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Dance in the 1920s
Transcript of Dance in the 1920s
For many, when they hear "dance in the 1920s," they think of the "Charleston" or "Fox Trot," but there is so much more. A famous tap dancer, Bill Robinson, was a major figure in the dancing world, and in the 20s Dance Marathons were all the rage.
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
Bill Robinson was a tap dancer famous in the 20s and 30s. He was an African American dancer and actor. Bill was one of the first African American dancers to go solo. In addition, he headlined the first African American Broadway show, "Blackbirds of 1928." Then, his fame grew and within the next decade, he starred in 14 films.
A Dance Marathon in Washington D.C.
Published in a Newspaper in 1924
Dance Marathon, 1925
Sketch of Dance Marathons by
Johan Bull, 1923
These were human endurance contests where couples would dance nonstop for hundreds of hours for prize money. The marathons consisted of dance pairs who would dance as long as physically possible, getting a fifteen minute break every hour. There were many people through the 20s and the Great Depression who would do the marathons. In the Depression, though, people would do these marathons in hope for the prize money.
His Effect on America
Because Bill was one of the first African American
dancers to go solo, he inspired many others to do the
same. Also, the African American show of "Blackbirds"
which made them feel inspired. Bill is a huge inspiration
Started with Alma Cummings who took on this challenge in Audubon Ballroom in 1923. She danced for 27 hours and went through 6 dance partners. This sparked the craze of dance marathons, and people across the country began to try the marathons to gain fame and surpass records.
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