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Dance Moves Through the Ages

  • Grizzly Bear Dance

    Grizzly Bear Dance
    The dance move was originally invented in the 1910's but it didn't begin to be popular till the early 1920's. It was made popular by people like Ray Jones and John Jarrett. The dance was made for Ragtime and originated in San Francisco.
  • Foxtrot

    The foxtrot was originally made the summer of 1914 by a Mr. Harry Fox. The pike up of dance in the time period caused it to be a cross between a waltz and something like the Lindy Hop. It was basically a fast waltz. It was made in the early stages of rag and remained popular throughout the jazz and swing eras. The height of the dance's popularity was in the end of the 20's and the beginning of the 30's
  • One Step

    One Step
    The one step was also meant to be dance with Ragtime but the step incorporated the style of a victorian ballroom dance. It was a very stiff dance compared to the other dances of the time. This was a step that was taught in dance schools unlike the less strict steps like the Grizzly and turkey.
  • Turkey Trot

    Turkey Trot
    The Turkey trot was invented around the same time as the grizzly bear but also did not become popular till the late 1910's or early 1920's. However, some say that it was done as far back as 1895. Also meant to be danced to with Ragtime. This was the newest age dance moves and became very popular over the next few years.
  • Charleston

    The Charleston was used as far back as 1520, but when it was put with the period of Ragtime it really became popular. With the passing of the age the dance became the dance for the flapper girls. The shorter skirts allowed for a more dramatic display of the move. It was first seen in the show "Runnin Wild" by George White. The dancers performed it and made it a big hit among the American people.
  • The Lindy Hop

    The Lindy Hop
    The Lindy Hop was the newest fad in the mid 20's and early 30's. Taking steps and styles from the Charleston and a little tap. This was in fact that dance that broke through the race barrier and was done by both blacks and whites across the country. This was a very high spirited dance that involved many fast and grand moves to go along with the music that it was danced with.

  • The Black Bottom

    The Black Bottom
    The dance was made popular by female dancers such as Stella Doyle and Ann Pennington. It quickly became a very popular social dance. However that dance is very important. It is more of a side to side step with your own embellishments that you care to through in while dancing. It was taught in dance schools but there was really not much to be taught about it as it was all you.
  • Tap

    The origins of tap dancing is not 100% known. It was said that it goes as far back as the end of the Revolutionary war. However, the term "tap dancing" was not coined until 1928. Tap dancing was widely known among the African American population. In fact it became so popular that dance halls had to post notices asking people not to wear tap shoes as it ruins the dance floors. Tap made it's way through the 30's and the 40's becoming mostly used in showcases.
  • The Balboa

    The Balboa
    The Balboa was a dance move that is related with the Lindy Hop and sometimes the Charleston. It began in southern California in the late 20's and early 30's. It is now used more in modern swing dancing more than the others. The dance can fit many different situations such as high tempos and slow, crowded dance rooms and solos.
  • Jitterbug

    The dance was coined by Harry Alexander White. Then a man named Edwin Swayzee wrote a song about. It was all made famous by Cab Calloway who recorded the song. People knew about the dance and would do it with the song just as it was meant to be done. It fast became a household name.
  • Fred Astaire

    Fred Astaire
    Fred was born at the turn of the century. He was light on his feet and always loved to dance. He is most famous for his moves and performances with partner Ginger Rogers. They made several films together including The Gay Divorcee and Top Hat. They became the talk of hollywood. Fred is known for his livly dances with tap and beautiful waltzes.

