Buck dancing is a folk dance that originated among African Americans during the era of slavery. It was largely associated with the North Carolina Piedmont and, later, with the blues. The original buck dance, or "buck and wing," referred to a specific step performed by solo dancers, usually men; today the term encompasses a broad variety of improvisational dance steps.
In contemporary usage, "buck dancing" often refers to a variety of solo step dancing to fiddle-based music done by dancers primarily in the Southern Appalachians. Among North Carolinians, buck dancing is differentiated from clogging and flatfooting by the use of steps higher off the floor, a straight and relatively immobile torso, and emphasis on steps that put the dancer on his or her toes rather than heels.
Mike Seeger and Ruth Pershing, Talking Feet: Buck, Flatfoot, and Tap: Solo Southern Dance of the Appalachian, Piedmont, and Blue Ridge Mountain Regions (1992).
Emmylou Harris: Buck Dancing, YouTube video, 3:28, posted by 1000Magicians, Oct 13, 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsIBS0l7Hqg (accessed October 11, 2012).
Driggs, Jeff. "A Brief History of Clog Dancing." Doubletoe Times Magazine. http://www.doubletoe.com/history.htm (accessed October 11, 2012).
Bradley, Sandra Lee. "The Social Context of Buck Dancing in North Carolina in the 1940s." M.S. Thesis, University of Washington. Seattle, Wash. 1978.
Duke University Professor Thomas F. DeFrantz: Buck, Wing & Jig. Duke University on YouTube. http://youtu.be/A34OD4eA17o (accessed February 9, 2015).
1 January 2006 | Baker, Bruce E.