SOCIAL DANCE is that category of dances that have a social function and context. Social dances are generally intended for participation rather than performance and can be led and followed with relative ease. They are often danced merely to socialise and for entertainment, though they may have ceremonial , competitive and erotic functions.
Many social dances of European origin are partner dances (see
* 1.1 20th century America
* 2 See also * 3 References * 4 Further reading
SOCIAL DANCE IN THE WEST
Eighteenth-century social dance. Translated caption: A cheerful
dance awakens love and feeds hope with lively joy, (
The types of dance performed in social gatherings change with social
Social dances of lower classes were not recorded until the Late Renaissance . According to Richard Powers, courtiers in the late 16th century continually had to "prove themselves through their social skills, especially through dance." Recorded social dances of the late 16th century include the pavane and the canario . Thoinot Arbeau 's famous book Orchésographie describes peasant branles as well as the 16th century basse danse and la volta. The peasants of the countryside supplied new dances to the court as the old ones' novelty wore out.
During the Regency Era, from 1811-1830, the
Quadrille became the most
popular dance in England and France. The
Quadrille consisted of a
large variety of steps that skimmed the ground, such as chassé and
jeté . Most other dances of this era, such as the
The waltz , which arrived in Britain toward the end of the Napoleonic
Wars , was a partner dance in which partners danced more closely than
had previously been considered acceptable. In the waltz, neither
partner led. Individuals danced as equals, which was a new phenomenon
at the time. The
20TH CENTURY AMERICA
Towards the end of the 19th century, Americans were tiring of the court dances of their grandparents' era. In the early 20th century, Americans began pairing Victorian dances such as the Two-Step with Ragtime music . Other dances included the African American Cakewalk , and animal dances such as the Turkey Trot (dance) . The most popular social dance of the time was the One-Step . The dance consisted of couples taking one step on each beat of the music, so even beginners could participate.
Rock \'n\' roll in the 1950s brought about a shift in social dancing toward rebelliousness. This shift was seen especially in teenagers who did not want to dance the same steps that their parents did. The dancing was mostly swing based but had a variations in different regions. Couples began dancing as individuals for the first time, sending the message that there did not have to be a leader and a follower.
An American Ballroom Companion
* ^ Origins
* Wallace, Carol McD.; et al. (1986). Dance: a very social history. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 9780870994869 .
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