Survey of the Performing Arts Paper: Disco
1,400 – 1,750
History, Development and Evolution of Disco
Although most people believe Disco dance started in the early to mid 70’s it actually originated during the Big Band era when radio DJ’s began to play records in music halls. This was not Disco as we know it but rather a Disco Swing, a dance combining both swing of the big band era with some up beat disco moves. There is a controversy as to when Disco as we know it really began, some say it began somewhere between ’71-’73 when the discotheque scene came to life with DJ’s playing records on turntables and conversing with the crowd. However it was somewhere between ’74-’76 when the upbeat, thumping music we know as Disco was heard. Finally in ’75 with the release of the movie Saturday Night Fever and its sound track the disco dance scene exploded. Now people knew about disco and dancing with partners. It was during this time the “Hustle” was created. Of course with the creation of the Hustle came many offshoots of the original such as the Latin Hustle, the Tango Hustle and the Street Hustle. Saturday Night Fever is noted as being the best selling soundtrack of all time, and as a result of this movie Disco became a mainstream music genre.
Disco dance began with the era of swing and the big band, moves began to be more free moving, uninhibited and fluid. With the introduction of synthesized and techno music disco dance evolved into the up beat thumping dance we know as Disco. By the year 1978 Disco had reached it height and a “Nation Disco Week” as well as “World Disco Dance Championships” occurred. Now disco and dance were interchangeable words. Television decided it was time to capitalize on the scene and such shows as Soul Train, Dance Fever and Star Search were created. Now the American public could watch the dancers dance to the disco beat from the comfort of their own living rooms. The one problem created by television dance shows was...