Historical Dances

During the American slave trade of 1619 to Virginia from Africa, some slaves were needed in other places such as the West Indies, so this event led to importing slaves to the West Indies.
Dancing was an important part of the African culture, when the slaves were taken from their lands so was part of their culture. Their culture was slowly being taken from them. Yet, the retention of the African culture by those slaves taken to the West Indies were stronger than those in America. In America at the time, the Protestant church strongly disapproved of dancing of any kind. Therefore, dances that occurred in the West Indies retained more of the African dance structure rather that those of America.
These dances were classified as recreational or sacred. An example of a traditional recreational dance is the Calenda. Being accompanied by a semi-fast rhythmic beat, a line of males would stand facing a equal line of females and one dancer from each line would step forward towards each other and jump as high as possible and strike each others thighs in mid-air.
After having the opportunity to view the Calenda dance, it was noticeable it is very similar to what we now call the Square dance. The differences are that in the Square dance, that it can be done with anyone, it does not have to be women dancing with men. Also, in the Calenda it is very favorable for a person to be in great shape, especially the men. The men like to use this opportunity to show off to the females by being the one to jump the highest and able to the most exciting moves while still in the air.

Questions:
1. Some of the influences to what affected society are gangs, poverty, and household problems. I’m thinking that gangs seemed to help lead to breaking dancing and hip hop dance because, during the 1970’2 and some of the 1980’s gangs settled their disagreements by dance offs instead of shoot outs. As for poverty, poverty was more likely to involve African American society living in the projects. At those time a lot of kids did not finish high school so they needed something to occupy their time with, which led to seeing groups of teenagers hanging in parks or on their neighborhood street corners free-styling raps to each other seeing who could out do the other. Lastly, having household problems led to kids not wanting to be home, which led to kids hanging out on the corner breaking dancing. Gangs affected society by being afraid of them, which led to living in fear. Also, gangs affected the high violence rate. For the last two poverty and household problems, led to welfare and kids went hungry and kids turned to crime, gangs, violence and dropping out of school.

2. Some of the dances of today are the bounce, the butterfly, the tootsie roll, country line dancing and mosh pitting. Sex plays a very large part of society in general. Dances in the club scenes of today majority involve men and women rubbing up against each other, in a provocative and lud manner. Some people might as well be having sex with some of the moves people do. I think social dances will begin to be more structured, more organized and less sexual. I say this because it’s being done already a little and I think it will spread more and more. The dance scene will begin to look like it did in the 80’s with break-dancing, where people will gather in a circle and people take turns showing off who has the best moves.