Dance of the 1950

The decade of the 1950’s witnessed the continuing growth of dance activity in North America. The Rock n’ Roll explosion of this decade reflects the optimism in society after World War II and provided the chance for the younger generation to clutch to something exciting. This new trend however not only excited people’s ears, it also excited their bodies, and initiated people to get up and dance whether it was in the privacy of their own home, at parties, or at the drive-in. Ultimately, Rock n’ Roll became synonymous with dance crazes among the young people, for they both did the same thing; celebrated the joys of youth. Unlike dances such as the waltz, when gliding conservatively across the floor in a very conspicuous manner was the “proper” way of dancing, artists such as Elvis Presley introduced gyrating hips and torso moves and a body attitude that seemed to express "let loose and do your own thing,” which many loved to imitate. Therefore, one could say that dance in the fifties became “dirtier” and more importantly, liberated, being the perfect rebellion act for teenagers during this decade.
In the ’30s and ’40s, you went to Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom for the ultimate source of swing era dance style. However this sophisticated approach changed in the 1950s, when adolescents simply went to their living room for a feel-good experience every day after school. Beginning on October 7th, 1952, a new obsession swept the continent, referred to as American Bandstand. Hosted by Dick Clarke, this music and particularly dance show was the most popular of its kind. In order to conform to the carefully crafted bandstand image, Dick Clark did not permit aerials, lifts, dips, partnered charlestons, or jazz moves. Also, the tight confines of the studio were hardly favorable to flash dancing. Therefore, even thought parents disapproved of the Rock n’ Roll emergence, as well as what it influenced in their children, American Bandstand was fairly a…

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