Amish adults do not dance, though youth sometimes do

amish danceThe comedy film “For Richer or Poorer”, set in Amish country, contains a famous square dance scene in which Amish happily shake a leg.  In reality, dancing is not seen among Amish adults, though Rumspringa-age youth may dance.

Dancing is not considered modest by Amish.  Moving the body to music is seen as worldly activity.  Additionally, music is limited among Amish to church hymns, as well as religious hymns sung in the home.  Instruments are nearly unseen, (though some Amish permit the harmonica–read more on Amish music).

Amish youth may engage in a variety of forms of dancing, however.  Some Amish youth listen to rock, country, and other types of music.  A number of youth attend parties where dancing would occur.  There are even some more traditional “Amish” forms of dancing among youth.  Richard Stevick explains that Amish in one community dance “to the accompaniment of a harmonica or simply…to the unaccompanied singing of the young people or to a caller.” (Growing Up Amish, p. 146).

Read more on what Amish do for fun.

Photo credit: Vicious Bits


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