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'northern' Dancing - Who Started It?

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Guest SteveA

Always wondered...where did the Northern Soul dancing style come from?

I guess it wasn't from the States as in the mid 60s, set dances were all the rage, like the Jerk, Boogaloo, Twine, etc. The film clips of 60s Mods show them to be pretty useless at dancing (though I'm just basing that on Ready Steady Go). So who or where was the genesis for what became recognised as Northern dancing?

Someone had the theory that it was from the martial arts craze of the early 70s. That might have contributed to it but the Torch, Twisted Wheel & others pre-dated this.

Was it one group of people that just became more adventurous with their dancing as the sounds got to 100 mph & it got copied elsewhere?

The originators deserve recognition as the dancing is one of the reasons for Northern Soul's iconic status in music. Any theories on this?

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Always wondered...where did the Northern Soul dancing style come from?

I guess it wasn't from the States as in the mid 60s, set dances were all the rage, like the Jerk, Boogaloo, Twine, etc. The film clips of 60s Mods show them to be pretty useless at dancing (though I'm just basing that on Ready Steady Go). So who or where was the genesis for what became recognised as Northern dancing?

Someone had the theory that it was from the martial arts craze of the early 70s. That might have contributed to it but the Torch, Twisted Wheel & others pre-dated this.

Was it one group of people that just became more adventurous with their dancing as the sounds got to 100 mph & it got copied elsewhere?

The originators deserve recognition as the dancing is one of the reasons for Northern Soul's iconic status in music. Any theories on this?

I wasn't there, but have read, that it was mainly jewish mods, at the wheel that were the instigators of both dance and fashion. Seems like the Wheel was an awesome place to be in the sixties.

Phil.

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In my younger days circa 68,in the local dance hall called The Regal all the young modettes would dance in a circle and all the lads would stand round the dance floor .After half a dozen watered down Watneys Red Barrell or the odd snake bite the lads gained enough courage to join the birds , it would start with one back drop evolving into two back drops and so on and so forth. Also the backdrops were a trait of the Teddyboy brigade

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It could have evolved from imitating the sort of steps that some of the soul groups who visited the UK in the 60s did on stage, as dance routines were the norm for these groups. The "northern dance" has evolved over the years, the way we danced at the Torch was a lot more simple than the way we dance now. (apart from the acrobatics which are less common now, thank gawd!) with less fancy footwork. It's really a development of stepping side to side on the beat, the way you might do when not actually dancing, but just sort of swaying.

Someone once told me that the style came from seeing a dance that Alvin Cash and the Crawlers did on stage whilst on a visit to the UK. The backdrops and the like were certainly part of the US soul group' repertoire, I've seen film of the Flamingoes backdropping and my mate Terry said that when he saw Philip Mitchell in the early 70s he did a few of them.

Tony

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Anyone ever come across footage of the Williams Bros--- Only ever seen one clip of them from a 1930s black and white film----Backdrops /splits /spins the lot------incredible dancers----the earliest dancing ive ever seen that has lots of similarities to the "northern Soul" style

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It could have evolved from imitating the sort of steps that some of the soul groups who visited the UK in the 60s did on stage, as dance routines were the norm for these groups. The "northern dance" has evolved over the years, the way we danced at the Torch was a lot more simple than the way we dance now. (apart from the acrobatics which are less common now, thank gawd!) with less fancy footwork. It's really a development of stepping side to side on the beat, the way you might do when not actually dancing, but just sort of swaying.

Someone once told me that the style came from seeing a dance that Alvin Cash and the Crawlers did on stage whilst on a visit to the UK. The backdrops and the like were certainly part of the US soul group' repertoire, I've seen film of the Flamingoes backdropping and my mate Terry said that when he saw Philip Mitchell in the early 70s he did a few of them.

Tony

Probably right but they probably got a lot from the old Jazz dancers. Seen footage of them and christ can they move unsure.gif

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Probably the same footage im thinking of Chalky-----Amazing stuff

Absolutely unsure.gif Aren't there two brothers (?) who were particularly good :lol: Was sometime ago, watched it on the history channel.

Edited by chalky

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Yeah thats right ----------jumping over each other to do the splits going up and down a flight of stairs was one of their things--------brilliant

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Watch me about 11 o'clock tonight .

Last Piercebridge - went to the bar for two pints , walked across the dance floor , put the pints down - along comes Harry with 1st prize for winning the dancing competition !

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Watch me about 11 o'clock tonight .

