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  • I found it very interesting that this is the first era where individual expression is encouraged through dancing.  The Roaring 20s is one of my favorite time periods to teach, so there are lots of fun things I look forward to incorporating into my classroom - learning the Charleston, and showing the video set to modern music is a must, but only after we've danced with our own interpretations first.  I played a little bit of jazz this last year, but look forward to expanding that with songs from Ellington, Fitzgerald, and Armstrong.  I think sharing the family tree and tracing hip hop back to its ancestors of jazz and the call and response songs of the 1800s will really interest my students. 

  • I enjoyed the Charleston and think students would like doing that without partners.  I also think pairing up side to side would work.  I'd show video of partners facing each other, but would never expect that of my students.  I loved the video demonstrating how the guys individualized the dance and would definitely show that to my students.

    The biggest challenge to teaching my students the one-step, and swing for that matter, is my own limitation in being able to get it right!  It's hard to teach it to someone else when you still need to figure it out.

    I doubt I'd use the Bill Bailey lyrics specifically with my 4/5/6 combination class, but would certainly try to find other songs from that period for them to analyze.

  • The great changes in our country during this period are illustrated by, and
    correspond to, the changes in music and dance. For my music classes I would like
    to use the Charleston as part of teaching improvisation in music. The dance can
    give visual modeling of how improvising in art is done within a definite structure,
    just a painter applies paint to a surface and a jazz performer uses harmonic
    and rhythmic structure

  • Jazz evolves in this era, but to me it sounds like the music is used only for accompanying dances.  It was very interesting finding for me that the dances we covered in the class usually begun to impress others, especially the dignitaries, then slowly and eventually the performers will achieve "independence."

  • More "ahas" to start this session out.  I've been teaching U.S. History for years but had never heard of a speakeasy referred to as a blind pig.  It was very interesting to see the techno Charleston and compare it to modern day hip hop.  As for using these in class the Youtube clips would be the best for me as the dances from this era seem to have a lot of leg crossovers.  I'd have to have a guest come into class to actually be able to teach this periods dances.

  • The Charleston was easy to learn but I would probably not pair them up just so they had more room for movement. For the one step I would have students pair up divide them into lead and follows and have them try. The video of the charleston with techno music was a great example of how dance moves are timeless.

  • Fun dances to do and teach.  I believe that these dances would be exciting for my students especially if there is a way to link them to current cheesy dances  (Gangnam style).  The video clips would be great to introduce this dances (Not one-step but the Charlston).  

    Individualism is a main theme in the Charlston.  I am wondering if I might be able to somehow coordinate this dance with the health curriculum of self-esteem and expression. 

      Actually all the dances should be able to be put into the SEL curriculum really well with time to actually match standards to dance activities.

  • It was fascinating to watch the video of the Charleston moves with the modern music in the background.  You can see how modern hip-hop, breakin', has it beginnings here.  I think too often students (and adults) see history as not having much relevance to today's life, but this is powerful evidence of how the past directly influences our present.    While I had extreme difficulties with the Charleston (the knee twirl is awkward, and partnering really threw me for a loop), I loved the video clips of people doing the Charleston.  It looks so freeing, enthusiastic, a way to put aside troubles.

    The Fox Trot was definitely more my speed.  (I guess I like a little more structure?)  It would be interesting to show clips of dances such as this, and maybe dances popular in different cultures and countries and have students make inferences about what clues are given about that culture.  They can then research to see if their suppositions are accurate.  Perhaps music and dance are good ways to start off my Geography units to get students to buy in.  We can then compare those dances and the music to music popular in the US.

    In Language Arts I can use different dances and music as a way to inspire writing.  Students must write a story on what they think the dance is about or what sort of a story/image comes to mind listening to the music.  (I have done a mood lesson using the theme music from "Last of the Mohicans."  Most students write about a battle, even though most of them have never seen the movie.)

  • These resources aren't as helpful to me as I don't see any direct analogies to Native dancing. Traditional Native dance is usually done as a group and tells a story. Individual dances are done at a potlatch or as part of a ceremony to introduce a new dancer, but are still very traditional. There is not a lot of showing off or individualism. Even when my parents were dancing in the 40's and 50's the dances tended to be more sedate and traditional. I don't know what was going on in the bars and nightclubs then, as my parents weren't big drinkers, but I have a feeling it was more drinking than dancing. I will have to ask my godparents what they remember from that time.

  • I love this era! I want to develop and teach a unit on just the music and dance of the1920s. My grandparents grew up in Chicago during the 1920s and were both musicians. My grandfather played the piano and my grandmother sang. I grew up hearing this music. Listening to "Bill Bailey" and Duke Ellington brought back a flood of positive memories.

    I can use the Charleston in my PE classes as an aerobic warm up activity and a launching point for students to create a "dance progression" and then peer educate. I would divide the class into groups of 5 and have each group come up with 2 different moves to add to the Charleston. Each group would practice their moves and then teach them to the rest of the class. We would build our own "Charleston" with the basic step being the chorus between each groups' individual part. The debriefing questions would deal with adding to a whole, observations about the teaching process, what worked well, what would you change. Dance, dance dance!

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