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During a time when muffins, doughnuts, and cupcakes weren’t as plentiful as they are today, winning an entire cake was a pretty big deal. Though the word now carries the implication of great ease, a “cakewalk” was originally a dance competition—created by slaves in the 1800s—which granted its winners the privilege of gorging on a baked puff of flour, sugar, butter, and lard. Participating couples dressed in fine clothes and danced about, mimicking and mocking the ways of the plantation owners who held them captive. The cakewalk started in the South, but soon spread North, creating an enduring dance sensation that’s provided inspiration for ballets and plays. The Washington Reflections Dance Company will lead a re-creation of this important dance, with gourmet treats for the victors donated by U Street bakery Cakelove, as part of Taste of D.C. Celebrate both progress and pastry starting at 11 a.m. at Freedom Plaza, Pennsylvania Avenue between 13th & 14th Streets NW. Free. (202) 789-7002. (Sarah Godfrey)