Discovering different types of cultural dances in Waitakere College

We learn and explore about different cultures in dance so I interviewed one of Waitakere College’s favourite dance teachers, Ms Osborne, and asked her about the different types of cultural dances.

She gave me two examples of dance genres, gumboot dancing and lindy hop. Gumboot dancing started as a language involving stomping, clapping, and slapping, so that the Black South African miners could communicate (as they were forbidden to speak).

Another example is Lindy Hop. Lindy Hop is a mixture of white partner dancing and African tribal dancing, initially a mockery of posh white people dancing. Also the first break away partner dance (where they didn’t have to hold hands the whole time). Famous Black American dancers met at the Bats Corner for competitions and introduced aerials (throwing partner in the air). They also ended up in movies and TV shows which introduced the dance genres to the world.

Both of these genres are not very common in this generation in dance. Ms Osborne says the Dance Department wants to open student’s eyes up to dance genres other than the common ones such as hip hop, jazz and contemporary.