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Encyclopedia > Zydeco (dance)

Zydeco as a dance style has it's roots in a form of folk dance that corresponds to the heavily syncopated Zydeco music, originated in the beginning of the 20th century among the Francophone Creole peoples of Acadiana (south-west Louisiana). It is a partner dance that has been primarily danced socially and sometimes in performances. Folk dancers in Prague Folk dance is a term used to describe a large number of dances, mostly of European origin, that tend to share the following attributes: They were originally danced in about the 19th century or earlier (or are, in any case, not currently copyrighted); Their performance is... In music, syncopation is the stressing of a normally unstressed beat in a bar or the failure to sound a tone on an accented beat. ... Zydeco is a form of folk music, originated in the beginning of the 20th century among the Francophone Creole peoples of south-west Louisiana and influenced by the music of the French-speaking Cajuns. ... Francophone means French-speaking. ... The term Louisiana Creole refers to people of any race or mixture thereof who are descended from settlers in colonial Louisiana before it became part of the USA in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase, or to the culture and Creole cuisine typical of these people. ... Map of Acadiana Region with the Cajun Heartland USA subregion highlighted in dark red. ... Official language(s) English and French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans at last census; probably Baton Rouge since Hurricane Katrina Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33... Two people doing the Salsa. ... Social dance is a major category or classification of danceforms or dance styles, where sociability and socializing are the primary focuses of the dancing. ...


The follower usually mirrors the steps of the leader however in some figures the steps may be completely different, allowing for self-expression and improvisation. Because of the very lively music, the overall style is small sidewise steps with relatively steady upper body and no hip swinging, wiggling or jumping. There are exceptions to this rule, but feel of the zydeco is very real and consistant. Zydeco dance can be described as the opposite of Swing or Ballroom since the direction or feel of the dance is down, not up like Swing or Ballroom. In partner dancing, the two partners are labelled as the leader and the follower, or lead and follow. ... In partner dancing, the two partners are labelled as the leader and the follower, or lead and follow. ...

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Basic step

The Basic Step in Zydeco takes 8 beats and consists of two mirrored parts 4 beats each. The step pattern is often memorized as "SPSS SPSS", "S" is for "step", "P" is for pause. In the most basic form, there are no steps at all, only weight shifting from one foot to another. The leader starts with weight on his right ("R") foot, the left ("L") one is without weight about one foot sideways. (The right foot of both partners points between the feet of the opposite partner, knees are slightly bent ("softened").) On count "1" the leader transfers his weight on the left foot, followed by pause, then the weight is transferred on the right foot and back on the left one. The same repeats in the opposite direction: right-pause-left-right. Sometimes this step pattern is memorized as "LLRL RRLR", indicating the standing foot for each beat of the music. Basic Step, Basic Movement, basic pattern, or simply Basic is the very basic dance move that defines the character of a particular dance. ... This is the list of dance terms that are not names of dances or types of dances. ...


After mastering the basic rhythm, one may replace simple weight transfers by very small steps to shuffle in place or just a little sideways or the couple may rotate in either direction, usually in the clockwise direction.


Finally, the lively Zydeco music with its accented 2nd (and 6th) beats will force you to do something rather than simply "pause" on counts 2 and 6. Usual "fill-ins" are kicks, toe or heel taps, flicks, brush, etc. with the free (unweighted) foot or a little twist on the weighted foot. These actions are commonly known as "eat-a-beat".

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External link

  • Cajun Zydeco Music & Dance
  • Bayoudancer.com
Louisiana roots music and dance
Cajun Jig (One Step) | Cajun Jitterbug (Two Step) | Cajun music | Creole music | Dixieland | Jazz | Jazz funeral | Louisiana blues | New Orleans R&B | Second line | Swamp blues | Swamp pop | Zydeco | Zydeco (dance)

 
 

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