“Mandatory Square Dancing” at Fordlandia in Brazil

In response to the article on Quadrilha, a form of square dancing popular in Brazil, reader Nick says:

“…in order to reduce his dependency on British-controlled rubber from southeast Asian plantations, [Henry] Ford attempted to establish his own rubber plantations in Brazil’s Amazon River basin. The company town for the plantation, creatively named Fordlandia, featured a dance hall, and square dancing was required.”

Gizmodo has this to say:

Local [Brazilian] workers were expected to adopt a suburban Michigan lifestyle, too—along with a healthy dose of Ford’s own morals, which meant that both booze and ladies were outlawed within the town. According to a terrific podcast from How Things Work, the transplant town even hosted mandatory square dancing. Hamburgers and other American fare featured in the cafeteria.

Source: On Henry Ford’s 150th Birthday, a Look Inside His Failed Utopia

This is taking “mandatory square dancing in PE class” a step too far!

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