SC Jazz History: Big Apple Dance

“When the steps came together in a joyous dance, it had the power to bring people together.”

Big band jazz otherwise known as Swing is the music that gets people moving. While big bands of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Count Basie were swinging the tunes, people were surely dancing around the room. Another famous dance born in the Palmetto State along with the Charleston is the Big Apple. This combination of jazz steps was named after an African American dance hall in Columbia, South Carolina, where the dance was discovered. This historic building still bears the name Big Apple and is listed on the National Register.

The Big Apple was an American dance craze by the end of 1937 with Life magazine referring to this time as “the year of the Big Apple.” Something special about the Big Apple is the way it helped people take their mind off of wartime and the Great Depression. Combined with fine big band music, it brought people together. This is another reason why we love everything that is jazz…let’s remember to dance to the music.

A band at work…

ColaJazz “Jazz for Young People”

Our signature “ColaJazz Little Big Band: the band that could!” sprung to life as we performed for 2,000 Richland One Third Graders in the fall of 2019. Complete with a study guide distributed to teachers to prepare their students for this “edutainment” event, we offer a well-rounded program that meets and excels the S.T.E.A.M. standards. We offered a 60-minute presentation on SC Jazz Culture complete with a dance lesson and presentation by current Big Apple owner and dance educator/historian Richard Durlach.

Here is “Jazz for Young people” concert we presented to 700 young people in the Boys & Girls Clubs. You’ll get a great idea of what we do! Enjoy.

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