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Shimmy By Smith, Asheley B.

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM1928-1
Published: 15/10/2018
Retrieved: 23 July 2024, from


The shimmy, also known as the shim-me-sha-wabble, is a jazz dance that features the upper body, especially the shoulders, shaking and quivering horizontally from side to side, such that a dancer’s ‘chemise’ might shift and slide. The dance, often associated with female sexuality, rose to mass popularity in the United States in the late 1910s and early 1920s, after emerging in the American South around the turn of the twentieth century within African-American communities. White performers learned of the shimmy when it eventually animated TOBA [Theater Owners Booking Association] shows as well as black and tan clubs on the South Side of Chicago.

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Smith, Asheley B.. Shimmy. Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

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