I have always thought I knew why the tourney was nicknamed the "Dance," but searches on the Interwebz (invented by Al Gore) did not reveal how or why it got this nickname. By contrast, credit is given to a journalist who was first to pen the term "final four" and the use of the phrase "march madness" has a documented history too.
Anyone have a clue?
FWIW (=not much), it was my impression that "the dance" was first used to refer to the tourney by Al McGuire, when he used to be the color(ful) commentator with Dick Enberg on NBC in the early 80s. One of his catchphrases was, you have to dance with the girl who brought you there. Meaning, whatever you did well all year to win games, keep doing that in the tourney even if you think your next opponent will kill it. Eg, if you are VCU, keep playing havic even if you are facing an NBA pointguard on a team with fewest turnovers. Or, eg, dont be a Florida -- dont give up your press and start pretending you are an interior-oriented team that you havent been all year.
Im sure 50% of you didnt even know NBC used to broadcast the tourney. Some you who do might remember Gary "US" Bonds and "Shoes," some of Al's fave role players.