The idea, put forward by George Dantzig, was that in medieval times, it was the social dance of the upper classes, and in the 19th century, it became the practice of the poor. The music grew in popularity; it was used for weddings, funerals, and parties. It developed the idea of a party as a social occasion, and it had its own dance style, the French Connection. Other European styles of dance developed during the 19th century, including the German Connection, the Swiss Dance, and the Japanese. In America, there were two distinct cultures which developed this dance style. They were the American Indians and the English.
Why did the German Connection dance evolve?
In his book, The Social Dance of the 19th Century, the late scholar James N. Schofield states: “German Connection dancing was the only American dance that could be considered ‘classical’ in its origins.” His book goes on: “It was the first dance ever to be used to express social disapproval. The German Connection is an act of protest against the prevailing social climate and the lack of opportunity which existed for all men in the time of the colonial period in a manner that was more overt in America, where it was not limited to the lower orders.”
But what was German Connection dance like?
According to the historian Arthur K. Davenport, it was the “sport” of the upper classes, “a combination of the Western Swing dance with the Germanic Dance.” In the dance, “the woman moved the men; she was the first dancer’s partner, and the best of the dance was the one between the woman and the man who was most dominant.” “It was a male dance that was meant to express the ideal of masculinity, of a man who was able to perform on his own. It was a dance that was played at weddings, funerals, ballrooms and even on the lawn.”
The dance was based on the German language: it had a German sound system including the first, and still important, use of the German alphabet. It also was a dance that was not meant for women alone. Rather, the purpose was to show off the physical ability of those present who were a combination of white and black. Davenport states: “The men in the dance danced as women do. The men were the dancers and the women the stage.”
Was German Connection dance really popular?
The dance was popular enough to be made into
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