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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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The Carcassonne Square Dance

The Carcassonne Square Dance

A True Revival

(p.187) 8. The Carcassonne Square Dance
Appalachian Dance

Susan Eike Spalding

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the revival of the Carcassonne square dance in Carcassonne, Eastern Kentucky. In its current incarnation, the Carcassonne square dance began spontaneously in 1967, soon after the establishment of the Carcassonne Community Center. The dance at the turn of the twenty-first century reflected the century-old history of square dancing in Letcher County. This chapter first provides a historical background on Carcassonne School and how it helped to shape the Carcassonne dance before discussing life in the area throughout the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on farming and coal mining. It then traces the origins of square dancing in Letcher County and goes on to explore its decline during World War II. It also considers the role of folk revival and the Office of Economic Opportunity in the renewal of square dancing in Carcassonne, along with the Carcassonne square dance's relation to community identity and sense of self within the community. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the Carcassonne square dance after three decades of existence as well as growing attention and concerns for its future.

Keywords:   square dancing, square dance, Carcassonne, Eastern Kentucky, Carcassonne Community Center, Letcher County, Carcassonne School, folk revival, Office of Economic Opportunity, community

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