Social Dancing in America
A History and ReferenceBook - 2007
This two volume set relates the history of the most popular social dances, where they began, which dances survived the test of time and why, and what attracted American men and women to social dancing in these periods. Unlike other books on social dancing that taught people How to Dance, this books not only describes the dances, but also WHY Americans danced. This two volume companion set is the most comprehensive collection of American social dance from the first settlements in 1607 through the birth of the nation in 1776 and into the beginning of the 21st century. "Social Dancing in America" encompasses the global nature of the ethnic contributions to the formation of many unique American social dances. Those influences included the Native American Indian, Spanish, Caribbean, African, European, and other ethnic cultures that created original American social dances such as the Lindy Hop, Rock n' Roll, the Twist, Disco, Breakdancing, and Hip Hop. The book is also a celebration of the American spirit embodied among everyday individuals as they danced for fun, recreation, and family celebrations such as weddings.
During the twentieth century, social dancing in itself offered a parallel of the social, economic, and cultural traditions of each particular time period. For example, segregation and the Jim Crow mentality was cemented in place all over the United States and for most of the century dancing and dancing halls were strictly segregated. Segregation forced a mass migration from the south to northern cities and with it a transformation of the Delta Blues music into an American original - Jazz. Jazz gave birth to the Charleston Dance, as well as evolving into swing music and the Lindy Hop. In the latter part of the 20th-century, with the technological advancement of television, shows such as American Bandstand, Soul Train, Dance Fever, and eventually the MTV generation greatly influenced dance styles and the current new trend in dancing such as Rock n' Roll, Freestyle, Disco, Breakdancing, and Hip Hop.