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... for starting most of the world's dance crazes.  We did the Twist, The Monkey, The Duck... and now we're gonna do the Skate, so come on!"

If those lyrics need explaining, well, you were probably never on the scene.  But I want to know more about these dance crazes.  Other than the Twist, I'm not sure how many made it over here.  Where did the American kids learn the steps?   TV?  With so many "dance crazes" referenced on our favourite songs, I wonder how many of us can actually Boogaloo?  Wouldn't have a clue!  Shing-a-ling?  Shing-a-what?  And as for the Peanut Duck?  What the $%&?!

The point is: have all these dances been forgotten?  I'm sure I did see a James Brown video once where he demonstrates some of the well-known dances of the day, but I wonder if any other fragments of these dances survive on video?  Did the Twist start it all?  What's the story?  

Let's tighten up baby!

Edited by Dayo

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Rather than the artists/records creating dance crazes, I would have thought it would have been the other way around. Surely people would adopt styles of dancing which would then be "named", records would then be made to cash in on the popularity of said dance craze. In short, dance crazes originated on the dance floor not in recording studios.

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I remember the Jerry Blavat LP showing a diagram and instructions on how to do "the 81". Just had a look for the image and found this.

Cheers
Mick

 

Oldies night or Blackpool dance comp?

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... for starting most of the world's dance crazes.  We did the Twist, The Monkey, The Duck... and now we're gonna do the Skate, so come on!"

If those lyrics need explaining, well, you were probably never on the scene.  But I want to know more about these dance crazes.  Other than the Twist, I'm not sure how many made it over here.  Where did the American kids learn the steps?   TV?  With so many "dance crazes" referenced on our favourite songs, I wonder how many of us can actually Boogaloo?  Wouldn't have a clue!  Shing-a-ling?  Shing-a-what?  And as for the Peanut Duck?  What the $%&?!

The point is; have all these dances been forgotten?  I'm sure I did see a James Brown video once where he demonstrates some of the well-known dances of the day, but I wonder if any other fragments of these dances survive on video?  Did the Twist start it all?  What's the story?  

Let's tighten up baby!

you should read Robert Pruters book, I'm sure you have already, but he does a whole major chapter on this subject...

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I always likes those lines by Junior Walker - Put on your wig woman, we're going out to Shake and Fingerpop, which I presume was a dance where they  used imitate popping a baloon with your finger.

Kev

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The early attendees of places like Tiles, The Scene and other London clubs say there were different dances every week and if you didn't keep up, you were a div. Geoff? 

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I always likes those lines by Junior Walker - Put on your wig woman, we're going out to Shake and Fingerpop, which I presume was a dance where they  used imitate popping a baloon with your finger.

Kev

There was NO dance called "The Shake and Fingerpop".  Fingerpoppping was snappping your fingers to the beat, shaking was referring to the dancing.  That just meant, "come on woman, let's go out and do some dancin' " .  They were doing The Jerk, The Skate, The Pearl , and  The Boogaloo when that song was out.

 

Yes, we Ghetto Chillin' did The Bop, The Stroll, The Madison, The Twist, The Hully Gully, The Mashed Potatoes, The Pop-Eye Waddle, The Duck, The Funky Chicken, The Uncle Willie, The Stomp, The Bird, The Watusi, The Pony, The Camel Walk, The Shing-a-ling, The Temptation Walk, The Dog, The Limbo, The Swim, The Fly and The Tighten-Up.  The 81 was not really a national dance craze (that was mainly a Philly thing as was The Bristol Stomp),  The Uncle Willie was a Chicago thang), I guess that The Boston Monkey was a special way of dancing The Monkey (only in Boston).  The Monkey, The Skate, The Swim, The Boogaloo, and The Watusi all involved a lot of arm motion (but also foot and body motion.  Other dances were mainly body and foot motion.

 

Others, like Weegee Walk, The Clam (Elvis' song),  just had a song to try to introduce them, but no one ever saw those so-called "dances".  Most of them were just a single "dance step", as opposed to a full blown "dance".   No self-respecting teenager would have been caught dead doing "The Freddie" or was it "Freddy"? 

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I'm a great exponent of the Mess Around.

Dang!!!  I forgot "The Mess Around"!!!    I have a Chubby Checker and a Ray Charles record dedicated to that "so called" dance.  We never saw that dance in Chicagoland (as far as I remember).  Maybe it was Chubby Checker just throwing his legs and feet all around in a random, clumsy "mess"?  Sort of like doing "The Mashed potatoes" and letting your legs wander randomly and clumsily all over, after the initial floor scraping? :lol:

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There was NO dance called "The Shake and Fingerpop".  Fingerpoppping was snappping your fingers to the beat, shaking was referring to the dancing.  That just meant, "come on woman, let's go out and do some dancin' " .  They were doing The Jerk, The Skate, The Pearl , and  The Boogaloo when that song was out.

