Glass, Barbara S. 1946-

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Glass, Barbara S. 1946-


Born November 3, 1946.


Home—Xenia, OH.


Ohio State University, Columbus, coordinator of minor in professional writing program.


African American Dance: An Illustrated History, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 2007.


In African American Dance: An Illustrated History, Barbara S. Glass presents a comprehensive overview of dance forms that sprang from the African diaspora. As she explains, key characteristics of African dance, brought to American soil and kept alive by slaves, mixed with European styles and eventually produced entirely new and, according to reviewer Donna Seaman in Booklist, "quintessentially American" dances. These American forms include the cake walk, the Charleston, the black bottom, the shimmy, and the Lindy hop. Glass examines the historical progression of African American dance, discussing such developments as the minstrel show, tap dancing, vaudeville and Broadway, the twist, and more recent innovations such as break dancing. She profiles dozens of major dance artists, including Josephine Baker, Florence Mills, Bill (Bojangles) Robinson, and Chubby Checker. Glass looks at how ordinary individuals experience dance, and also at how dance has shaped artistic performance.

Glass offers what Seaman hailed as "fresh and comprehensive" commentary on the impact of racism on dance, as well as a "fascinating" analysis of aesthetic themes. The book includes a wealth of illustrations—many taken from Glass's own extensive collection of dance memorabilia Seaman praised as "astonishing in their coverage" of various vernacular dance forms.

Glass is on the faculty of Ohio State University, where she coordinates the minor in professional writing program.



Booklist, February 1, 2007, Donna Seaman, review of African American Dance: An Illustrated History, p. 24.