  • Collegiate Shag

    Collegiate Shag
    The Collegiate shag was named after the way the college kids danced it. Made popular by the college age generation it was a dance taken from many different dances from the early and late 20's. Such as the Lindy Hop and the Charleston, Collegiate uses the same principles. By turning it into a Shag the kids made it more upbeat and popular. The Shag part of it was looked down on as that type of dancing was used in burlesque shows.
  • Waltz

    During the age of Jazz, the waltz was shifting from the normal Victorian waltz to the Viennese waltz. This version was much faster paced than the traditional waltz. It would incorporate small uses of swing and brakes from the basic position of just holding your partner. However, it kept the same aspect of being a slower and more elegant dance.
  • Big Apple

    Big Apple
    This dance is actually a group dance that is done at large parties to include people in a sociable dance. There would be a circle of swing dancing couples and they would each take turns showing off in the center. The dance originated in the Big Apple Night Club in South Carolina around 1936.
  • The Bop

    The Bop
    The Bop was made to go with the style of jazz. Made in the early 40's and was set with swing. This was a little less free than swing as it is held for 8 counts and done mostly with the hips and "bopping" of your body. It became so popular that Bop Clubs opened up with their own type of music called Bop. It was not as smooth as jazz and more suited for the motions of the dance.
  • Carolina Shag

    Carolina Shag
    "The Shag" was a dance for late night beach parties and afternoon tailgate field parties. It was done mostly by teens and not a profesional dance. However, it made it's way into dances like the Lindy Hop and Swing. Instead of coming from California, the shag was a dance that was more popular in the south. Being a summer night drinking party dance, it was perfect for the time.
  • Hand Jive

    Hand Jive
    Crazy as it sounds the hand jive is not American. It actually started as a European dance. Aside from being a hands on partner dance it is more of a single dance that can be done one your own. It is a rather jerky dance that is done mostly with your hands. Hence the "hand" jive.
  • Swing

    Swing was a collaboration of almost all the new modern dances. It is a loose and free moving dance. It became mostly known for the impromptuness of the moves. Everything was thrown together but it all makes sense. It became widely done in the late 30's and early 40's as dancing became less restricted on moves and style. Swing opened the doors for new possibilities for dancing and music in the world of young adults.

  • Gene Kelly

    Gene Kelly
    Kelly was known for his athletically challenging performances. Combining classical dance with upbeat tap and swing Kelly changed the way filming musicals was done. He would combine different beats and change angles and much more to try a grasp the full meaning of the dance that was trying to be portrayed.
  • Rock and Roll

    Rock and Roll
    The term Rock and Roll was said to have been coined in 1951 in the music industry, however prior to that the term was used among the Black Community with the dance called Rock and Roll. It was another adaptation of the Lindy Hop. It was suppose to be the rename for the swing but was unsuccessful. The term was then used in music in the early 50's.

  • Vera Ellen

    Vera Ellen
    Ellen was most famous for being not only the youngest rocket dancer to be on broadway but also the smallest. Being only 5 foot 4 inches she had to make up for the height by wareing 1 inch higher heels than any other rocket. Not only did she dance but she acted as well. Staring in films such as White Christmas with Bing Crosby and others, and On the Town with Gene Kelly.
  • Cha Cha

    Cha Cha
    The Cha cha was brought over by immigrants from Latin countries. It was a very easy dance and went right along with the pattern of the swing music. Fast passed and short stepped it is still very popular today. It was mostly known as a ballroom dance and taught in many classes as such.
  • Stroll

    The Stroll was made mostly popular in the mid 1950's. It started in the Uk and then moved to the US taking it by storm. The Stroll was a line dance that started with girls on one side and boys on the other. The boy and the girl at the end of the line would then "Stroll" down to the end of the line as the people moved down. It was first seen in America after the showing of The American Bandstand TV program in 1957.
  • The Madison

    The Madison
    The Madison was a dance that originated from the African American culture. It was a line dance that used both men and women. The dance was done to Al Brown and The Tune Tappers song "The Madison". It was soon done by both the white and black cultures as the 50's moved along and became less divers.
  • Mashed Potato

    Mashed Potato
    The Mashed Potato was part of the dance craze of the early 60's. It was coined by James Brown after he wrote and sang the song "(Do the) Mashed Potato". The dance was done much like today's Cupid Shuffle as it went with the song and could only be done with that song.
  • Chicken

