Jazz Dance: The Story Of American Vernacular Dance

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The Story of American Vernacular Dance

Product Details

  • Paperback: 508 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 2nd edition (March 22, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306805537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306805530
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds

Customer Reviews

Every tap dancer should read this book!

4 people found this helpful.
 on August 31, 2011
By S
An easy read, though not especially coherent or well written, this book has increased my understanding and appreciation of the art form and it’s roots. The book is full of useful information and makes me appreciate the social history, racial struggles, and artistic timeline of tap. Like others have said, it’s not a how-to (it doesn’t profess to be), so it’ll be helpful to have a little background and know a few basics (or have access to YouTube!). If you want to be a dancer and *understand* what you’re actually dancing, this is an essential read. It made me appreciate all that’s been passed down to me through the years, which I would otherwise take for granted.

Jazz Dance the story of American Vernacular Dance

One person found this helpful.
 on February 23, 2014
By Philippe B. Leibzig
Dear reader, if I believe what Frankie Manning said (from a friend of mine), this book has a bit of exageration concerning the cotton club.the violence was not that bad at the time. Saying that, it is a great book to have a almost accurate view of the history of dance in America. I am myself a swing teacher, dancer and choreographer for over 30 years and I do appreciate good books like this one, because it is one thing to perform a style of dance, but it is another to understand where it comes from. Bravo!


 on November 25, 2013
By Delores Bostic
Wonderful book so far. I am truly enjoying the history and how certain dances got started. This book should live on in history through us dancers!!!!!

Very nice reading

 on December 7, 2011
By Jonas Nermyr
As an lindy hop dancer and tap dancer I was very happy to read this book. It’s very detailed on the history of Afro-American culture. Gave me a lot of new intresting stuff and new details to things I heard before.

Best book about American vernacular dance ever written

10 people found this helpful.
 on October 7, 2006
By Frank Cullen
There is no other dance book on the market (and thank heavens that this one has remained available since it was first published in 1968) that is as useful, delightful to read or as authoratative as Marshall & Jean Stearn’s “Jazz Dance”. Indeed, it is, in my opinion, one of the best books ever written about any facet of show business.

American Classic

3 people found this helpful.
 on June 6, 2007
By Hugh R. Dempster
I second everything Frank Cullen says about this book. I first read it over thirty years ago, acquiring my own copy some years later. Not only is it a great book on American show business,it makes great reading for anyone interested in all facets of New World music and dance culture. I frequently reccomend this book to fans of American music in general, be it jazz, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, country, Latin etc. etc. After reading the Stearns’ wonderful book, one sees that, no matter how well-versed in the musical lore of the Americas one is, it is all a bit two-dimensional without the perspective offered by ‘Jazz Dance’.

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