 

Yes, we Ghetto Chillin' did The Bop, The Stroll, The Madison, The Twist, The Hully Gully, The Mashed Potatoes, The Pop-Eye Waddle, The Duck, The Funky Chicken, The Uncle Willie, The Stomp, The Bird, The Watusi, The Pony, The Camel Walk, The Shing-a-ling, The Temptation Walk, The Dog, The Limbo, The Swim, The Fly and The Tighten-Up.  The 81 was not really a national dance craze (that was mainly a Philly thing as was The Bristol Stomp),  The Uncle Willie was a Chicago thang), I guess that The Boston Monkey was a special way of dancing The Monkey (only in Boston).  The Monkey, The Skate, The Swim, The Boogaloo, and The Watusi all involved a lot of arm motion (but also foot and body motion.  Other dances were mainly body and foot motion.

 

Others, like Weegee Walk, The Clam (Elvis' song),  just had a song to try to introduce them, but no one ever saw those so-called "dances".  Most of them were just a single "dance step", as opposed to a full blown "dance".   No self-respecting teenager would have been caught dead doing "The Freddie" or was it "Freddy"? 

Would you say the dances originated on the dance floors or were they created by artists etc. and copied on the dance floors ?, I prefer to think it was the former.

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More were created on the dance floors.  There were a few that were created by artists (but, I would guess that their ideas for them probably came from seeing kids on the dance floor making those moves).

We had some pretty good dancers at my high school (Bowen, in South Chicago).  I wouldn't be surprised if The Uncle Willie, or one of the other Chicago dances started there.  But, kids would see steps other kids were doing, at sock hops, and modify them to their own taste.  Also, they watched the good dancers (like Lester Tipton and Major Lance, and the other featured kid dancers on the TV dance shows -in the '60s, and they copied steps from them).

 

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Yes, we Ghetto Chillin' did The Bop, The Stroll, The Madison, The Twist, The Hully Gully, The Mashed Potatoes, The Pop-Eye Waddle, The Duck, The Funky Chicken, The Uncle Willie, The Stomp, The Bird, The Watusi, The Pony, The Camel Walk, The Shing-a-ling, The Temptation Walk, The Dog, The Limbo, The Swim, The Fly and The Tighten-Up.  The 81 was not really a national dance craze (that was mainly a Philly thing as was The Bristol Stomp),  The Uncle Willie was a Chicago thang), I guess that The Boston Monkey was a special way of dancing The Monkey (only in Boston).  The Monkey, The Skate, The Swim, The Boogaloo, and The Watusi all involved a lot of arm motion (but also foot and body motion.  Other dances were mainly body and foot motion.

 

I'm pretty sure you have records that suit for all the dances you have named above, and I'm pretty sure you can get your hands on a decent video camera.

So come on mate I reckon it's time for     Robbk The Dancemaster video series, it would probably go viral. :)

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I'm pretty sure you have records that suit for all the dances you have named above, and I'm pretty sure you can get your hands on a decent video camera.

So come on mate I reckon it's time for     Robbk The Dancemaster video series, it would probably go viral. :)

HA! HA!  THAT would be quite funny, and that's quite an understatement!   Wouldn't you say, Rod?  Ask Modern Soul Sucks if anyone here would really dare to take a peak at such a travesty.

 

In any case, I'm probably the most technology-challenged old geezer you could find.  I've never owned a camera in my life(despite traveling all over The World for 50 years), other than the one on my most recent I-Mac tabletop, and MacBook, and my first mobile phone (which I've only had for 1 year, and whose camera I still haven't a clue how to use. 

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I only remembered it because iit was used for a recent TV advert for Calpol.

Dang!!!  I forgot "The Mess Around"!!!    I have a Chubby Checker and a Ray Charles record dedicated to that "so called" dance.  We never saw that dance in Chicagoland (as far as I remember).  Maybe it was Chubby Checker just throwing his legs and feet all around in a random, clumsy "mess"?  Sort of like doing "The Mashed potatoes" and letting your legs wander randomly and clumsily all over, after the initial floor scraping? :lol:

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The Philly barracuda - Holly Maxwell.

Forgot this one.  The Barracuda would have been a Chicago dance, as Alvin Cash and The Crawlers sang that song first.  Holly Maxwell was a Chicagoan, but, I think shed DID record that song on a trip to Philadelphia, if I remember correctly.  But, I really don't remember the "Barracuda" dance step.  So, I wonder if it was just another of those marketing wannabe fabricated dances?  Anyway, that reminds me of "The Fish", which WAS a dance step (albeit not one I'd do in front of anyone).

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This is only the tip of the iceberg- the 60's were full of Dance crazes.

    Here's a few more- the Roach, Hitch Hike, Frug, Dip, Continental, Sloop Dance, Cross Fire, Gorilla, Philly Freeze.

  Cannibal and the Headhunters and Wilson Pickett  were exaggerating when they sung "Land Of A Thousand Dances" but 

I'm sure there are 100's more 60's Dances.

