Saturday, May 3, 2014

May Day Dance Festival; Hyrum, Utah

When I attended Lincoln Elementary grades 2nd through 4th, every year we put on a May Day dance for the community.  Often the dances were paired off with girls, and that was a tragic event for an elementary student, mostly.
I don't remember what we danced in second grade, but we did a version of the Mexican Hat Dance in third grade.  I was paired with Leslie Clawson, who lived down the street from me and was very cute.  I always wanted to know her better, but was too shy.  Anyway, there I was paired with her for one of our two dances.  However I had a wart on my hand that same year.  Nothing came of that.
Fourth grade was the most important year in school for the May Day dance.  The fourth graders always did the maypole dance.  This involved dancing around first, but at some point in the dance, you grave the streamers on the ground and then start weaving back an forth with those around you.  If you do the dance right, it makes a very intricate weave.  Our year the weather must have been poor, as we were in the Elite Hall for the dance.  The poles were like volley ball polls which were anchored in a cemented tire.
Our weave was not working very well.  Too often people weren't making the weave, which screwed up the pattern.  If that was the worse, then we would have said "oh well" and moved on.  However that wasn't the worse.  Some how in dancing around, there was more pull on one side of the maypole than the other.  I guess our circle around the pole was oblong or something.  Any way, with the extra pull on one side, the pole started to be pulled over.  In fact it was tipping over which would have been a tragedy and could have been dangerous.  I don't know who it was, but one of the boys dropped his streamer, ran over to the pole and pulled it back and then sat on the tire thing for the  rest of the day.  We were kept from a major tragedy and embarrassment. 


  1. Christy Woffinden: Mendon still does. A Whole DAY Of activities

    Crystal Arnell Olszewski I used to live with my Grandma Joyce Shelton right across from the school..not old enough to attend, but oh the Maypole dance was so beautiful!!

  2. Terry Carlsen yes

    Elaine Andersen Providence did when I went to school.

    Crystal Arnell Olszewski Mendon always used to, and we always did in school in Logan years ago.

    Diana Jones Mendon still does for the last 150+ years and still going strong

    Linda Hadley Kimball Used to do it in Smithfield too.

    Becky Shelton Mendon just celebrated 155 consecutive years of May Day.

  3. Debby Herget They still celebrate May Day in Mendon on the first Saturday in May. They crown a May Queen and young girls braid a maypole.