(BLACK PR WIRE) -- Move to the left... move to the right... move up close... and do a dance that’s dynamite! Whether in the 1800s or today in the 20th century, dance has always been an integral part of African American culture. African Americans are known for taking it step by step and paving the way in dance.
According to the African American Registry, it was in 1891 when The Cakewalk was introduced through the Creole Show, a revue staged on Broadway. It was the first dance created by blacks to become popular with the white population. Other black-influenced dance trends that followed were the Charleston, the Lindy Hop, the Jitterbug, and the Twist.
During the Harlem Renaissance, similar innovations in theater, music, literature, and other arts accompanied African American developments in dance. Blacks were on a roll. Tap was introduced and combined elements of African-inspired shuffle dances, English clog dancing, and Irish jigs. Renowned black dancers such as Bill Robinson, brought respectability and popularity to the new dance form. Tap dancing was even further developed in the 1930s and 1940s, as white dancers included it in motion pictures.
Continuing to take it step by step, African Americans moved into ballet and modern dance in the 1930s and 1940s, as well. Several leading black dance companies contributed significantly to modern dance including The Lester Horton Dance Theater and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Today, African Americans have not slowed down. We continue to move to the groove and take it step by step. From the earlier days, dance has broadened to include the urban black dance forms of break dancing and hip-hop, both recognized for their expressiveness.
Dance will certainly remain an integral part of African American culture. As the innovators that we are, we will continue to take it step by step to pave the way in modern dance.