Based on the limited pictorial record, the typical African practice of bending emphatically at the waist and hips gave way to a more upright, European like style. This may have reflected the African practice of carrying heavy loads on the head, which requires a strong, balancing spine.  :22 Black dancing continued strong preferences of other African characteristics such as angularity and asymmetry of body positions, multiple body rhythms or polyrhythms, and a low center of gravity.  :23
Jig , Clog , and Break Down Dancing have been attributed to African Americans, although this is disputed.   A visitor to the southern United States wrote that "Hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels Put life and mettle into their heels.No restraint of the etiquettish ball-room.What luxury of motion. This is dancing. It knocks the spangles out of the ball-room." 
Just as the Harlem Renaissance saw the development of art, poetry, literature and theater in Harlem during the early 20th century, it also saw the development of a rich musical and dance life: clubs ( Cotton Club ), ballrooms ( Savoy Ballroom ), the home rent party and other black spaces as the birthplaces of new dances, theaters and the shift from vaudeville to local "shows" written and choreographed by African-American artists; theatres as public forums for popularizing African-American cultural dances.
Competition has long played an important role in social dance in African and African American social dance, from the "battles"' of hip hop and lindy hop to the cakewalk. Performances have also been integrated into everyday dance life, from the relationship between performance and social dancing in tap dancing to the "shows" held at Harlem ball rooms in the 1930s.
Lee Ellen Friedland and other authors argue that to talk about cultural dancing without talking about music or art or drama is like talking about fish without talking about water. Music and dance are intimately related in African-American cultural dance, not only as accompaniments, but as intertwined creative processes. 
The Subcommittee on African American Affairs e-newsletter is now available online. The August edition highlights what is going on at USCCB and beyond.
News Release - U.S. Bishops' Anti-Racism Committee Chair Lifts Up National Day of Prayer - Read Bishop George V. Murry's statement calling on Catholics and all people of faith to observe an annual Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities on September 9, the Feast of St. Peter Claver.
News Release - U.S. Bishops Establish New Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism - Read the statement from Cardinal DiNardo on the establishment of the Committee and watch the interview with Bishop George V. Murry, SJ of Youngstown, OH, who has been named Chair of the Committee.
50th Anniversary Initiative - Rebuilding the Bridge: In the coming year, the country will celebrate several 50th anniversaries of civil rights milestones. Check out the 50th Anniversary Initiative page for more information about these events and the contribution of Catholics to this movement.
Plenty of Good Room : This recent publication discusses the spirit and truth of African American Catholic Worship.
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