How did you become involved with social dance? What was the first social dance you had an affinity with?
What are the differences between dance music and traditional music? How does dance music differ from traditional music?
Who are some of the more iconic social dance icons?
Social dance – a brief history
In the 18th century, England produced its first dance music – the ‘social dance’ of William Booth, whose first work was an eight-bar melody called The Chairs. It was introduced to the public in 1816 as William Booth’s Social Dance or, as it came to be known today, the ‘Swing.
Swing or Swing music was initially the creation of social dancing enthusiasts, like Joseph Hooker. He was the first known person to record and record his own swing music performance. In fact, in 1816, Joseph Hooker was the first to have his own studio in the UK.
During the nineteenth century, the popularity of swing music spread through the UK and Europe, and in particular the West Indies, with bands such as the ‘Hookers’ and other social dancers performing at public parties, at theatres and on dance floors. In 1872, the social dance of Louis Armstrong, who was in his 50s, was recorded and performed by an English dance troupe. This was a landmark moment for the modern popularity of swing music.
In 1882, the Royal Society of London (Sleigh-Churchill, Dyer, and Pritchard) published a report on dance music that said that the rise of social dance had been greatly aided by music and dance companies. But this led to some resistance from the Victorian establishment.
The society decided that it would concentrate on a more accurate classification of social dance music, which it named ‘social club music’ (CCM). In the following year, Samuel Taylor Coleridge published ‘Nonsense, or New Music’, a seminal work on social music.
Social club music music also included songs written for dances of various sizes, and was used at dances of the English nobility.
This is how the music began to be classified in the 1960s, when dance music artists such as Pete Seeger started creating a new kind of dancing music of their own, and popular dance companies such as the Trampled by Turtles, the Bizarre Brothers and the Flaming Lips became influential in establishing this musical genre.
From then on, social club music started being