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  • One thing that I noticed about this period is the introduction of more improvisation, such as the cake walk.  There seems to be more emphasis on individual style, instead of getting every step exactly.  Along with the spirituals, I could see going connecting this style of dancing with allowing my students to getting comfortable moving, and expressing themselves through different movements.

  • I think the cakewalk dance is the most challenging and would be the most challenging for students because it is more improvisational.  Students would become more comfortable with this type of dance, with repeated exposure, and a safe, supportive environment.  I would like to expose my students to this as a connection to studying slavery, underground railroad, and civil rights.  Also, sharing some of the Spirituals and helping students to understand some of the hidden meanings in the songs. 

    I really enjoy Contra dancing and think my students would have doing this type of dance.  I think they'd feel more comfortable doing Contra type dancing than the cakewalk style.  After teaching your students, it would also be fun to invite parents in to take part in the dances. 

  • I feel like my students could relate to some of the strong emotions during this time period. This time period would really empathize empathy and emotions.

    I do like the idea of the cake walk. We could read a story and then have my students imitate the characters in the story. The movement section we did would also work to help my students express their ideas and get the basic movements down of some motions.

  • I had never heard about the origins of the cakewalk.  It was fun to hear about that.  I think my students would enjoy practicing it, especially if they got to make fun of me!

    I am currently teaching stories from the Civil War era in my American Literature class.  These songs would be great for them to listen to/analyze.  I can also see some comparisons to hip-hop (e.g., call-and-response) that students might be able to relate to.

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