Directed by: Anne Lewis with Susan Spalding
Running Time: 28:00
Step Back Cindy is a documentary about traditional social dancing as a form of personal expression and a way of sustaining communities. The program presents traditional dance in the mountains as fluid and changing with its own unique character. Dancers in Fancy Gap, Virginia are shown square dancing without callers. Dante, Virginia dancers flatfoot and hold a cake walk to raise money for the volunteer fire department, and in Chilhowie, Virginia, folks are seen taking advantage of the opportunities for socializing that a community dance affords. The final segment features spontaneous dance and music by miner Clifford “Redbone” Steffey at a United Mine Workers rally near St. Paul, Virginia.
“A delightful and valuable production.” –Daniel Patterson, Curriculum in Folklore, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Transcends stereotypical images of mountain dance and Appalachian culture to provide a sensitive investigation of the important role that social dance plays in mountain life, placing this tradition within its larger cultural context as it relates to issues of community, tradition, and change….includes priceless footage of an otherwise poorly documented tradition. I highly recommend this program to dancers, historians, and educators.” –Gail Matthews, Professor of American Folklore, University of South Carolina
“The filmmakers’ love and respect of Appalachia’s varied and complex dance traditions shows in this fine sketch.” –Jane Woodside, Center for Apppalachian Studies and Services, East Tennessee State University
“A great introduction to the ‘old-time’ square dances that flourish throughout the mountains. It deflates the myth of frozen traditions by showing the vitality and multiple influences of today’s community square dances and demonstrates that a ‘sense of community’ continues to prevail in many rural areas.” –Bob Gates, Director, Kentucky Folklife Program