traditional dances

Dancing Threads: Community Dances from Africa to Zuni

Outstanding performers teach traditional Appalachian, African-American, and Native American dances and “play party games,” involving patterns of singing, dancing, poetry, mimicry, and play-acting. Each program features step-by-step instructions as well as a complete student performance of the game or dance. An interview with the performer gives the historical and cultural contexts of the dance.

Grade Levels: K-8
Resource Types: 4 Videos

Goin' to Boston

Taught by Appalachian storyteller Anndrena Belcher. Discussion topics: changing attitudes toward dance, immigration from the British Isles to North America.

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Little Johnny Brown

Taught by African-American musician and storyteller Paula Larke. Discussion topics: types of games, oral tradition, African settlement in America, slave life.

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Weevily Wheat

Taught by Anndrena Belcher. Discussion topics: Britain’s Bonnie Prince Charlie, genealogy, family traditions, heroes.

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Zuni Harvest Dances

Taught by Zuni storyteller Arden Kucate. Discussion topics: history of the Southwestern American Indians, daily life of the Pueblo peoples, similarities and differences among cultures.

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K-12The Arts