Date

2019 12:00 AM

Major

Chemical Engineering

Department

Chemical and Biological Engineering

College

Engineering

Project Advisor

Janice Baker

Description

The question of the study pertained to whether Central Iowa has a rich and diverse dance culture. Between the urban center of Des Moines and surrounding rural communities, there are ample opportunities to experience the various dance elements that contribute to the community’s tradition identity. The project and research conducted sought to better understand the motives for participating in dance as well as the dance variations between rural and urban dance venues. Six unique venues in Central Iowa were chosen for the study, which included Lake Robbins, Miss Kitties, Lime Lounge, Garden Nightclub, Denny Arthurs, and the Des Moines Classic dance competition. At each venue, I participated in dance, recorded observations, and conversed with dancers about their experiences. Through the study, it was observed that dancers have four overarching motives for dancing at the venues. These included social, tradition, internal, and competition. At rural dance centers, such as Lake Robbins, tradition and internal motives predominant, while urban centers, such as Lime Lounge, social and internal motives are important. Additionally, the dance elements at the venue are urban and rural dependent. Rural centers generally gravitated towards ballroom and swing dancing. Conversely, country line, club, and Latin dancing were popular at urban venues. Overall, rural and urban dance venues share similarities, but have fundamental differences in motives and dance genre.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

A Comparative Study of Rural and Urban Dance Culture

The question of the study pertained to whether Central Iowa has a rich and diverse dance culture. Between the urban center of Des Moines and surrounding rural communities, there are ample opportunities to experience the various dance elements that contribute to the community’s tradition identity. The project and research conducted sought to better understand the motives for participating in dance as well as the dance variations between rural and urban dance venues. Six unique venues in Central Iowa were chosen for the study, which included Lake Robbins, Miss Kitties, Lime Lounge, Garden Nightclub, Denny Arthurs, and the Des Moines Classic dance competition. At each venue, I participated in dance, recorded observations, and conversed with dancers about their experiences. Through the study, it was observed that dancers have four overarching motives for dancing at the venues. These included social, tradition, internal, and competition. At rural dance centers, such as Lake Robbins, tradition and internal motives predominant, while urban centers, such as Lime Lounge, social and internal motives are important. Additionally, the dance elements at the venue are urban and rural dependent. Rural centers generally gravitated towards ballroom and swing dancing. Conversely, country line, club, and Latin dancing were popular at urban venues. Overall, rural and urban dance venues share similarities, but have fundamental differences in motives and dance genre.