Summer Sale! Save 20% today and get access to all our member benefits.

Popular Dances of the 1960s-70s and Ballet: Background information when reading The Swans of Harlem

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Read-Alikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Swans of Harlem

Five Black Ballerinas, Fifty Years of Sisterhood, and Their Reclamation of a Groundbreaking History

by Karen Valby

The Swans of Harlem by Karen Valby X
The Swans of Harlem by Karen Valby
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Apr 2024, 304 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Erin Lyndal Martin
Buy This Book

About this Book

Popular Dances of the 1960s-70s and Ballet

This article relates to The Swans of Harlem

In The Swans of Harlem, Karen Valby explains how Arthur Mitchell sought to make ballet appealing and relevant to a Black audience. He and his dancers regularly visited schools to give talks and performances. Mitchell loved to point out how ballet could help the students in their daily lives. He'd tell the boys how much higher they could jump during basketball if they learned to jeté. He would demonstrate how you could find ballet anywhere and would break down the latest dance trends to prove it—while making ballet more approachable at the same time.

One popular dance was the "Camel Walk." That was a ragtime dance popular in vaudeville in the 1920s, but it had a resurgence in the '60s and '70s as a retro craze—one that inspired James Brown and Michael Jackson. The '60s version was a sort of hunched shuffle. Try learning it here:

When Mitchell demonstrated the walk, he probably pointed out how you have to remember moves for your hands and feet, keeping tight...

Subscribers Only

This article is only available to members at this time, but you can read these articles for free.

About Membership

Member Login

Library Patron Login

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Mood Swings
    Mood Swings
    by Frankie Barnet
    This book begins with a bombastic premise. Seemingly fed up with the heating planet, the world's ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye
    The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye
    by Briony Cameron
    Our titular heroine's story begins in Yáquimo, Santo Domingo. Jacquotte Delahaye is a young ...
  • Book Jacket: Another Word for Love
    Another Word for Love
    by Carvell Wallace
    "I write about beautiful things because I live in a country that has tried to kill me and every...
  • Book Jacket
    The Flower Sisters
    by Michelle Collins Anderson
    Michelle Collins Anderson's novel The Flower Sisters, based in part on a real tragedy that occurred ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
The 1619 Project
by Nikole Hannah-Jones
An impactful expansion of groundbreaking journalism, The 1619 Project offers a revealing vision of America's past and present.
Who Said...

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!


Solve this clue:

L T C O of the B

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.