Access to the full text of the entire article is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Article

Modern Ballroom Dancing By McMains, Juliet

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM76-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 07 December 2019, from
https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/modern-ballroom-dancing-1

Article

Twentieth-century modern ballroom dancing differed from social dancing of the nineteenth century in its shift in focus from group cohesion to individual personal style. This focus on personal expression paralleled Progressive Era values that emphasized free will and individual action as a means to social progress. Through the use of the closed hold, many modern dances (including the one-step, the Castle Walk, the maxixe, the tango, and the foxtrot) brought partners into closer proximity for extended periods of time. The resulting physical contact of partners combined with the unpredictability of movement inspired by the accompanying ragtime evoked public controversy over the propriety and decency of modern dances.

From the 1910s through the 1950s, these dances were standardized by an American modern ballroom dance industry capitalizing on new means of mass production and distribution to sell ‘‘refined’’ versions of these dances (all of which were of lower-class origin) for consumption by upwardly mobile clientele. The codification of modern dances for mass dissemination, however, eliminated many of their defining modern features, particularly personal expression through improvisation. Modern ballroom dances as interpreted by the English became the basis for ballroom dance competitions exported internationally by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing throughout the twentieth century.

content locked

Published

09/05/2016

Article DOI

10.4324/9781135000356-REM76-1

Print

Related Searches



Related Items

Citing this article:

McMains, Juliet. "Modern Ballroom Dancing ." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 7 Dec. 2019 https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/modern-ballroom-dancing-1. doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM76-1

Copyright © 2016-2019 Routledge.