Walk That Walk: The History of The Cakewalk

By Camille Adams-Lonzer

History of The Cakewalk

The cakewalk started back in the times of slavery. The slaves would couple up and  would walk around with buckets of water on their heads and walk on a chalk line. Then the slave owners started giving away cakes to the couple who walked the best. From there the dance became known as the cakewalk. As the popularity of the dance grew and spread more throughout the south the meaning of the dance changed. The danced turned into satire where blacks would wear their Sunday’s best and mock their masters. They would use exaggerated movements and take high steps as they walked in to begin the cakewalk. The couples would walk in arm in arm and they would get into a circle and preform dances and hopping sets. The music of the time was rag, but it was preformed by a band. The music was lightly syncopated and unlike Joplin’s rag music it was had simplified melodies. The cakewalk was the dance of the era that really took the cake.

Let's Watch Them Walk That Walk

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