, or sometimes Historic Social Dance
, refers to social dancing
or ballroom dancing
as done in the U.S.
and Western Europe
from roughly 1800
to fifty years ago
. For convenience, I'll break it into some arbitrary
periods, and give a few examples for each.
or early 19th century.
We've only just finished The French Revolution and women's fashions enjoy a very brief period of sensibility. Clothing tends to be light and unrestrictive, encouraging dances with lots of skipping and jumping.
Starting with the great international polka craze of 1844
anyone who was anyone was dancing.
All the same dances that were done in the mid century are still being done in the late century,
but by fewer people and with less enthusiasm. Dance masters
, in a vain attempt
to maintain their place in society and in the economy, invent dances of greater and greater complexity.
The bustle replaces the hoop, which necessitates a few changes in dancing style.
At the same time, Ragtime music begins its infiltration.
Vernon and Irene Castle
bring an air
to couple dancing, and
what was arguable the largest U.S.
dance craze ever. By the end of WWI
people mostly don't care anymore.
It's the roaring twenties
, and kids are spoiled
. For the first time, there is a class
of children who don't have to immediately go to work
is an era of highly energetic
dances done by the younger generation.
More than ever before, white
society is getting its dances from black
society. Swing music
are what's happening