By means of historical past we've
seen many evolutions of dance. A few of these ancient dances and rituals are nonetheless practiced immediately by those who
honor their spiritual or cultural histories whereas many have sadly been lost all through the ages. One thing nonetheless
stays constant. Dance has all the time played an important function in the societies, great and small, of the world. Dating back to the start of recorded history dancing has been an important part of society. Dance was involved
in celebrations and preparations for war. Dance was a part of rituals and ceremonies of worship. Dance was a part of life
and we dwell in a society at the moment that seems to more and more label dance as a type of leisure greater than a means
of life. Maybe that is a part of the rationale we have a rising awareness when it comes to depression as a result of fewer
people are experiencing the joy of dance. Do you know that the Spartan warriors used dance of their preparations for battle?
They incorporated a 'weapons dance' that was designed not solely to familiarize themselves with their weaponry but
also to assist them be more agile when utilizing them. Imagine me after I say that only a few ever dared question the masculinity
of Spartans on the battlefield. These soldiers had been prepared for conflict and a big degree of that is the result of their
weapon dances as psychological and bodily preparation for the art of waging war. With the Spartans war was most definitely
an artwork form.
Oriental Dance was frequent during what has change into often called Biblical occasions and stays
right this moment a really noteworthy type of dance. In actual fact, Oriental Dances, also known as Belly Dancing, seems to
be experiencing a rebirth of sorts as its popularity has unfold across the globe in recent years. This model of dance has
been used as a part of spiritual ceremonies in addition to to entice lovers and incite lust and in some circumstances to signify
fertility. Oriental Dance has a long and intriguing historical past that is well value additional research if you are of the
thoughts to do so. In Medieval instances dance was a social requirement by these of means or holding status. Actually, what
we all know as ballroom dancing right this moment began during this period and has advanced somewhat through the years whereas
holding true to its original kind to some degree. The church at the time nevertheless frowned on dancing although many members
of the church not only tolerated dancing but in addition participated in these dances. After a substantial amount of pressure
from the populace the church did finally accept and embrace dance. The actions for the medieval dance steps were said to be
moderately simple and repetitive. While some of the dances of the day had been carried out by couples there have been many
processional or line dances that had been well-liked during this era as well. Who knew the line dancing had such a protracted
and distinguished history? As times have developed so has dance. In right this moment's society dance is usually
restricted to competitions, festivals, and events quite than the prominence it once held in society. The good news in all
that is that dance is no longer for some in society an activity that is solely reserved for the wealthiest among us. Though
access to dance lessons, courses, videos, etc. is on no account solid proof that they are going to be utilized the very fact
stays that only a few cities in the United States don't supply dance classes which can be at the very least marginally
reasonably priced for individuals who participate. Competitive dance is another matter all collectively however and can carry
a major price ticket to those that are unaware or caught off guard. Leisure dance nevertheless, often prices little more than
the music required with which to bounce and the will to bounce deep inside. We reside in a nation of alternative, don't
squander the chance we've got to incorporate the simple pleasure of dancing into our day by day lives. By: Larry Bland
The 20th century has been an important and vital era
in the history of Western Dance and the most significant occurrence was the emergence of what came to be called Modern Dance.
It began to happen with the advent of Isadora Duncan, born 100 years ago this month, who revolutionized the dance of her time
and is now considered to be the “mother” of 20th century dance. The “natural” and “interpretive”
dance which evolved in the second and third decades were her direct descendants and the “modern dance” of the
’30s and beyond was undoubtedly related to Duncan’s freedom of expression and movement.
In the ’20s
the influential college teachers of dance were Gertrude Colby of Columbia University Teachers College, who taught what was
called “natural dancing” and was my teacher, and Margaret H’Doubler, who taught ‘‘interpretive
dancing” at the University of Wisconsin and established the first dance major there in 1926. The most popular of the
very few American dance companies was the Denishawn Company, an eclectic group, headed by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, three
of whose members were to leave the company and inaugurate the modern dance movement during the latter half of this decade.
A momentous time for both concert and educational dance was the decade of the ’30s.
