Dance History

Rumba - Cha-Cha-Cha - Samba - Jive - Leroc - Waltz - Quickstep - Foxtrot - Tango

General History

One version of Dance History is:

Centuries ago, there wasn't much in the way of music. People hit objects together, like the heads of their children, to see what noise it would make. By putting different sounds together (e.g. stick beating head, rock beating head, paper beats rock, rock beats scissors), primitive man began to create music. Around the same time, man began to dance. The first forms of dance began in conjunction with the rock hitting foot sound. The man would scream "oow!" and jump around. Today we call that "modern interpretive dance," or, "what only a nut would consider art." The rest of us stick to ballroom.

Alternatively !!

1225 "Summer is icumen in," probably the earliest English Round dance.
1385 The first French court ball at the wedding of Charles VI & Isabella of Bavaria.
1490 Beginnings of ballet at Italian courts.
1581 Coroso: "Il Ballerino," treatise on ballet dance technique.
1589 Thoinot Arbeau (1519-95): "Orchesographie," early treatise on dancing.
1609 Thomas Ravenscroft: "Pammelia," collection of rounds and catches.
1617 J. H. Schein: "Banchetto musicale," first dance suite.
1651 The young King Louis XIV of France appears as a dancer in a court ballet.
1652 John Hilton: "Catch as Catch Can," collection of catches, rounds, and canons.
1652 The Minuet comes into fashion at French court.
1681 Female professional dancers appear for the first time at the Paris Opera.
1745 The Quadrille becomes a fashionable dance in France.
1751 The Minuet becomes Europe's most fashionable dance.
1773 The Waltz becomes fashionable in Vienna.
1780 Spanish dance "Bolero" invented by dancer Sebastiano Carezo.
1791 The Waltz becomes fashionable in England.
1813 The Waltz conquers the European ballrooms.
1836 The Lancers becomes the fashionable dance throughout Europe.
1842 The Polka, of Czech (Bohemian) origin, comes into fashion.
1867 Johann Strauss II, the "Waltz King" (1825-1899), composes "Blue Danube".
1880's Waltz, Polka, and Schottische are the most popular dances.
1890's Two-Step, the Brazilian Maxixe competes with the other ballroom dances.
1900 The Cake Walk becomes the most fashionable dance.
1902 The One-Step, also called the Turkey Trot, becomes popular.
1905-1915 The animal dances (Grizzly Bear, Camel Walk, Snake Dip, Bunny Hop, Fishwalk, Crab Steps, Chicken Scratch, Kangaroo Dip) become popular among the young; shocking their elders.
1912 The South American Tango gains immense popularity in Europe.
1913 Vernon & Irene Castle make their New York debut in "The Sunshine Girl".
1914 The Foxtrot and Tango come into fashion in the U.S.
1918 Vernon Castle dies in an airplane crash.
1920's Shimmy, Charleston (1925), and Black Bottom (1926) are the fashionable dances among the youth.
1927 The Slow Foxtrot becomes the fashionable dance among the elders.
1930's Big Apple, Shag, Rumba (1935), Conga.
1935 "Jazz" becomes "Swing".
1938 Lambeth Walk becomes fashionable among the elders.
1940's Lindy Hop, Jitterbug (1943), Bebop (1945), Samba (1949).
1956 "Rock and Roll" dance is in vogue. Jive replaces Jitterbug.
1958 Cha Cha and "The Stroll" hit it big.
1960's The Twist becomes popular, and ends the era of swing dances. Followed by the Limbo, then Swim, Frug, Mashed Potato, ...
1978 "Disco" dancing becomes the latest fashion.


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