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History of Social Dance in America: Couples Dances

with Mark Matthews

writer, historian, dance caller/instructor, officer with the Missoula Folklore Society, writing instructor at The University of Montana College of Technology

This dance history program is for older students, focusing on couple dances such as the jitterbug, waltz, two-step and foxtrot. During the instruction Matthews explains the history behind the dances. For example, when teaching the jitterbug he analyzes the ways in which African-American social dance helped ease the process of race integration during the 20th century in the United States. Matthews has presented his program to classes in physical education, history, social studies, English, dance history and humanities—from kindergarten to college level. He visits your school for an entire day or two to work with every age level. Some communities also arrange for an old-time barn dance in the evening when students can dance with their parents under Matthew’s direction.