Arts and Entertainment

Black Dance

What social dances became popular among blacks in later years?

As blacks migrated from the South to major cities, black dance culture became popular there as well. They modernized slave dances, such as the Cakewalk and the Charleston, and helped to popularize them in their new homes. Popular among dances of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s were the Lindy Hop, Big Apple, Twist, and Tap. Much later, television programs helped to spread interest in these dances as well. American pop icons, such as Michael Jackson, Cab Calloway, and James Brown, helped to influence black dance. Break dancing, also called b-boying or breaking, was developed on the East Coast by gang members in the early 1970s, and by 1980 had popular appeal. It is a form of hip hop dancing that emerged around the same time, which is usually performed on the street and performed to hip hop music. Hip hop dancing is an energetic form of dancing that includes cool moves, quick spins, and allows freedom of movement that reflects the dancer’s personality.


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