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Soul dancing

All About the SOUL Rocky

 
Posted

Anybody know anything about the origins of northern dancing? It was already prevalent at the Torch when I went so was wondering if maybe at the Wheel?

This is the earliest video I've ever seen with 'proper' dancing on it (see the bloke on the left at 1:10) so maybe started as early as Mods?

 

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Dave Godin made reference to the “ northern “ style of dancing in his visit in Issue 50 of Blues and Soul to the Wheel 

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On 29/01/2019 at 15:46, Rocky said:

Anybody know anything about the origins of northern dancing? It was already prevalent at the Torch when I went so was wondering if maybe at the Wheel?

This is the earliest video I've ever seen with 'proper' dancing on it (see the bloke on the left at 1:10) so maybe started as early as Mods?

 

Topic has been covered before on Soul Source. Could be that some of the top U.S. soul acts of the mid-to-late 60’s such as Major Lance and James Brown displayed a shuffling style of footwork. The showmanship of their contemporaries threw up back-drops and splits etc that were adopted in the earliest British clubs such as the Twisted Wheel.

The dancers featured in the clip are an invited audience bopping freestyle. The character you point out who exhibits moves commonly seen at Northern venues is simply moving with the minimum of effort in a very basic pattern. The earliest soul dance styles in Britain were pretty energetic by all accounts.

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I'm pretty sure that footage is American as well so unlikely to have even been seen in the UK until recent years. 

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70's soul dancing (US style) … 

 

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The Vibrations toured the UK a couple of times in the 60's. They would always inspire Brit dancers with their stage moves ….

(watch the vid from about 3m 30 secs in) …… 

 

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In 1963, Chubby Checker was in Ireland doing missionary work (showin em how to really dance) !!

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As a lad getting interested in the mid '60's for me one name towers above the rest when it comes to 'dance moves' that might be suggested to underpin some NS, and that name is James Brown. I saw the 'synchronised' stage work of Four Tops etc etc ,but Brown was the one I wanted to be. His dynamism, and then that 'slide', the spin, the splits etc. I suspect he probably saw something himself from other dancers in his youth and adapted it into his style, but to 'my generation' what he was doing was very original, and I know I shamelessly tried to copy him. You could correctly say a lot of his stage moves didn't see the light of day on a NS dancefloor, but I think nonetheless that's the way things evolve. You take something from somewhere them someone else adapts it a bit and hey presto you appear to have something 'new'.

 

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Jackie Wilson would take some beating! I would think he was doing it from the late 50s

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On this subject, soul dancing, there is an interview with Mister Tee (of Real Side Records) on Soul On The Real Side vol. 8, that suggested Northern Soul dancing was nothing new (in the '70s) since Tommy Hunt was making a lot of those moves back in the 1950's!

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Teddy boys/ girls used to do dancing that wasn't a million miles away. Then early 60s mods were a bit obsessed with learning the latest dance crazes from the USA. Didn't Ready Steady Go used to have a slot where they'd show viewers how to do various dances? Then there were the dancers in the RSG audience who people watched and copied. So all this spread into clubs and people tried to copy the best dancers there and added their own flourishes. That's how you learn to dance, observing and copying what you see people doing in clubs every weekend. I don't buy the theory it was entirely copied from James Brown, Jackie Wilson etc as you simply wouldn't have seen them often enough to replcate what they did.

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