Last Piercebridge - went to the bar for two pints , walked across the dance floor , put the pints down - along comes Harry with 1st prize for winning the dancing competition !

unsure.gif:lol:

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-thanks very much, this is brilliant!-the bloke in the first one seems to be doing the 'skate'.....I recall, and have on video, a programme about Sam Cooke, and the Gospel Circuit; there was some real rave-up dancing in that, filmed in a Church...thanks again cool.gif

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You may like to know that the last of the Nicholas Bros, Feyard? died this week aged 90ish :lol:

==========

The Nicholas brothers were absolutely fantastic :P I'm sure I read somewhere or other that the style of dancing evolved from chain gangs. Something about them competing against each other whilst standing on rails (railway lines) seeing who could outdo who. Anybody confirm? Or was it all just a dream? :P

Winnie:-)

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==========

The Nicholas brothers were absolutely fantastic :P I'm sure I read somewhere or other that the style of dancing evolved from chain gangs. Something about them competing against each other whilst standing on rails (railway lines) seeing who could outdo who. Anybody confirm? Or was it all just a dream? :lol:

Winnie:-)

Yep have heard that too. :P

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Dear all,

I have already posted the link a while ago, but maybe there are a fey amongst you who haven't seen it yet:

http://www.cooloff.net/site/video/index.html

Best regads

YouYou

Thank you you you. :lol:

I guess it wasn't from the States as in the mid 60s, set dances were all the rage, like the Jerk, Boogaloo, Twine, etc. The film clips of 60s Mods show them to be pretty useless at dancing (though I'm just basing that on Ready Steady Go). So who or where was the genesis for what became recognised as Northern dancing?

They had a guy on RSG, Patrick I think his name was and he would teach others how to dance. Remember seeing him show them how to do the 'block' to the Newbeats. Good stuff. Bit unfair to say mods are sh*te dancers though.

What's the Twine?

Someone once told me that the style came from seeing a dance that Alvin Cash and the Crawlers did on stage whilst on a visit to the UK. The backdrops and the like were certainly part of the US soul group' repertoire, I've seen film of the Flamingoes backdropping and my mate Terry said that when he saw Philip Mitchell in the early 70s he did a few of them.

Tony

Ritson & Russell. :P

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Guest

Always wondered...where did the Northern Soul dancing style come from?

I guess it wasn't from the States as in the mid 60s, set dances were all the rage, like the Jerk, Boogaloo, Twine, etc. The film clips of 60s Mods show them to be pretty useless at dancing (though I'm just basing that on Ready Steady Go). So who or where was the genesis for what became recognised as Northern dancing?

Someone had the theory that it was from the martial arts craze of the early 70s. That might have contributed to it but the Torch, Twisted Wheel & others pre-dated this.

Was it one group of people that just became more adventurous with their dancing as the sounds got to 100 mph & it got copied elsewhere?

The originators deserve recognition as the dancing is one of the reasons for Northern Soul's iconic status in music. Any theories on this?

A Right "Little" Bloke

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Guest musicden786

Always wondered...where did the Northern Soul dancing style come from?

I guess it wasn't from the States as in the mid 60s, set dances were all the rage, like the Jerk, Boogaloo, Twine, etc. The film clips of 60s Mods show them to be pretty useless at dancing (though I'm just basing that on Ready Steady Go). So who or where was the genesis for what became recognised as Northern dancing?

Someone had the theory that it was from the martial arts craze of the early 70s. That might have contributed to it but the Torch, Twisted Wheel & others pre-dated this.

Was it one group of people that just became more adventurous with their dancing as the sounds got to 100 mph & it got copied elsewhere?

The originators deserve recognition as the dancing is one of the reasons for Northern Soul's iconic status in music. Any theories on this?

Good topic. Hope this helps.

In the very early days, before the Wheel and the Torch, Mods and Rock and Roll dancers had a facination for the dancing technique of Harold and Fayard Nicholas. A little latter their attention focused on the exploits of Gregory Hines.

Its possible that, attempts to copy these three people made a considerable contribution to the development of Northern Soul Dancing as we know it today.

Denis.

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==========

The Nicholas brothers were absolutely fantastic thumbsup.gif I'm sure I read somewhere or other that the style of dancing evolved from chain gangs. Something about them competing against each other whilst standing on rails (railway lines) seeing who could outdo who. Anybody confirm? Or was it all just a dream? :)

Winnie:-)

Dead right about the chain gangs,apparently the sideways style was perfected as they ddin't have a lot of space to move!

