views updated May 14 2018

cakewalk. Dance popularized in 1890s by Amer. vaudeville team of Bert Williams and George Walker and by black dancer Charles Johnson. Originated when Amer. slaves parodied the whites’ manners and method of dancing—a prize (cake) was awarded to best dancers. It featured a strutting movt., with the couple arm-in-arm and performing high kicks. Debussy wrote ‘Golliwogg's Cakewalk’ in his Children's Corner (1906–8).