Welcome to the AK-CSS Members Forum! Please sign up to join the discussions.


  • I enjoyed learning the fox trot, but since it is a couple's dance, do not think I'd use it with my current group of students.  When studying this era, it is interesting to see how the move back to cities influenced the dances.  Dancing was available to all, but it seems many dances were kind of looked down upon, as being too racy.  I wonder if any people in high society went against social norms and participated in these types of dances.  I especially like the ragtime music of this era.  It would be interesting for the students to see examples of the different dances, even if these are not ones I would teach them. 

  • This era of music is another of my favorites.  I'm a huge Gershwin devotee'.  And the changes Aaron Copland and Martha Graham brought to ballet really started the modern dance movement.

    I can see introducing the foxtrot to my students and encouraging them to try dancing that way instead of the hanging on each other and dragging each other around the dance floor that sort of happens at prom and other school dances. 

    I love the Big Band era and am glad to see that there are younger people beginning to have an appreciation for it.  The lyrics becoming more about real people's lives and relationships is a change that we still see reflected in today, but the violence heard in some of the rap of today isn't there.   I think this music and the dance styles from this time would help students understand how different this time was.  We had been so successful through the 20's and then to have the shock of the stock market crash and the insecurity of the Depression and Dust Bowl really fed into the importance of the music and dance being a bit more frenetic as well as upbeat.  An escape mechanism.

  • Even though I think it may be hard for me to teach the Foxtrot to my students, I think it might be fun to have a day where we dressed in 1920s outfits and I brought in someone who could do a better job of teaching it; maybe call it a "Speakeasy Day", and have apple cider and really make it fun. (Thanks for the apple cider idea Tammy!)

    Also, here is a link to an article about "Won't You Come Home Billy Bailey?"  Not sure how accurate it is, but it's a pretty interesting read.


  • YAY 1920's Era!  I love the freedom that is expressed in this era.  From the music, scatting, to the dancing and just letting yourself go and moving to the rhythm.  It's all fantastic.  This is such a fun era to teach because the students get to see how society loosened up, in certain senses, and how they 'colored outside the lines.'  Speakeasies, gangsters, prohibition, flappers, all of these topics are so fun and they are images that are a little more familiar to our students. Also the breaking of barriers; women's rights, listening to 'colored music' was such a big deal at the time.  Talking about generations of parents saying their kids can't do this or that and comparing that to what their parents do.  In the 20's there were bumper belts and not listening to the radio....now it's taking away cell phones and no prom.  Really fun comparisons there.

    The dances are so fun to teach.  I've taught the Charleston, as an additional activity to teaching 'The Great Gastby' and they loved it!  It's a harder dance but in the end it's just moving to the music.  Even seeing movies like 'Chicago' helps students connect to the dancing and want to try it.  The foxtrot would be a little more difficult but still doable.

    The music would be a lot of fun to breakdown and talk about.  All those double meanings or raw material could generate a lot of conversations.  The juxtaposition of more 'realistic' lyrics to the music with the upbeat melodies could be a great jumping off point for my students and their song/poem project we do every year.  Having them find songs that do the same thing; upbeat melody but more serious, realistic situations happening in the lyrics.   

  • These dances are fun and probably something I would not do until much later in the year. I struggle with these so I think that would make my students feel a bit more comfortable.

    The music in this time period is something I believe children should be exposed to--I think I could incorporate the music into my writing. I could have students listen to a song and then write about the emotions they felt as they heard that particular song.

  • I enjoyed seeing the way people dressed during this era.  It would be fun to show this to students and then have them discuss how "scandalous" it was.  I wonder what my students would find "scandalous" today.  (Or maybe I'd rather not know????  I'll refrain from asking them to give examples of today's dirty dancing.)

This reply was deleted.