750 to 1,000 words due via Blackboard Discussion Board (25 points)

Overview: Oral history is an important research method for gathering information about dance and is also very interesting! To get a different and personal perspective on the dance and social history we will be discussing during this course, you will conduct an interview with someone of an older generation (ex. community member, friend, acquaintance, family member, colleague etc.) about their social dancing experiences, and write a brief essay sharing your findings.

750 to 1,000 words due via Blackboard Discussion Board (25 points)

Response to a post by a classmate is due Sunday, October 17 by 11:59pm on Blackboard Discussion Boards.

Guidelines: An interview will serve as your main data for the essay. You are NOT supposed to simply transcribe your interview—this essay is about synthesis. Ask your interviewee about their dancing experiences growing up and when they were around your age. Ask questions that that will help you fulfil the requirement for Contextual Analysis, Movement Analysis, and Sociopolitical Analysis. Glean enough information from the interview to help you. Ask to record the interview, or to take notes. Your essay will be a synthesis of your encounter with this person, and the material you’ve learned in class. Be Specific. Be detailed. Use course vocabulary. Center the person’s experience. Be explicit about your own standpoint/positionality. Include citations (e.g., weblinks, readings, articles, movies, images). I encourage you to have a free-flowing discussion and ask follow-up questions, but here are some questions to get you started:

Where/who did they learn their dances from? (ex. parents, friends, siblings, in school, from TV?)

What kind of venues were they dancing in? (ex. home, studio, clubs, school?)

Do they have any specific dances or moves they preferred, or that they still remember how to do?

What kinds of movies or TV shows or live dancing did they watch? What was their favorite?

How did the dancing make them feel? What was the attitude of their elders about dancing?

And if they did not dance or were not allowed to dance you can still interview them about this (e.g. why did they not dance, what were the reasons, what was their perception of dancing even if they did not participate, has that changed, how does the idea of dancing make them feel, etc.)

In your post, give us the answers to these questions and other things that came up in your conversation. Include contextual information about where your interviewee grew up, identitarian categories, and any cultural information you think would help set the scene for your readers. You could also tell us if anything you learned surprised you, or what you thought was the most interesting information that came out in the discussion. You could also comment on how these experiences are similar or different to your own or the material we’ve looked at in class. You conclusion should be a clear statement of new knowledge gleaned from the experience concerning the interviewee, dance, hip hop, and yourself.


You should either take written notes or, with the permission of your interviewee, record the interview, so that you have the important information when you write. Remember: the is an essay format assignment. The interview is only giving you the material that you will write about. You may quote parts of the interview, but the interview itself is not the content of your essay post. Remember to make a substantial comment briefly on at least 1 of your classmates’ posts and to respond to questions on your own post too.