- Claude Conyers
A term with three principal meanings: (1) a noisy, riotous dance competition held in a social setting, (2) the musical competition associated with it, and (3) a Square-dance party. The etymology of the term is unknown. It may have been invented to describe a vigorous African American jig or shuffle dance, as in “hoe down the corn field,” but this is pure speculation. In any event, the essential element of a hoedown in senses 1 and 2 is not the dance or musical form; it is the element of competition....