biggest and most enduring of these new dances was 'The Twist', pioneered
in the States by Chubby Checker and a group called Joey Dee and the
Starliters, where it was huge, to the point where national competitions
were held.It found its way to British dancehalls around 1961 with
the Chubby Checker record 'Let's Twist Again' and its follow-ups.
In the States, instructions for doing the Twist were enclosed with
every record sold, advising "Imagine you are stubbing out a cigarette
with both feet whilst drying your back with a towel", which pretty
well describes it. No
other dance craze really came close to it, despite the efforts of
the television pop show 'Ready Steady Go!' which broadcasted its (
almost ) weekly 'new moves' section to a huge audience. Resident dancers
on the show were Theresa Confrey and Patrick Kerr who both invented
and demonstrated new dances alongside 'members of the public' (chosen
specially during their visits to the 'Sabre' club).
Dance Trivia and Snippets
Cavern Club in Liverpool had its own special dance almost forced
upon it. Called 'The Cavern Stomp' it consisted of holding hands
with the person nearest you and jerking backwards and forwards in
an effort to avoid falling over. This was just about all that was
possible due to the overcrowded nature of the venue!
There was also the dance to 'The
Clapping Song' by Shirley Ellis ( did it have a name? ) and even
The Charleston and The Hand Jive had Sixties revivals!
'Kick your feet up, swing your arms up too, move your head both
ways like you see me do'. 'Do The Freddie' was a US hit for Freddie
and the Dreamers in 1965, reaching number 18. The song didn't chart
in the UK at all.
The 'Batusi' was a slightly sinister dance, based on the Watusi,
using 'moves' mimicking the actions of 'Batman'.
The Bop and The Shoulder Shake were still long-running standards
for the Teds and motorcycle fraternity, while the line-dancers participated
in whatever the local version was of The Stroll. For the handbag
dancers there was always the Shadow Walk.
Oh, and by the way - the Ready Steady Go! warm-up man for the 'public'
dancers was a certain Paul Raven who became better known in the
Seventies as Gary Glitter!
of the past? No sir, the Sixties dance scene is still hugely
alive and rockin'! Check out this great site - The Hipster
Go-Go Dancers - two girls who have a great love of the 1960's
and have done so most of their lives. For over two decades
they have been involved in a variety of events, mainly around
Melbourne, Australia concerning 1960's music and dance.
Brits - If you fancy a go and want to learn some fab stuff.....
have a look at this!
Now... a few quick lessons in some of the basics to get
down with arms slightly bent, palms facing down. Quickly place one foot
in front of the other and twist your heel as it lands.
Spin round on your heels and improvise a bit of fancy footwork.
The Hitch Hike
feet firmly placed, bend knees slightly and shake your hips. Place your
hands at your sides and fist them,
leaving thumb open and pointing up. Move arms up and down alternately,
jerking your fist over your shoulder.
Then, occasionally, jerk both fists together over one shoulder and jump
to either side. Also, see below
for more instructions
with one foot firmly in front of the other, stretch your arms out and
swing from side to side while nodding your head.
Shake your upper body from the hips, occasionally jumping to one side
or the other.
feet slightly apart, crouch down with arms bent and fists clenched. Move
body and arms backwards and forwards with the beat.
Jerk clenched fists over shoulders alternately similar to Hitch Hike movement
and jump to the left or right.
a cow' with your hands while in a crouched position, swaying from the
Keep the rhythm, moving slowly up and down, occasionally lifting one foot
on the image to see the original instructions to Patrick Kerr's dance
(Thanks to Scooter Stu for this!)
Watusi (Dance to moderate
Stand with your feet about 12 inches apart. Keep both knees bent
at all times. Pretend you are going to take a golf swing.
On the count of one, shift weight to right foot, making right hip
move out to the right.
On the count of two, shift weight to left foot, making left hip
move out to the left. Move from side to side with hips swinging
right to left to a 1-2, 1-2 rhythm.
Hold arms out in front of you as if you were holding a golf club.
Swing hands to your right, then down in a semicircular motion to
your left, back to right, then to left, counting 1-2, 1-2.
