Sinful to participate in Masquerade Ball? Dancing a sin?



Is it sinful to participate in a Masquerade Ball? I briefly read that sometimes the masks and clothes were often worn because men want to dress as women. I don’t want to go to the ball if it is as if i am condoning sin, while wearing a masquerade mask. The ball Im attending is Catholic run by the archdiocese of Chicago coming up next week. I will be buying a mask. I just don’t want to be condoning cross dressing or any other sinful practice. It seems they are also running this in unison with a Catholic Catechism course, so i cannot imagine it is “that bad”? Thoughts?

Also, seems the Saints of old were against such things and even dancing, I have briefly read for that matter. I enjoy swing dancing and other types of non-sensual dancing.

It seems some forms of dancing like Buchata, Salsa, Tango, and other forms of close dancing can be sinful. I know a couple can dance further apart during some of those dances. I am not good at any of those dances, but just like the watching the fluidity of two people dancing in such unison together. I am aware that those types of dances can cause the partners to lust or even the viewers, so i am guess it isn’t good… especially the clothing that is often worn during some of those dances. Thoughts?

Thank you and God Bless You!


Dancing and masquerade balls are not intrinsically sinful.

Be careful of scrupulosity/


Dancing, clothing, and more have been criticized often over the years. Traditional Irish dances & Indian dances were both forbidden by priests. As for men dressing like women, take a look at portraits of historical figures. Lots of long hair, ruffles and lace, even high heels - all on men!

Don’t worry about it. The times they are a-changin’ - and always will.


As long as it is not lewd or arousing lust, I would think dancing is ok.


No. As was said: “Be careful of scrupulosity.”


Thank God that dancing is not a no-no like it is in some Southern Baptist denominations. I could never figure out when I was a kid visiting my grandmother in far eastern Texas, that the congregation could never play cards, but played dominoes every night!!!:smiley:


Bachata is especially bad for “American” Catholics. It’s from the Dominican Republic so its both Hispanic AND African!! Because God only approves of white American styles of dancing!



Also OP, imo, I don’t think u are being scrupulous on this issue, as I think there are a lot of unsafe dances that we shouldn’t participate in.


I used to know a lady who said pretty much that to me. I was so flabbergasted I didn’t know what to say to her. It doesn’t help that I was raised to respect my elders. How do you let someone know - especially someone older than oneself - that what was said was inappropriate or flat-out wrong?


The standard respectful reply could be, “Wow, I hadn’t thought of it that way.”

You could change the conversation, or follow up with, “Can you tell me where you learned that?”


Thank you for all of the comments… I am trying not to be scrupulous, as I have gotten much better by the grace of God.

It seems the SAINTS are always leery of the devil… but more so, i just don’t want to advocate or attend or partake in activities that in anyway resemble sinful behavior: by dress (lack thereof or cross-dressing as in days of masquerade balls of old?), drunkenness, or lust… if that makes sense.

I saw the following in a previous forum post… any thoughts? It seems the scrupulosity of the Saints along with their piety and love of God, people, and true love of self, made them BIG “S” Saints… right? Jesus went to weddings and into the house of sinners… but He didn’t advocate sin. I don’t know… just trying to find balance and live for Jesus. I wouldn’t attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans though. I think that is too far lost… maybe that is what the Saint refer to stay away from, not a Catholic Masquerade Ball.

Thanks for the input, Brian

The reprehensible things about the carnival are things that are considered dangerous at all times, such as masquerade balls and theatres.

St. John Chrysostom considered the theatre the worst place, where the vilest spiritual diseases may be contracted.

St. Augustine called the theatre of his day the pomp of Satan.

St. Cyprian speaking of it says it is the innovation of the devil; apply all this to picnics and balls too.

Now, my good young people, whom would you rather believe; would you rather believe your own passions that drag you into considering these things small matters; would you rather believe our modern, loose Christians, who consider the theatre the school of virtue?

Or would you not rather believe those great doctors whom I have quoted, who studied much, and who were enlightened by almighty God?

You will say that you always criticise the title of a play before you go. That is nonsense; you know that the name of a play does not give a clue as to whether it is moral or not.

What about masquerade balls? The dance is one of the greatest occasions of evil, especially for young people. A youth that loves the ball-room will sooner or later fall into grave sin. “He who jokes with the devil,” says St. Peter Chrysologus, "cannot reign with Christ.

St. John Chrysostom declared vehemently against dancing; he says it is the innovation of the devil, and those who engage in it cannot escape the snares of the devil. All the saints have said the same thing.

During these days of the carnival, especially, let us not form part of the world that has gone crazy, we may say. There is no objection to modest recreation nor to simple enjoyments.

Endeavor to compensate Our Lord Jesus for so many sins committed during this time.

With great love, visit a church where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, pray, and receive from Him spiritual joy of which the world knows nothing.

In this way you will not put your salvation in jeopardy nor will you, as often happens, ruin the health of the body, as is frequently the case" -


yea, i wonder about those days, even some higher upper Catholic Priests i think of those times wore some weird garbs too… at least in the past movies i think i’ve seen… a man for all seasons – Thomas More movie?

I also don’t like effeminate images of Jesus, whether on the cross or pictured…

I think this day and age men and women are not partaking in their God given roles in marriage or the Church as much as previous generations… and our culture is slowly losing the distinction between male and female … some unisex clothing, emasculating males, feminism, the homosexual agenda, amongst others are all part of the cause. Just some of my thoughts!


I think it is the style of dancing, doesn’t matter where it originates. If it is an arousing type dance for either the couple or viewers, it shouldn’t be done. At least not in public and only in the bedroom, if married. Some of those dances can be extremely sensual.

I am not against Latin or African dance in general…i don’t even know much about them… it could be white American club dancing that i am just as much opposed to, that is again if it elicits lust.

Is that what you meant?


[quote=GodHeals;12402689Is that what you meant?

This particular lady said that rock music and modern dancing (this was in the 80s, I think) were imported from Africa by n******. I think that word coming from a person I thought of as a sweet old lady was what shocked me the most.

In spite of a total lack of talent, I like to dance. I was in a couple of folk dancing groups for several years. I’m still trying - without success - to copy the moves in Gangnam Style!

That lady was Catholic, a member of my parish. I wonder what she would have thought of the Missa Luba?


What’s wrong with unisex clothing? In modern culture, wearing pants is something both genders do, and I dont agree with the legalistic rules of people who say women should only wear dresses/skirts.


Yep. And men should be able to wear skirts without being labeled cross dressers or gay. Scots wear kilts. Lots of Polynesians wear a kind of skirt. National dress from many countries is skirts. Nothing at all unmanly about it.

I’ve found from my own experience that skirts are cooler in hot weather, and coupled with pants, warmer in cold weather.


Cross-dressing at Masquerades is seriously exaggerated.

Actually it is unCatholic as a Pope already ruled a thousand years ago that women wearing trousers isn’t banned by Christianity.


Yes sola skirtura is not Catholic doctrine.


It seems like the lady you met was just racist.


:clapping: Very good!

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