College Summer School of Dance was established in 1934. Here, the four pioneers of Modern Dance, Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey,
Charles Weidman, all ex-Denishawn dancers, and Hanya Holm. Representing Mary Wigman and the German dance, with their companies,
taught aspiring dancers and secondary and college dance teachers the essentials of modern dance. In another sphere. John Martin
was appointed permanent dance critic of The New York Times and wrote several books on the new dance.
opposition, dance education established its own section in the American Physical Education Association in 1932 with Mary O’Donnell
as the first elected chairper- son. The first book on Dancing in the Elementary Schools, edited by Dorothy LaSalle, was published
in the Research Quarterly of that organization. And then by A.S. Barnes in 1933.
In the first half of the ‘40s,
World War II took precedence over everything and many dancers and teachers went into service. In the second half of the decade,
The Connecticut College Summer School of Dance was established following the pattern of Bennington, (which was discontinued
during the War), and it is still an important center for summer study. José Limón returned from service, formed
his own company, and under the artistic direction of Doris Humphrey, (who, because of an arthritic hip could no longer dance).
Began to extend his great skill as a dancer into notable choreography. Martha Graham brought more men into her company
and made some of her greatest group dances. It was during this decade, as well. That two of our most noted American ballet
companies, The American Ballet Theatre and The New York City Ballet began to be formed.
The 1950s marked the beginning
of the second generation of modern dancers. Many left their early teachers to strike out on their own and to use their dance
heritage in different ways. While the first generation of modem dance choreographers was mostly women. The second was mostly
men. Some departing widely from the style and method of their former teachers. Black and Oriental faces appear in dance companies,
with the moderns leading the way; dance majors and minors begin to be established in some of the larger universities: and
the trend toward moving dance out of the Women’s Physical Education Department begins.
In the 1960s. Dance
finally achieves status as a major art, and is now listed as one of the five divisions of art expression with drama. Literature.
Music. And the visual arts. Another example of this change in status is that quality magazines now have permanent dance critics.
Professional dance companies. directed by Blacks make
their appearance during this time and add their rich heritage to American Dance. And after several decades of mutual antagonism. ballet and modern dance grow closer together. each borrowing
from the other’s elaborate technique. and ballet companies borrowing notable modern dances to extend their repertories.
This is made possible by the advent of dance notation. which begins to have extensive use. Lastly. new fields. related to
dance open up. just in time to take care of the alarming number of majors emerging from our universities. the large majority
of whom expect to join a New York company immediately upon graduation. Besides teaching. the areas of dance therapy, production.
criticism. management. lighting design. may absorb some of these dancers after the stars in their eyes have been somewhat
The Rumba Dance is one of the
oldest Latin American dances. It is a popular ballroom dance in the United States and in other countries as well. But where
did the dance originate? And how did it all began? Rumba is believed to be invented by Black African slaves who were imported
to Cuba, some Caribbean Islands and Latin America. This same dynamic dance can still be seen in parts of Africa, but the Rumba
we now see in the United States has been changed, modified by influence of other races and/or cultures. They say the modern
Rumba Dance is a combination of different dances which includes the Cuban "Son" (a slower version of the traditional
rumba), guaracha, the rural rumba, and bolero.
The word Rumba
was originally a generic name used to classify a music style instead of a dance style. At present, there are three distinct
types of Rumba practiced in Cuba, with the steps mainly danced as solo or freestyle. The first is called "Guaguanco,"
which depicts a seduction between a man and a woman where he tries to "attack" her to get her. The second is called
the "Yambu." In this type a flirty woman dances with a man who cannot "attack" her or get her. The last
is called "Columbia". This is the more polite type and can be compared to the customary rooster and hen dance. It
is like a courtship dance where the male struts his masculinity around the female.
The American Rumba is an altered version of the "Son." It is now known as the "Latin-Ballroom"
couple's dance and is properly labelled the "Dance of Romance." A lot of the sensual movements of the modern
Rumba Dance or Ballroom Rumba developed from the original Cuban dancers doing daily tasks such as "climbing a rope,"
shoeing a mare," or the "courtship of farmyard fowls." The costumes that the performers traditionally wore
represent symbolism. Like the woman's ruffled train of skirt which signifies a hen's feathers. And the man's ruffled
neckline or chest and/ or shirt sleeves signifies a cock's hackle feathers. Now, the modern Latin costumes are more like
lingerie. The Ballroom Rumba is a pleasant dance for dancers to demonstrate their technique, skill and ability, which also
shows a polite sensuousness or romantic flair on the dance floor. While the Cuban Rumba is more like a rhythmic street dance
which can give the impression to be a cool, yet frenzied and at times the dancers could wild abandon with the technique, rather
than a popularized pretty dance form.
marathons were known as "bunion derbies," and "corn and callus carnivals." Promoters called them "walkathons."
