Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Dancing in the English StyleConsumption, Americanisation and National Identity in Britain, 1918-50$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Allison Abra

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784994334

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784994334.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use (for details see www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 16 December 2018

English style: foreign culture, race and the Anglicisation of popular dance

English style: foreign culture, race and the Anglicisation of popular dance

(p.142) 5 English style: foreign culture, race and the Anglicisation of popular dance
Dancing in the English Style

Allison Abra

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the creation and commodification of national identity within popular dance. The discussion focuses on the efforts of the dance profession to standardise the steps of the English style, and demonstrates that there was far more invested in that process than simply establishing a formal set of steps and figures. Within the context of broader fears about Americanisation, dance professionals sought to transform foreign dances like the foxtrot and tango in a way that made them more suitable to the national character or temperament. This vision of the nation was explicitly articulated in opposition to racialised American and stereotypically Latin others, and emphasised English virtues like reserve and refinement. With its specific syllabus of standard steps and figures, the English style also became a marketable commodity which was sold at home as well as abroad. Yet the chapter shows that the profession’s efforts to craft a national dancing style were greeted with a mixed response from the British dancing public. Instead, they retained a strong interest in foreign dances like the rumba and truckin’, especially as they began to view the English style technique as stagnant and excessively regimented by the 1930s.

Keywords:   Anglicisation, English style, Americanisation, National identity, Race, Commodification, Rumba, Truckin

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.