Talk:African-American dance

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PlainJane 04:14, 1 April 2006 (UTC) As you can see, this article is a work in progress, and this is the first 'draft'. I don't have time to do more work on this article now, so please point out errors/shortfalls, etc.

Untitled[edit]

This article is intended as a discussion of the relationships between African American vernacular dances. My specialities are jazz and swing dances, but I know relatively little about contemporary African American vernacular dances. It wouldn't be too difficult to add information to this article using references from other wikipedia articles (so long as they have useful sources/references).

Priorities in intro[edit]

The first thing this article should do is state (at least roughly) what (an) African American vernacular dance is. Currently it begins by explaining what "vernacular" means in this context. That should come a little later. Just a suggestion. dbtfztalk 07:50, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

PlainJane 08:32, 1 April 2006 (UTC) I think it's a little better now... ?

  • Yes, that's better. dbtfztalk 01:30, 2 April 2006 (UTC)


In the intro, the words "Khriste Crazy lil Girl" are used with no explanation as to what this is. This is confusing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.119.90.147 (talk) 13:59, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Vernacular is a linguistic term[edit]

Not a dance term. The origin of this term can be traced to events and organization revolving around swing dance in Harlem during the time Janice Wilson (swing dance instructor was around) was in New York. This term is not appropriate in describing dance. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Zenolee (talkcontribs) 17:10, 16 December 2006 (UTC). Insert non-formatted text here

Yes, the term 'vernacular' is used in linguistic literature, but it is also used in dance studies literature, referring to the 'everyday', 'ordinary' dance of a particular group of people or region. There are many, many articles and books using this term in reference to dance - some are listed at the bottom of this wikipedia article.

The term is, however, frequently a point of debate within contemporary swing dance culture and often critiqued because it apparently makes something 'simple' complicated. I would argue, though, that we draw on a combination of academic and 'ordinary' dance talk - perhaps a note signalling the fraught nature of the term. PlainJane 04:28, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Although I have no problem with our vernacular dance article, I think that using such a term in the title of an article about a specific tradition is overkill. Any text meant for a reasonably educated lay reader would just say "African American dance". See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names).--Pharos 01:03, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Agree that simpler title would be better & have moved article, will work in those articles linking to the redirect. Paul foord 01:32, 18 February 2007 (UTC)


I actually disagree - there are clear differences between 'African American dance' and 'African American vernacular dance' - the former is normally associated with ballet, contemporary dance and other performance dances, the latter with 'street dances'. The point is that vernacular dances are those which are, primarily, dances in community spaces and NOT on a stage. PlainJane 00:59, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Laypersons, i.e. persons without a learned appreciation of high culture dance, would definitely not first think of ballet when they think of "African American dance". Vernacular dance is just that, the colloquial. If we're to have an article on high art African American dance (African American dance theatre ?), then that should be the article with the diambiguating name.--Pharos 01:27, 19 February 2007 (UTC)


I think it's a shame that this article has been changed from African American vernacular dances to African American dance. There are clear differences between social or 'street dances' like lindy hop, blues dance, hip hop and krumping and concert dances like modern dance or ballet. There should be a separate article on African American modern dance and ballet - in fact there really should be, as the history of ballet and modern dance is very definitely racialised and needs to be discussed. I think this article should be returned to af-am v dance and a new article discussing af am ballet/modern dance/dance companies should replace it. PlainJane 13:20, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Comparing vernacular popular African American street dances to cannonized institutionalized classic European dance seems odd. A better analogy might be European competitive improvised street dances like Flamenco and/or Irish clog dancers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.110.112.2 (talk) 22:12, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Category:African American dances?[edit]

It seems there are enough dances in this tradition to justify a category, what thoughts are there on a title? Paul foord 02:30, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Rapping (as a poetic expression of the spoken word) and rap music (a subset of hip-hop) may be considered separate, and thus, put into different decades. M. Ali and James Brown are often credited and cited pioneers in the former, while it is acknowledged that The Sugarhill Gang produced the first commercial rap record in 1979.72.174.65.182 (talk) 05:24, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

Something about "Jit" would be good[edit]

It's a Detroit style that goes with sped up electro music which began in the early 1980s (I think) - search for jitting on youtube. You already have juke (which I know is a generic term, but also means fast dancing to "ghetto house"/jack in Chicago)

Dance and get down[edit]

Some depth could be added to this article w/regard to African roots of AA dance and how elements of AA dance have transformed maintream vernacular and modern dance worldwide. The information provided at Get down (which also similarly could be improved by the info on the AfD page) and on the AfD page -- particularly the references cited -- here[1] should be particularly useful. deeceevoice 06:03, 9 October 2007 (UTC)


Good source and quote[edit]

"Early in the slavery experience, Afro-American dance split into two basic streams. The first stream was the dance that black folk created for themselves during those few precious hours of sacred and secular celebration. This first stream was the more 'African,' in part because of the movement quality and vocabulary, but also, because the dance was created for the benefit of the dancers. The experience of any observers (the audience) was secondary. The second stream was the dance that black people created for white people. This second stream was more 'European,' both because of the technique and because the dance was created under differing degrees of duress for the pleasure of the audience. The experience of the performer was secondary." (Hinton, 1988: 4)

futurebird 22:28, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


African American modern dance[edit]

AA modern dance certainly deserves an entire article of its own....PlaneJane (talk) 05:27, 28 December 2007 (UTC)