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Afro-American Dance Essay, Research Paper

Samuel A. Floyd, Jr. stated in his essay that the development of Black music and Black dance in the United States each influenced the other in their mutually dependent evaluations. In Floyd’s essay he touch’s base with only some of the numerously wide variety of historical dancers, dances of the Afro-American culture, and music compositions that lead to the development of Black dance in the United States. This essay serves the purpose for the use of springboard for more esoteric research for classroom use.

Olly Wilson introduces the concept of “ physical body motion as an integral part of the music-making process” of Afro-Americans, stated in his article titled “A Black Conceptual Approach to Music-Making.” Though he did not treat the dance, he demonstrated in his article vis-?-vis religious music, the work song, and marching bands. Wilson’s article contributed deeply to the composition of traditional music and dance styles, presented to future generations.

Dances of the Afro-American culture have come to be known as “jazz dance.” After the Civil War, the military marching bands threw their instruments aside and rejoiced thinking that the need for these instruments ended with the war. As the instruments lie in ditches and along side the dirt roads, the Blacks took possession of them and taught themselves how to play them, thus beginning the “Jazz Era.” Basic characteristics of jazz dance have remained throughout history, they include “ the shuffles, the counterclockwise circle dance, and the call-and response pattern.” These traits present all varieties of dance that are integral to the music history that enhances it.

The African American Music and Dance consists of a variety of instruments in secular dance pieces. Afro-American style is significantly different from that of the White dancers. The movements of the Black dancer’s employ the whole body than what were required by that of the White dancers. Finally, the performed stylistically in the Afro-American tradition, even though borrowed from the White tradition. Therefore, the Afro-American music and dance cultures will stand the test of time.


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