Media Hub | Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics

Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance

by Phil Jamison

Jamison, a dance caller, old-time musician, and flatfoot dancer, tells the story behind the square dances, step dances, reels, and other dance forms practiced in southern Appalachia. Tracing the forms from their European, African American, and Native American roots to the modern day, he argues that these distinctive folk dances are not the unaltered jigs and reels of the early British settlers, but hybrids that developed over time by adopting and incorporating elements from other popular forms.