Putting Them Together:
Now do the hand and hip movements simultaneously from right to left
on a count of 1-2.
Mashed Potato / Monster Mash
basic Mashed Potato dance steps are on the right.
The 'Monster Mash is essentially the same dance, done
with creepy, ghoul-like arm movements and transitions.
knee bends, right foot lifts off the floor, weight shifts to left
Pivot on left foot an eighth of a turn clockwise.
Left foot pivots a quarter turn counterclockwise.
Right foot steps close to left foot, then right foot pivots a quarter
Left knee bends and left foot lifts off the floor.
Right foot pivots a quarter turn clockwise.
Left foot steps close to right foot, then left foot pivots quarter
Right knee bends and right knee lifts off the floor.
Left foot pivots quarter turn counterclockwise.
Right foot steps close to left foot, then right foot pivots quarter
Left knee bends and left foot lifts off the floor.
Right foot pivots quarter turn counterclockwise.
1. Stand in upright position with feet apart, doing the frug movement.
2. Hitch-hike with right thumb on the counts 1-2-3, to you right
3. Clap on the fourth beat on the right side of your body.
4. Hitch-hike with the left thumb on the count 1-2-3, back to the
5. Clap on the fourth beat on the left side of your body. Repeat
over and over.
1 . Taking a fighter's crouch, face your partner and stand with
feet apart, knees bent.
Bend arms and close fists, thumbs up.
2. Bend forward from waist to the left, raising right arm. As your
body bobs, your head
also bobs forward on each count. The whole effect is jerky.
3. Straighten up to original position.
4. Bend forward from waist toward your partner, facing centre, switching
arms as you
5. Straighten to original position. Hands and head should give impression
of monkey holding two bananas.
6. Bend forward from waist to the right. Straighten to original
7. Bob back to centre, bending at waist and again switching hands.
8. Repeat entire pattern. Counts are double time, hitting every
accent in the music.
1. Stand with feet together and put right heel out.
2. Jump back into place with right foot, landing with left toe on
ground, left heel raised.
3. Put heel of left foot out to left side.
4. Jump back in place with left foot, landing with right toe on
ground, right heel raised. Repeat over and over in place. The body
moves easily from side to side by dropping the opposite shoulder
each time the foot goes out.
The counts are 1-2-3-4. Repeat it over and over
Note: The hands are raised, the fingers snapping on the beat.
( Thanks to Scooter Stu for this! )
Click here to see the floor step
Fly-away step 1
Swing step 1 Fly-away
Blue-Beat Swing ( same steps for boy and girl )
Stand with feet apart, hands held at side of body two or three inches
1. Swing weight over onto left foot, both knees bending over to
the left, swinging arms across each other
at the same time.
2. Swing weight over onto right foot, both knees bending over to
the right, uncrossing arms and swinging
them wide open away from body.
Continue this swinging movement left and right, keeping time to
the very definite background beat that
you can hear in all 'blue-beat' music. Keep arm swing sharp and
Fly-away ( can be danced before or after the basic swing )
1. Straighten right knee, raising left foot in sharp, small kick
in front of right foot
2. Step onto left foot, lowering it in front of right foot
3-4. Transfer weight onto right foot, then left foot, in a rocking
5. Straighten left knee, raising right foot in sharp, small kick
in front of left foot.
6. Step onto right foot, loering it in front of left foot.
7-8. Transfer weight onto left foot, then right foot, in a rocking
What is Blue-Beat Rhythm?
Try Ezz Reco's 'Little Girl' or 'King Of Kings'
or 'Gypsy Woman' by Cosmo
here? What are you waiting for...... go and practice!
The 60s fad for new dances
brought us such wondrous things as:
Thanks to Denver for the names of many of
the UK and American Sixties dances listed above)
Aba Daba Do Dance
The Afro Twist
The Alabama Shake
The Alley Cat
The Alley Oop
The Baby Baby
The Baby Walk
The Baby Workout
The Bad Baboon
The Banana Split
The Beatle Boogie
The Beatle Bounce
The Beatle Stomp
The Beetle Squash
The Bend It!
