Black bottom [black shuffle]
- Pauline Norton
A quick-tempo American social dance, particularly of the 1920s. It is thought to have originated in the early 1900s in the ‘juke’ (black) bawdy houses of the ‘Bottoms’, the black quarter of Nashville. The movements of the dance as described in Perry Bradford's song The Original Black Bottom Dance (1919) include slides and hobbling steps; the dance also involved a twisting motion of the body similar to the Shimmy, hops forward and back, side turns, stamps, a skating glide performed with deep knee bends, and according to the Stearns, ‘a genteel slapping of the backside’. Its popularity, along with other related dances such as the charleston (see Charleston), developed from the success of the black revue Shuffle Along (1921), the first theatrical adaptation of the black bottom occurring in the show Dinah (1924). It was Ann Pennington's performance of the dance, however, to the song ‘Black Bottom’ (music by Ray Henderson, lyrics by Buddy DeSylva and Lew Brown) in ...