Dancing 'til you drop During the Depression, dance marathons were popular as a means to forget about daily troubles and to compete for cash prizes. Marathoners danced for hours and days at a time, usually resting only 15 minutes for every hour of dancing. Americans Mike Ritof and Edith Boudreaux hold the world record. From August 29th, 1930, to April 1st, 1931, they danced for 5,154 hours and 48 minutes - that's 214 days. They won $2,000 at the Merry Garden Ballroom Dance Marathon in Chicago, Illinois. Due to potential health risks, Depression-era dance marathons were eventually banned.