    The Chicken dance is still a very popular dance today. It may be interesting to know that this is actually not an American made dance. The song was penned by a Swiss composer named Werner Thomas. The song became a hit in Germany in the early to mid 50's. The dance was done along with the song as a fun little ditty. By early 60's the fad had made it's way to the states and teens across the country where doing it.
  • The Twist

    The Twist
    The twist became popular in the early 60's. No one really knows how it started or who invented it but it kinda just started by people moving their hips and "twisting". However, musician Hank Ballard was credited with making it popular. He made the song called the twist and when he sang it he did it on stage. The dance however, was not restricted to the song and could be done with any song and in any dance.
  • Watusi

    This dance was actually indigenous to central Africa. Ray Barretto was credited with the dance being made popular. The popularity was much the same as the twist. Many performers such as Fred Astair and Barry Chase used this dance while performing.
  • The Monkey

    The Monkey
    With the song "Monkey Time" by Major Lance the this new dance came through as a play off of the Twist. This move is done mostly in improvisational dances where the partners become solos and face each other waving their arms like monkeys. As the times moved on young people began dancing more at the beach then the dance halls. The monkey was a dance that was done more easily on sand.
  • Sylvie Guillem

    Sylvie Guillem
    Guillem was a French ballet dancer. She was the youngest person in the history of the Paris Opera House to hold the title of the "etoile" or "star" dancer. This is the highest rank in the world given by any ballet company. Born in 1965 she began training at a young age in gymnastics. At 16 she went to train at the ballet corps in the gymnast program. She then moved on to become one of the worlds top ballet performers.
  • The Robot

    The Robot
    The Robot became popular during the late 60's and early 70's as the times where moving more towards the disco era. However, it was actually invented decades prior to then. In the early 20's mimes would use the technique while performing. They wanted to feel more mechanical as this was a newer fad to the world. In the 70's it was an easy solo dance that looked cool.
  • The Hustle

    The Hustle
    Much like other dances, the Hustle originated in the nightclubs of New York. It was made for the new decade. A flashy dance that can be done as a solo or with a partner. This dance also changed the counting messures in dance. Due to the more competetive nature, people wanted it to be more flashy. To do this they cut the count from a 6 count bace to a 3 count bace. Allowing them to be more expressive with dancing.
  • The Bump

    The Bump
    As part of the Disco movement, the bump became very popular very fast. It was said to have been introduced by a singer named Johnny Spruce. The point of the dance is to lightly bump hips to the beat of the music with your partner.
  • Disco Finger

    Disco Finger
    The Disco finger is more of a general dance. The 70's was the age of disco and the finger was merely a sub dance that could be done to disco music. There were many other types of disco dances and this was a move that could be used in any of them. So this move was used to sum up the generalness of the disco age. Disco was taken from different styles of Latin dances such as the Cha cha and the tango.
  • Bus Stop

    Bus Stop
    The Bus Stop was the first line dance of the disco age. It became so popular that Rolling Stone magazine. The dance could be done to any type of disco music. Though it was a four second line dance it is very individual. The dancer may do whatever they pleas and it works best with as much movement as possible.
  • Love Shack

    Love Shack
    The band B-52's was the band that made famous the song "Love Shack Baby". This was the inspiration for the dance, Love Shack. Starting in the south, the song and dance made it's way across the country fast as a wild fire. This was the age that spawned the crazy 80's. Disco was dying out and more music was being made.
  • YMCA

    In the late 70's a group of men who became known as "The Village People" coined the famous song and dance for the YMCA. The YMCA is actually a chain of mens sporting clubs across the country but the Village People made it known with their song and dance. It was very popular ans sold over 100 million records.
  • The Worm

    The Worm
    The Worm is a very entertaining and amusing dance move to watch. It became popular in the late 70's and stayed popular throughout the 80's. Nowadays, however, it is used more in breakdancing and hip hop dances, but it is far more old school then what we think.

