Academic journal article Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)

Social Dancing in America: A History and Reference

Academic journal article Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)

Social Dancing in America: A History and Reference

Article excerpt

Social Dancing in America: A History and Reference Ralph G. Giordano. Westport: Greenwood, 2007. 2 vols.

If "in our dancing, as in our ideology and diplomacy, we show who we are, and what America is in the twentieth century, as popular culturist Marshall Fishwick observed fifty years ago, we can read from the full history of dancing the cultures of our predecessors. That history, beginning with references from the Bible seem to suggest that a culture or an individual that dances together stays together because in the dance people toy with one of the basic physical (and perhaps symbolically sexual) drives of human kind. These two volumes are comprehensive guides to all the body and social moves called dance that have affected American society since the beginning. The list is extensive. When Columbus landed in the new world, for example, he found the locals dancing to their music and their purposes. The stars of the new country such as Washington and Jefferson as well as being political leader were local and national stars of the dance culture. As immigrants have come to the United States through the decades, they have continued the cultures of their homeland countries in the dances they brought with them. …

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