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Respecting the Roots of Swing Dance


Swing dance originated in African American communities in Harlem, New York, in the 1920s/30s; at its core, it's an African American art form. As dancers, we must be aware of this context and ensure that as we learn the steps of this dance, we also learn about its culture and history. It's important that we continue to celebrate black dancers - past and present - and educate ourselves on the racism faced by the black dancers who originated this dance and to whom it belongs, as well as the racism and inequality faced by many black dancers and people of colour in our communities today. 

As a committee, it is our responsibility to continually discuss issues of cultural appropriation and racial inequality within our scene and beyond and we are committed to doing so. If something makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, if you are experiencing an issue, or if you have feedback regarding ways we could do better in this area please feel to get in contact. You can speak to one of our Safe Spaces team or email:

Finally, we have included a short list of resources below - by no means an exhaustive list - we ask that all of our members take the time to engage and educate themselves to help make our scene as inclusive and authentic as possible.




  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

  • How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

  • Divided Sisters by Midge Wilson and Kathy Russel

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

  • Fatal Invention by Dorothy Roberts

  • Locking Up Our Own by James Forman

  • The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon

  • How We Get Free by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

  • White Rage by Carol Anderson

  • Black Stats by Monique W. Morris

  • Forced Out by Kevin Maxwell

With Lindy Love,

EUSDS Committee

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