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Appalachian Dance Traditions: A Multicultural Heritage

Dance is an important part of the life of many communities throughout the Appalachian region. People do all kinds of dancing here--as in the rest of the country--from waltz to hip-hop, from line dancing to swing dancing, from salsa to belly dancing, and from stepping to contra-dancing. Many cultural groups make their home in Appalachia, as they have for at least three hundred years. They all share their dancing and learn from one another. The dancing of people in the region has influenced the development of characteristic Appalachian music, and the music has influenced the dancing.

Old-time square dancing has been popular among African-...

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