Swing Dance: Perseverance of Culture

Marks, Morgan L.
Throughout history, people have danced. Different dances come into and then go out of style, but one particular dance style has remained popular for nearly a century: Swing dance. Unlike the dances whose popularity fades after a short time, Swing's popularity continues to grow both nationally and internationally. A Swing aficionado will find like-minded individuals in most developed countries. Swing is also popular the local level: the University of Wyoming has a Swing club, which offers free lessons and social dancing each week and has a competitive dance team. My involvement in this club includes: teaching, which perpetuates the style; dancing socially, which allows me to experience the dance; and competing and performing, which has an entirely different mentality than social dance. I argue that Swing Dance continues to thrive due to a combination of its unique history and development; the development and popularization of Swing and Jazz music; the adaptability inherent in the dance; and the rebellious, society-changing nature of Swing. With an ethnography of my experience with Swing dance, I will discuss how these aspects relate to the Swing culture today and how this will allow Swing to maintain its popularity in the future.
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University of Wyoming Libraries