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Appalachian DanceCreativity and Continuity in Six Communities$
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Susan Eike Spalding

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038549

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038549.001.0001

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Old Time Dancing in Northeast Tennessee

Old Time Dancing in Northeast Tennessee

Traditional Values in an Industrial Region

(p.29) 3. Old Time Dancing in Northeast Tennessee
Appalachian Dance

Susan Eike Spalding

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the impact of social and economic changes on old time dancing in Northeast Tennessee in the twentieth century, using the Beechwood Family Music Center in Fall Branch as a focal point of discussion. It begins with a background on Beechwood, one of several places in the Northeast Tennessee–Southwest Virginia valley where old time dancing took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It then considers how how rural values and industrialization converged in early-twentieth-century Northeast Tennessee, along with its effects on local dance traditions. It also explores the marketing of square dancing as part and parcel of the rural image produced by the barn dances and by recordings of “hillbilly” music; the emergence of modern western square dancing and wagon training in Northeast Tennessee; and folk revival and festivals. The chapter concludes with an overview of the evolution of dance forms and styles as well as dance music at Beechwood, along with the revival of traditional Appalachian square dancing and clogging in Northeast Tennessee.

Keywords:   old time dancing, Northeast Tennessee, Beechwood Family Music Center, industrialization, marketing, square dancing, wagon training, folk revival, dance music, clogging

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