Worlds of social dancing

Dance floor encounters and the global rise of couple dancing, c. 1910–40

Klaus Nathaus
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James Nott
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Worlds of social dancing explores the huge growth of couple dancing in commercial venues across the globe as a major trend in the history of popular culture in the era of the two World Wars. Looking out for the appearance of modern steps around the geographical world, it also shines a light on the social world of dancing, where conventions that were specific to this realm shaped the conduct of its population. It considers how significant these ‘worlds of dancing’ were for class, gender, race and inter-generational relations, for personal relationships and social interactions. In case studies from Buenos Aires to Tokyo, from Manchester to Johannesburg and from Chelyabinsk to Auckland, the anthology also examines how dance cultures spread around the world and analyses their local adaptations. Finally, the volume asks how, and with what consequences, the mass culture of radio and film affected social dancing as an institution in various parts of the globe.

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