Question #1: I wonder if we could find out how the growth of the economy thanks to the Industrial revolution during the late 1800’s changed how much free time people had and how that may have affected the growth of the dance industry?


  • Factory Act of 1833- prohibited the employment of children under nine and restricted the hours that older children could work
  • Wealthy people had more free time than poor because they did not have to work long hours like the poor did
  • Religion was very important so most people spent the little free time that they had in church
  • “The pursuit of leisure was now a publicly sought after goal; increased wealth permitted an increase in the printing of books and an increase in education. Dance manuals were among the most desired newly printed materials and dance masters who taught lessons both privately in homes and in dance schools proliferated.”
  • Population growth per year - about 2%
  • By 1894, the United States had become the largest manufacturing nation in the world.

Answer: The more the economy grew in the late 1800’s the more people companies had to hire for workers. This allowed the already rich people to work less and have more free time. While the poor people did almost all the work for companies, they still got a little bit of free time when the rich people were doing their part. Also, Acts and laws, like the Factory Act, made some restrictions on how long younger people could work and that allowed them some more free time. Since religion played a huge role in people’s lives, many spent their free time at church or doing religious practices. Dance was one way that people showed religious practices for dancing for forgiveness ect. Also, since people were gaining more and more money and free time the printing of books increased. Dance manuals were among these books and more and more people started to dance in their free time. Also, Dance masters taught lessons privately during their little free time. This helped develop the dance industry by allowing more people to learn dance from masters, and by giving people more free time some people used this time to let go of their problems and create their own dance style.

Question #2: In what way did the progressive era change the way that different people in America practiced, viewed, or influenced dance? (COMBINE WITH ? #5)


Question #3: How might the growth of different institutions, labor unions, and banks during the late 1800’s have helped create a better quality of life for people in the United States that might eventually affect what they do with their free time?


  • The Knights of Labor opened their doors to skilled and unskilled workers, and welcomed immigrants, blacks, and women as well. Membership in the Knights of Labor peaked around 750,000 in the mid-1880s.
  • Labor Unions lead to big strikes on income and layoffs (a massive labor rally was held in Chicago, with nearly 100,000 workers turning out to support strikers at the nearby McCormick reaper plant.)
  • Seven people died, and nearly 70 were wounded
  • Police forces in cities across the country also increased their supplies of ammunition, guns, and men in preparation for the next outbreak of "anarchism." The Knights of Labor suffered a decline in membership as a result of Haymarket Square.
  • Unlike the idealistic philosophy of the Knights of Labor, the Afl Bargained for "bread-and-butter issues" like higher wages and shorter hours. By 1917, the AFL had over 2.5 million members. Although the union used strike tactics on many occasions, it strenuously avoided the appearance of being controlled by radicals.
  • Strikes by all of the unions mentioned in the preceding text clearly advanced the condition of the American worker during this era. Their wages had risen, and the hours they worked were less.

Answer: Banks during this time started to lend money out to people so that they could start a business and that would help people gain money and have a better quality of life. Some Labor Unions were making a difference in people’s lives because they were helping people. Whether this be to get more money and work less or to get away from a bad job. Most Labor Unions used strikes to help these people out. As labor Unions kept growing they kept helping more people. Because these made people’s lives better this could connect to the creation of dance because as people were living better they had more time to express their good feelings and not worry about how much money they had or how they were going to feed their family’s.

Question #4: How could the forced education system the government created during the late 1800’s where all nationalities were joined together help create the now known American Style of dance?


  • The demand for educated workers increased and schooling expanded
  • First education law enacted by Massachusetts General Court requiring parents and guardians of children to “make certain that their charges could read and understand the principles of religion and the laws of the Commonwealth”

Answer: The forced education system made everyone mix together and go to school together. The schools were like a factory set up where they would switch classes according to a bell, really similar to how they are now. With all nationalities joined together in the same school, religion and culture was shared between the children and this exposed new natures of thinking and exploring. This could be expressing their feeling in a new way like dance.

Question #5: I wonder if we could find out how the increase in free African Americans, Women, and immigrants during the late 1800’s contributed to the way dance was created?

Question #2: In what way did the progressive era change the way that different people in America practiced, viewed, or influenced dance?


  • dance became an avenue of rebellion where women could shape their opinions and dominice
  • “Without the social and political developments of the Progressive Era, women may never have been able to participate as fundamental pioneers in the dance sphere.”
  • “Dance emerged as an outlet for these women to assert independence, cultivate their sexuality, and literally embody the contemporary ideas of their generation.
  • during the progressive era women were gaining rights and slaves were being freed
  • “Poor sanitation, low wages and booming business urged women to take control in the fight for a better lifestyle. These factors of industrialism, urbanization and immigration contributed to the development of reform centered environmentalism and social work of which women were at the forefront. These concerns were negotiated onstage in chorus lines and in the social dance halls.”
  • From 1870 to 1920, nearly 28 million immigrants arrived in the United States

Answer: During the progressive era African Americans and immigrants were becoming free, and women gained more rights. Women used dance as an Avenue of Rebellion where they were able to show their opinions and dominance. They also used dance to assert independence, and embody their generations contemporary ideas. Women had a lot of influence on dance because they had many strong ideas and things to say, and dance was just a way they could show these things and the only way people would actually listen to them because they were just starting to gain rights and they really did not have a voice yet. African Americans and immigrants that were being freed started to spread their culture around to others. This not only allowed theses people to be exposed to their beliefs but also allowed them to see any of their religious practices including the way they dance. This was an influence on dance today because people were see the ideas of other dancing and so more and more styles of dance were being created.

Main web resource:



Who I have connected to:

  • Vanaver Caravan (Dance studio in New York)
  • Alvin Ailey (2)

I have been learning about the origins of dance to try to connect it to these questions.

Overall, when I think about all the things I’ve learned, look at what other people have shared, and reflected on our real time board it seems as though this time period in History could be summed up by saying that it made a huge impact on a lot of things. As the technology advanced after the civil war, many things changed including medical, entertainment, and business groups. I could also logically predict that as History moves forward we start to see more overall advancements in the country. Including technology and government because during the industrial revolution invention after invention is made.