Edited by the yank

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Lest we forget

The "dance" that got us all to this point in the first place!:lol:

Beats a Cool Jerk hands down!:wicked:

Edited by chatty

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Don't forget "The Whip"

 

 

 

 

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Looks like the record company and TV station tried to start a new dance but with little success.

I always thought that the film Hairspray looked like a good interpretation of dance crazes in the US, unless it was overdone for the film.

Line dances didn't seem to catch on in the UK but I have a vague memory of seeing some older dancers dancing in line at a youth club in 1967/8, only happened a few times . Some records had a few special moves that the girls used to do- "down on Funky Street" would mean a bended legs dip down, weird...

Rick

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I never saw that record, despite looking through literally millions of 45s in USA from 1953-1972.  I also never heard of a dance called "The Whip".  I guess you could probably mention ANY one sylable English word, and it was the "so-called" name of a "dance" on a US 45 record.     

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Archie Bell showed us all how to do the "Tighten Up" at Baltic Soul last year,

Left hand on your left hip, Right hand extended in front of you, pretend you are holding a large Screwdriver and turn your hand clockwise from the wrist like you're tightening a screw up, Yeah baby you're doing the Tighten UP ! Switch hands and repeat !

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If we're talking Northern history then The Bang/The Blues/The Block (all the same dance pretty much) and The Fox are important as they were the big 'official' mod dances (long before my time of course being a mere pup in my 50s) remember my old mucker Vince Ayers swore that Northern dancing was essentially the Four Corners.

Always love watching Franny dance - cool as a cucumber. Remember there was a very sharp couple used to come to Brian's Wheel revivals who used to do a sort of skipping dance (not unlike the Hully Gully above) in exact unison mirroring each other perfectly which I'm told was a key mod dance style from the Wheel of the mid-60s (though I'm sure I'll be corrected on all the above).

Dx

PS Philly Duck (brilliant Jerry Williams stormer) 

 

 

Edited by DaveNPete

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... for starting most of the world's dance crazes.  We did the Twist, The Monkey, The Duck... and now we're gonna do the Skate, so come on!"

If those lyrics need explaining, well, you were probably never on the scene.  But I want to know more about these dance crazes.  Other than the Twist, I'm not sure how many made it over here.  Where did the American kids learn the steps?   TV?  With so many "dance crazes" referenced on our favourite songs, I wonder how many of us can actually Boogaloo?  Wouldn't have a clue!  Shing-a-ling?  Shing-a-what?  And as for the Peanut Duck?  What the $%&?!

The point is: have all these dances been forgotten?  I'm sure I did see a James Brown video once where he demonstrates some of the well-known dances of the day, but I wonder if any other fragments of these dances survive on video?  Did the Twist start it all?  What's the story?  

Let's tighten up baby!

In the video one of James Brown doing his version of there was a time,on the video he shows his true mastery of footwork and shuffling,r.i.p  Godfather long may your memory and music last.

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Archie Bell showed us all how to do the "Tighten Up" at Baltic Soul last year,

Left hand on your left hip, Right hand extended in front of you, pretend you are holding a large Screwdriver and turn your hand clockwise from the wrist like you're tightening a screw up, Yeah baby you're doing the Tighten UP ! Switch hands and repeat !

Any footwork involved?  If not, I think I've mastered the "Tighten Up".  I'm assuming there's three twists of the wrist, the switching of hands being on the fourth beat. Yeah baby, tighten up.

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This is only the tip of the iceberg- the 60's were full of Dance crazes.

    Here's a few more- the Roach, Hitch Hike, Frug, Dip, Continental, Sloop Dance, Cross Fire, Gorilla, Philly Freeze.

  Cannibal and the Headhunters and Wilson Pickett  were exaggerating when they sung "Land Of A Thousand Dances" but 

I'm sure there are 100's more 60's Dances.

Some years ago I posted a question on here asking if anyone knew what the Humphrey Stomp might have looked like. A similar thread to this developed and one of the female members (I can't remember who) posted a list of what must have been around 200 + dances from the 60s. What was amazing was that it looked like she'd typed them all out as opposed to it being a cut and paste effort!!! The thread is probably buried in the cyberspace annals of this site and I wouldn't know how to retrieve it but it was an impressive list.

Regards.

Drew.

 

Edited by Drew3

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Some years ago I posted a question on here asking if anyone knew what the Humphrey Stomp might have looked like. A similar thread to this developed and one of the female members (I can't remember who) posted a list of what must have been around 200 + dances from the 60s. What was amazing was that it looked like she'd typed them all out as opposed to it being a cut and paste effort!!! The thread is probably buried in the cyberspace annals of this site and I wouldn't know how to retrieve it but it was an impressive list.

Regards.

Drew.

 

It's not a female but there's a massive list on here.

About post #11.

https://www.soul-source.co.uk/topic/31322-dance-song/#comment-319225

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Ha! HA!  Your name, Rob Wigley reminds me of another supposed '60s dance tune, "The Wiggle"!.   Also, I forgot "The Harlem Shuffle" and "The Olympic Shuffle", and "The Shuffle". 

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