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DAN 32 — 1950s Dances: From Swing to Bop

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Nov 2—Dec 7
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Nov 4
Unit: 1
Tuition: $360
Instructor(s): Richard Powers
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on November 23
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Nov 2—Dec 7
5 weeks
Refund Date
Nov 4
1 Unit
Richard Powers
Please Note: No class on November 23
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
It's never too late to dance like a 1950s teenager! That decade saw the emergence of various dance styles that were heavily influenced by the music of the time, such as rock and roll, swing, and rhythm and blues. Overall, 1950s dance was characterized by its high energy, swing-inspired moves, and an emphasis on individual expression. In this course, we will learn a wide variety of fun and easy teen dances from the 1950s, including Rock 'n' Roll Swing, the Stroll, the Bop, Chalypso (teen cha-cha), the Madison, and some of the very first line dances. Many of these teen dances were never recorded in published dance manuals, and film clips of the moves are scarce, so these lessons reflect findings from over a hundred interviews with former ‘50s teens (including some Stanford alums) to collect their steps, styles, and variations. Each class will feature a themed dance that allows participants to learn the basic steps and progress to more advanced versions. There will also be a halftime break each evening, which will include slide presentations that showcase the background, history, influence, and social significance of all the dances covered. Students will enjoy upbeat classes within a fun and social atmosphere and will leave the course with a broad introduction to these dynamic dance styles.

No dance experience is required, just a fun-loving attitude and lots of enthusiasm. If you already dance, register with a friend who doesn’t. This is a great way to introduce someone to social dancing.

Lecturer in Dance, Stanford

Richard Powers has been researching and teaching social dance for almost 50 years. He has taught for Continuing Studies since 1995; this is his 25th course. His emphasis is on flexible and attentive partnering, creativity, fun, developing one’s personal style, and adapting to the dancing styles of various partners. Selected by the centennial issue of STANFORD magazine as one of Stanford's most notable graduates of its first century, he has also received the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.