  • Michael Jackson

    Michael Jackson
    Known mostly for his music Jackson is also wildly popular in the dancing world. Coining moves like the moonwalk and the high toes.Jackson started out his career very young but in the early 80's he became widely known as the lead singer of the Jackson 5 band. Most of his dance moves would not be as widely known till he launched his solo career in the late 80's.
  • Moonwalk

    Moonwalking had been done before but the world went crazy when Michael Jackson took to the stage and made it his signature move. It was cool and smooth. A perfect move to show the change from the 70's to the 80's. However, despite what many may think, Jackson did not invent the moonwalk. It is not for sure known who invented it but there evidence that it goes as far back as the 30's with Fred Astaire and Bill Bailey.
  • Derek Hough

    Derek Hough
    Derek Hough is today a very famous dancer. He is a teacher on the ABC show Dancing with the Stars. When he was 12 his family moved to London and he lived there for 10 years. When he was 18 he attended and graduated from the Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts. His first professional role was in the remake of the musical Footloose. Since then he has moved up in the world as a dancer and is branching out from dancing with the stars.
  • Van Halen Jump

    Van Halen Jump
    In the 80's Punk Rock became a very popular style of music. One of the singers was Van Halen. He would become known for a move called "the Jump". The move came from the second song Halen wrote called Jump. He would do it on stage in time with the words Jump. He would jump high in air and do almost a toe touch. This became a favored move for many other performers as well.
  • Electric Slide

    Electric Slide
    This was a full on 80's dance. Richard Silver is credited with making the dance popular. It was born and made in America. Surprisingly, this dance is done best with country music. Being a line dance and it also goes with the song Electric Slide.
  • Running man

    Running man
    The dance was coined by the famous Hip hop star MC Hammer. In his ever famous video of "Can't Touch This" he is seen doing the running man. This move went viral and took the country by storm. Hip hop is a new style of music and with new music comes new dances.
  • Kid'n Play kick step

    Kid'n Play kick step
    Kid'n Play was a duet band of two rappers in the late 80's and early 90's. They became a hit when there music video "Kid'n Play" came out on NBC. At the time many rappers didn't like dancing along with their music, but the kid'n play changed that in their video with the new move Kid'n play kick. This showed rappers that they could rap and dance and still look cool.
  • Tootsee Roll

    Tootsee Roll
    Named after the popular song Tootsee Roll sung by the hip hop artist 69 boyz, the dance became the hip hop jam for the 90's. Music was getting fresher and the so where the moves. To go with the style beat of hip hop the tootsee roll could be done as a solo or with a partner. It was good for impromptu brakes in dances and for performers who wanted to show off on stage.
  • Vogue

    It began in New York City in the late 90's. An artful form of dance that was inspired by Vogue magazine and models. It was done mostly by the LGBT community as a way to express themselves. It was fast moving across the country and soon done by more then just gay people. It involves many different forms with no specific movement. Perfect for anyone who wants to express themselves.
  • Casper Slide

    Casper Slide
    Also known as the Cha cha slide this dance was made by DJ Casper as a fun and fresh lie dance. The song was released on album in 2000 but the dance was known before that. It was nick named "the ghetto hokey pokey". It is still very popular today and done in many clubs and dances.

  • Cupid Shuffle

    Cupid Shuffle
    Much like the Cha cha slide, the cupid shuffle came from a new raper called Cupid in the early 2000's. He made a song called the Cupid Shuffle and it became a number one song. It was a take on the cha cha slide and was a electric slide style dance.
  • Gangnam Style

    Gangnam Style
    In 2012 history was made when a South Korean raper called PSY made a video that would reach global popularity. The song gangnam style was sung but the most iconic thing about it was the dance that was done with it. It was a strange hip and feet movement of bouncing and even included waving arms. It made history by being the first video to make one billion views on YouTube.