, album: Never Let Me Down