Step Back Cindy: Oldtime Dancing in Southwest Virginia by Anne Johnson with Susan Spalding (Review)

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Step Back Cindy: Oldtime Dancing in Southwest Virginia by Anne Johnson with Susan Spalding (Review)

by Wayne Martin
Southern Cultures, Vol. 1, No. 1: Fall 1994

1/2-inch video, 28 minutes, color. Appalshop Inc., 306 Madison Street, Whitesburg, KY 41858.

Step Back Cindy takes the viewer to places in southwestern Virginia where mountain communities still gather to dance: a school gymnasium in Fancy Gap, the fire station in Dante, a Lion’s Club in Chilhowie, and an outdoor rally in St. Paul sponsored by the United Mine Workers. In these venues, young fellows in denim jackets and cowboy hats dance side by side with elderly men in overalls and gray fedoras. White-haired women in bright-colored scarves and gold earrings share their partners with teenage girls wearing blue jeans and boots. Children take to the dance floor to beat out rhythms with jingle taps fastened to the bottoms of their shoes. They dance to old-time string band, bluegrass, country, and rock-and-roll music performed by their neighbors.