Dance in the 20th Century


American Civil War

1861 - 1865

World War I

1914 - 1918

Women's Right to Vote Passed


Harlem Renaissance

Approx. 1920 - Approx. 1930

The Harlem Renaissance was the name given to the cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem between the end of World War I and the middle of the 1930s. During this period Harlem was a cultural center, drawing black writers, artists, musicians, photographers, poets, and scholars.

Great Depression

Approx. 1929 - Approx. 1939

Stock Market Crash


The Wall Street Crash of 1929, also known as Black Tuesday, the Great Crash, or the Stock Market Crash of 1929, began in late October 1929 and was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, when taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its fallout. The crash signaled the beginning of the 10-year Great Depression that affected all Western industrialized countries.

World War II

1939 - 1945

Cold War

1947 - 1991

Civil Rights Movement

1954 - 1968

Stonewall Riots


The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.

Rodney King Riots


The 1992 Los Angeles riots, also known as the Rodney King riots, the South Central riots, the 1992 Los Angeles civil disturbance, 1992 Los Angeles civil unrest, and the Los Angeles uprising were a series of riots, lootings, arsons and civil disturbance that occurred in Los Angeles County, California in 1992, following the acquittal of police officers on trial regarding a videotaped and widely-covered police brutality incident.

Social Dances

Jigging-Buck-and-wing dances

Approx. 1800 - Approx. Present

Minstrel Show

Approx. 1840 - Approx. 1960

Rag Dances

1906 - 1908

These were working and middle class dances which included syncopated music by African American composers. Aspirations towards the European ballroom teams.

American Dance Marathons

Approx. 1920 - Approx. 1930

Savoy Ballroom

1926 - July 1958

Lindy Hop

1928 - Approx. 1940

The Lindy hop is accredited to George "Shorty" Snowden and was seen at the Savoy Ballroom. It was largely popularized by African Americans although also integrated.


Approx. 1940 - Approx. 02/19/2015

The Palladium is a Midtown Manhattan dance hall which became internationally known as New York's Most popular place for mambo music and dance.

Elvis Presely Popular

Approx. 1954 - Approx. 1960


Approx. 1960

Vogue began in the Ballroom Scene in the 1960s with primarily African American and Latino gay men and male to female transgender people. It is significant in forming community and was popularized by Madonna's Vogue song.

Madison and the Twist

Approx. 1960

The Madison and the Twist are associated with Rock n' Roll. The Madison is a form of a line dance whereas the Twist is a open partner dance.

Ballroom Competition is developed in US

Approx. 1960

Street Dancing

Approx. 1970 - Approx. 02/19/2015


1970 - 1979

Disco was a space for Gay men, as well as people of color and women to dance and own a fuller embodiment of space. The goal was in part (through drugs) to lose individuality in the "collective bliss." It was about dancing with the entire group drawing from improvisation and polyrhythmic full body sensation.


Approx. 1992

Tommy the Clown (Thomas Johnson) begins Clowning in 1992 In South Central Los Angeles, California.


Approx. 2000

TV/Film Dancing

Tap on Film

Approx. 1930 - Approx. 1940

Rock n' Roll

1955 - Approx. 1960

TV allowed music and dance to cross racial boundaries despite sup posited 'integration.' Blackboard Jungle and Rock around the Clock single the start of the Rock n' Roll era.

Concert Dance

American Modern Dance

Approx. 1880 - Present

Broadway jazz

Approx. 1920 - Present

Tap "Renaissance"

Approx. 1980 - Present


Ragtime music

Approx. 1900 - 1920

Syncopated and duple-metered rhythms

Rock n' Roll

1955 - 1965

Roots in black R&B and White Country Music. Emblematic jukebox with dances inspired by Lindy Hop, and the Jitterbug, ending with the Madison and the Twist.


Michael Jackson

Approx. 1964 - Approx. 2009