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The answer to your Question (as far as The Northern soul Scene is concerned) is.... The diminutive Matchie (from Rotherham). Some 35+ years ago we used to stand in awe of him as he acrobatically controlled the dancefloor at my local club. He brought the steps back from the Wheel (some said) but I believe he introduced the style in the first place. Girls Girls Girls (Chuck Jackson) and Girls Are Out To Get You (Fascinations) were his theme tunes... and boy did he 'perform' them.

Never seen a better dancer since. Matchie Invented Northern Soul Dancing.

Nuff said.

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The answer to your Question (as far as The Northern soul Scene is concerned) is.... The diminutive Matchie (from Rotherham). Some 35+ years ago we used to stand in awe of him as he acrobatically controlled the dancefloor at my local club. He brought the steps back from the Wheel (some said) but I believe he introduced the style in the first place. Girls Girls Girls (Chuck Jackson) and Girls Are Out To Get You (Fascinations) were his theme tunes... and boy did he 'perform' them.

Never seen a better dancer since. Matchie Invented Northern Soul Dancing.

Nuff said.

heard lots of good things about matchie's dancing. the little fella can still be seen out and about every week.

Shane

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The answer to your Question (as far as The Northern soul Scene is concerned) is.... The diminutive Matchie (from Rotherham). Some 35+ years ago we used to stand in awe of him as he acrobatically controlled the dancefloor at my local club. He brought the steps back from the Wheel (some said) but I believe he introduced the style in the first place. Girls Girls Girls (Chuck Jackson) and Girls Are Out To Get You (Fascinations) were his theme tunes... and boy did he 'perform' them.

Never seen a better dancer since. Matchie Invented Northern Soul Dancing.

Nuff said.

Played girls girls girls last time i played out at the 100club,pity matchie wasnt there :yes: ,anyway i was the best dancer in Rotherham :D matchie`s more worksop.............. :thumbsup:

Edited by ken

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The answer to your Question (as far as The Northern soul Scene is concerned) is.... The diminutive Matchie (from Rotherham). Some 35+ years ago we used to stand in awe of him as he acrobatically controlled the dancefloor at my local club. He brought the steps back from the Wheel (some said) but I believe he introduced the style in the first place. Girls Girls Girls (Chuck Jackson) and Girls Are Out To Get You (Fascinations) were his theme tunes... and boy did he 'perform' them.

Never seen a better dancer since. Matchie Invented Northern Soul Dancing.

Nuff said.

See matchie at the early Wigan days,very very good,but not tops in my opinion The Whizz

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Anyone ever come across footage of the Williams Bros--- Only ever seen one clip of them from a 1930s black and white film----Backdrops /splits /spins the lot------incredible dancers----the earliest dancing ive ever seen that has lots of similarities to the "northern Soul" style

They were incredible dancers indeed. There were a lot of dance crazes during the 60's too such as the skate which are similar to some dance moves I see out and about.

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The answer to your Question (as far as The Northern soul Scene is concerned) is.... The diminutive Matchie (from Rotherham). Some 35+ years ago we used to stand in awe of him as he acrobatically controlled the dancefloor at my local club. He brought the steps back from the Wheel (some said) but I believe he introduced the style in the first place. Girls Girls Girls (Chuck Jackson) and Girls Are Out To Get You (Fascinations) were his theme tunes... and boy did he 'perform' them.

Never seen a better dancer since. Matchie Invented Northern Soul Dancing.

Nuff said.

Reply

Nah...years ago in my education days i did music for my sins (and played an instrument...another story) and one of the things we covered over a period of 4 years was the history of popular music ....there was also a very long documentary charting its evolution upto that time 1974..we watched old clips from cellar clubs of the ghettos of detroit etc and guys were dancing in the 60's very much like many Northern Dancers of the 70's, the acrobatics and all ...(some borrowed off the rock and roll scene dancing flips etc).....I think no one really invented it, it just evolved along with the music with people copying/being influenced by great dancers of the days such as the Nicholas Bros, but with less space to dance the moves became more restricted and slick for the dance floor.

However i never saw on film or didn't mentally register girls of the 60's dancing as the soul girls did in the 70's ...so who inveted that style....over to you girls for action.

Geeeoooordie

Edited by geordiejohnson

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I thought all this dancing is much earlier than rock & roll,have you some of them ealy jazz & bebob,with all that big band stiff,and r&b as been around for 90years,making rock and roll a poor 4th...... :thumbsup:

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