Step Back Cindy (Film)

Step Back Cindy

  •  Anne Lewis with Susan Spalding
  •  1991
  • Color IconColor
  •  27:49
  •  3/4" U-matic video
Film Description
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 demonstrate flatfoot and hold a cake walk to raise money for the volunteer fire department. In Chilhowie, Virginia, folks are seen socializing as only a community dance can facilitate. The final segment of Step Back Cindy features spontaneous dance and music by miner Clifford “Redbone” Steffey at a United Mine Workers rally near St. Paul, Virginia. The film is a portrait of a genre of dancing still found in all its variety throughout the region today.

Screenings & Festivals
  • Folkstreams
  • New York Public Library
  • Berea College
  • University of Louisville

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“A delightful and valuable production.” — University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Transcends stereotypical images of mountain dance and Appalachian culture … includes priceless footage of an otherwise poorly documented tradition.” — University of South Carolina
"The filmmakers’ love and respect of Appalachia’s varied and complex dance traditions shows in this fine sketch.” — 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.” — Kentucky Folklife Program