For the Library Dance, each of you needs to come up with a short silent-era style bopping-dance cycle in black and white. Contemporary animators sometimes look back at the history of animation as inspiration for their work.
Here you can see a complex cycle from such a film, from Happy and Gay, a work in progress animated by Lorelei Pepi who teaches animation at Harvard.
Another animator who has looked back at early animation for inspiration is Sally Cruikshank. You can see some of her work on her website, Fun on Mars.
If you have any sites or resources to add while doing your research that might be helpful to others, please post them below.