Dance can be known as a way of bringing people together. Ideas from the past are the roots of the evolving ideas and movements in dance, which contribute to any social dynamic within each generation. Through the generations of my grandparents, parents, and myself, dance has evolved and was used to help the overall community with events that are going on at that time.
While my grandma was growing up in the 1940s, all events were centered around World War II. This made things very hard and limited to do simple things like grocery shopping and filling up gas in your car. Dance was one of the things that would help people during this time. Rumba and swing dances were developed in the 40s. Rumba is a courting dance and was accepted as a popular provocative ballroom dance. This was helped as a “soothing counterpoint” during the turbulent years of the war. Swing dance was very popular and was developed to the swing style of jazz dance music. This dance was mainly danced socially which made it fun and interactive and overall a great time.
My mom grew up in the generation of the 1970s. During this time, people (such as women and African Americans) continually tried to fight for their rights and equality, a continuation from the problems of the 1960s. Also, there were continuous protests against the ongoing war in Vietnam. Despite this, this generation had a cultural shift which brought a unique time of artistic expression and creativity. New trends brought new dances to follow, and more discos were beginning to open all over the place due to this. One dance that was created during this period was the YMCA dance. This dance was based off of a song by the Village people and is very catchy and requires little movement with your feet, only needing your arms to form the letters Y, M, C, and A. This dance is still used big time, especially during social events such as birthdays and weddings.
I grew up during the 2010s years. Throughout the years, the use of the internet increased throughout the world. This also contributed to the increasing use of social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Advances in music technology were also happening as there was an increase in music streaming devices such as Spotify and Pandora. These two aspects contributed to the popular dance styles of the dougie and twerking. The dougie was produced by hip hop group Cali Swag District where one moves their body in a shimmy style and pass a hand through our near their hair. This dance style has been performed by numerous celebrities which increased its popularity. A dance that has been looked down upon is twerking. This may be due to the fact that its movements can be seen as sexually provocative due to the throwing or thrusting of the hips and low to ground stance with speedy hip movements.
Though these dances are different within each generation, they all have one big similarity of bringing people together through any events going on around them. Social dance has definitely influenced my family dynamics, as in any social events we are always dancing to one of these types of dances. It gives people an opportunity to have a break from the stress and problems going on in their lives. As Mark Oppenheimer used the example of Danielle Vogus, in “The First Dance”. She was putting in effort into a school dance so that everyone can have the best time. No matter the generation, each dance has an impact on the dances today as well as future dances to come.
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