The Big City Stomp
The Big Egg
The Black Stomp
The Blakes Beat
The Blue Beat
The Blue Chip
The Boney Maroney
The Bongo Hop
The Booty Green
The Boss Walk
The Bossa Nova
The Boston Hop
The Boston Monkey
The Bristol Stomp
The Broken Hip
The Bull Nose Stomp
The Bunny Hop
The Bus Stop
The Calypso Dance
The Camel Walk
The Cat Walk
The Cha Jerk
The Charleston Fish
The Cheater Stomp
The Choo Choo
The Cinnamon Cinder
The Coffee Grind
The Continental Mash
The Continental Walk
The Cool Jerk
The Cool Off
The Cool Shake
The Crazy Chicken
The Dartell Stomp
The Del Viking
The Dipsey Dooble
The Dirty Boogie
The Dirty Dog
The Dish Rag
The Doctors Boogie
The Donkey Step
The Donkey Walk
The Drum Stomp
The Duck Walk
The Egyptian Shumba
The Eighty One
The El Cable
The Elephant Walk
The Fine Twine
The Finger Poppin'
The Flip Flop
The Foot Stomping
The Funky Broadway
The Funky Bull
The Funky Horse
The Funky Jerk
The Funky Mississippi
The Funky Walk
The Gene Chandler
The Georgia Slop
The Get Down
The Go Go
The Goblin Trot
The Good Time Stomp
The Guitar Boogie Stomp
The Handjive Workout
The Hanky Panky
The Harlem Shuffle
The Harlem Tango
The Heat Wave
The Hippies Waltz
The Hippy Hippy Shake
The Hitch Hike
The Hokey Pokey
The Honey Dipper
The Hoochi Coochi Coo
The Hook And Sling
The Hop Scotch
The Hully Gully
The Hully Gully Bongo
The Hully Gully Rock
The Humphrey Stomp
The Jersey Bounce
The Jivin' Around
The Joogie Boogie
The Jordan Stomp
The Jump And Hump
The Karate Monkey
The Limbo Rock
The Lone Star Stomp
The Loop De Loop
The Lowdown Popcorn
The Mambo Boogie
The Manhattan Stomp
The March Of The Mods
The Martian Hop
The Mashed Potato
The Mashed Taters
The Massacre Stomp
The Mexican Hat Dance
The Mojo Workout
The Molecule A-Go-Go
The Monkey Bird
The Monkey Shine
The Monkey Stroll
The Monkey Walk
The Monster Mash
The Moppety Stomp
The Mother Popcorn
The Mountain Stomp
The Mozart Stomp
The Nick Nack Hully Gully
The Night Stomp
The Nitty Gritty
The Olympic Shuffle
The Pata Pata
The Peppermint Twist
The Philly Dog
The Philly Horse
The Philly Jerk
The Philly Walk
The Polly Wolly
The Pony Horse
The Pony Rock
The Pony Walk
The Popcorn Poppin'
The Popeye Stroll
The Popeye Waddle
The Push And Pull
The Pyramids Stomp
The Rebel Walk
The Rendezvous Stomp
The Rhumba Boogie
The Rock And Roll
The Royal Whirl
The Rush Hour Stomp
The Shake A Tail Feather
The Shake And Stomp
The Shake Rattle Snake
The Shoddy Shoddy
The Simon Says
The Sissy Strut
The Slip And Slide
The Slop And Slide
The Slow Dance
The Slow Jerk
The Slow Locomotion
The Snacky Poo
The Snake Walk
The Soul Clap
The Soul Stomp
The Soul Twine
The Soulful Jerk
The Spanish Strut
The Spanns Stomp
The Spider Walk
The Stereo Freeze
The Stop Touch
The Surfer Boogie
The Surfer Stomp
The Surfin' Bird
The Switchy Walk
The Teenagers Waltz
The Temptation Walk
The Tiger Walk
The Tighten Up
The Tip Toe
The Train Stomp
The Turkey Trot
The Twist And Freeze
The Ubangi Stomp
The Uncle Willie
The Underdog Backstreet
The Unwind Twine
The Werewolf Watusi
The Wiggle Wobble
The Wild Stomp
The Wild Weekend
The Yuletide Jerk
The Zig Zag