1600’s-1700’s

When slaves were forced on slave ships, they would come to the top of the ship every so often to “exercise”. This looked like them stomping and swaying on the ship deck while chanting. In circumstance the chants would be communication to revolt. This has been recreated in the ROOTS mini series, CLIP.

“Once enslaved people arrived in the New World, the slaves in different areas found widely varied reactions to their singing and dancing. In the West Indies and the Caribbean, where the Catholic countries of France and Spain had established colonies, slaves were allowed to retain many elements of their own cultures. Serious attempts were made to Christianize them, for the were considered souls to be saved.”
– Haskin, James, Black Dance in America: A History Through It’s People, 1990 HarperCollins, NY

“They also were allowed to worship in their own fashion which meant lots of singing and dancing. The dance of religious cults like Santeria Brazil, Shango in Trinidad, and Vaudou (Voodoo) in Haiti were, and still are, very similar to the religious dances of the Yorube peoples of Nigeria, from which many of the slaves came.”
– Haskin, James, Black Dance in America: A History Through It’s People, 1990 HarperCollins, NY

There were dances that were for specific occasions.

Enslaved people also adopted some of the dances of their masters.

Dances that were adapted during this time:
Ring Dance
Ring Shout
Buzzard Lope
Juba Dance