Here are some historical comments that may be of interest regarding dancing to the Marine Band.

John Philip Sousa was the Marine Band’s director from 1880 to 1892. By that time, the two-step had replaced the waltz as the popular dance.

Sousa formed his own band and in 1889 wrote a march called “The Washington Post.” The suitability of the march for the two-step craze quickly made Sousa famous.

The dance consisted of fast-fast-slow movements — a polka-like skip followed by a glide.

When Sousa took his band to Europe, he found that his “Washington Post” march was so popular that the two-step itself was called a “Washington Post” in England and Germany.

Would John Philip Sousa have enjoyed watching children dance to the Marine Band? Not only would he have enjoyed it, he would have encouraged it.

Bob Waner
Director of Bands, Mt. San Jacinto College