Books

Book Review: ‘And Then We Danced’

A voyage into the groove by Henry Alford.

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Author Henry Alford is a journalist who’s been immersed in dance his whole life. Dance, he says, is a “universal language”—an art, yes, but so much more. Dance, he says, can be a social entrée (such as a debutante ball) or social commentary (such as the Cakewalk, a dance that slaves devised to mock their masters). Teenagers know that dance can be a form of rebellion and emotional release. In church, dance can be spiritual; with the right group, it can bring on feelings of nostalgia. And dance can be healing, if that’s what you need. Alford provides a brief autobiography by recalling his days as a gawky kid who tried very hard to ignore his gayness—which made junior-high boy-girl dances understandably more awkward. His universal tales will make you laugh, while anecdotes from the life stories of Arthur Murray, Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Savion Glover, Toni Bentley, and other famous dancers will amuse you. All in all, it’s a quick-stepper, and for a hoofer, ballet lover, line dancer, or anyone who shimmies and bops, And Then We Danced will have you up on your feet.

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Terri Schlichenmeyer

Terry Schlichenmeyer is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.
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