Do I have a Degree in Dance?
Someone on YouTube asked if I had a degree in dance. I wrote this as a response, but YouTube only allows 500 characters in comments, so I decided to paste my response here.
Question: You broke it down nicely! What's your background? Do you have a degree in dance? Again, very well done!
While I don't hold a degree in dance, I am a trained dancer. I've taken dance classes that range from waltz to tango to salsa to swing to ballet to African. I regularly dance around 15 different ballroom and social dances every week. L.A. Bop (a.k.a. "The Hop") and Cha Cha (a.k.a "The Texas Hop") were the very first dances I was introduced to as a young boy. I remember when I took my first Lindy Hop class, I asked the instructor if this is where "Bop" came from, a dance I had learned as a child. Not having any history or technical reference, they just "seemed" to be similar to me. I'll never forget the quizzical look on her face. Along with studying dance, I've also spent a lot of time studying dance history. I recommend that whatever dance you dance, find out it's history. Who started it? Where was it first danced? How did it evolve?
Chicago Steppers will never, ever admit that the dance they love so much is little more than another version of good ol' Swing. But, if the videos I've posted here do nothing else, they prove that it's a historical fact.
Argentine Tango "Milongeros" rarely concede that a good portion of their dance springs from the jungles of Africa. It wasn't until I saw my Argentine Tango instructor, dressed in spats and a pinstrip gangster suit, doing what I recognized from Lindy as a "pimp walk" that I really saw the "Black cool" that is a fundamental aspect of the dance.
Thanks for your compliment!