Social dancing had only recently acquired a veneer of respectability through the efforts of wholesome married dance teams
like Vernon and Irene Castle. At a time when many churches still considered dancing sinful, "walkathon" was a less
threatening term. But today we remember these endurance contests of the Great Depression as "dance marathons."
Dance marathons were both genuine endurance contests and staged performance events. Professional
marathoners (often pretending to be amateurs) mixed with authentic hopeful amateurs under the direction of floor judges, an
emcee, and the merciless movement of the clock to shape participatory theater. Both grim spectacle and vaudeville-based amusement,
dance marathons offered an inexpensive chance for audiences “to be entertained and while away time” (Calabria,
p. 21). They also offered audiences the Depression-era novelty of feeling superior (and feeling pity) toward someone else.
Contestants were expected to dance full-out during the heavily attended evening hours. A live band played at night, whereas
a phonograph often sufficed during the day. The longer the marathon wore on, the more endurance events the contestants found
themselves subjected to. Sprint races, long periods without medical care, removal of rest periods, along with the more common
shin splints, bunions, blisters, and fallen arches soon whittled down the number of participants.
by Lori Heikkila
The history of swing dates back to the 1920's, where
the black community, while dancing to contemporary Jazz music, discovered the Charleston and the Lindy Hop. On March 26, 1926,
the Savoy Ballroom opened its doors in New York. The Savoy was an immediate success with its block-long dance floor and a
raised double bandstand. Nightly dancing attracted most of the best dancers in the New York area. Stimulated by the presence
of great dancers and the best black bands, music at the Savoy was largely Swinging Jazz.
evening in 1927, following Lindbergh's flight to Paris, a local dance enthusiast named "Shorty George" Snowden
was watching some of the dancing couples. A newspaper reporter asked him what dance they were doing, and it just so happened
that there was a newspaper with an article about Lindbergh's flight sitting on the bench next to them. The title of the
article read, "Lindy Hops The Atlantic," and George just sort of read that and said, "Lindy Hop" and the
In the mid 1930's, a bouncy six beat variant was named
the Jitterbug by the band leader Cab Calloway when he introduced a tune in 1934 entitled "Jitterbug".
With the discovery of the Lindy Hop and the Jitterbug, the communities began dancing to
the contemporary Jazz and Swing music as it was evolving at the time, with Benny Goodman leading the action. Dancers soon
incorporated tap and jazz steps into their dancing.
In the mid 1930's,
Herbert White, head bouncer in the New York City Savoy Ballroom, formed a Lindy Hop dance troupe called Whitey's Lindy
Hoppers. One of the most important members of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers was Frankie Manning. The "Hoppers" were
showcased in the following films: "A Day at the Races" (1937), "Hellzapoppin" (1941), "Sugar Hill
Masquerade" (1942), and "Killer Diller" (1948).
In 1938, the Harvest Moon Ball included Lindy Hop and Jitterbug competition for the first time. It was captured on
film and presented for everyone to see in the Paramount, Pathe, and Universal movie newsreels between 1938 and 1951.In early
1938, Dean Collins arrived in Hollywood. He learned to dance the Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy and Swing in New York City and
spent a lot of time in Harlem and the Savoy Ballroom. Between 1941 and 1960, Collins danced in, or helped choreograph over
100 movies which provided at least a 30 second clip of some of the best California white dancers performing Lindy Hop, Jitterbug,
Lindy and Swing.In the late 1930's and through the 1940's, the terms Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy, and Swing were used
interchangeably by the news media to describe the same style of dancing taking place on the streets, in the night clubs, in
contests, and in the movies.
end of 1936, the Lindy was sweeping the United States. As might be expected, the first reaction of most dancing teachers to
the Lindy was a chilly negative. In 1936 Philip Nutl, president of the American Society of Teachers of Dancing, expressed
the opinion that swing would not last beyond the winter. In 1938 Donald Grant, president of the Dance Teachers' Business
Association, said that swing music "is a degenerated form of jazz, whose devotees are the unfortunate victims of economic
instability." In 1942 members of the New York Society of Teachers of Dancing were told that the jitterbug (a direct descendent
of the Lindy Hop), could no longer be ignored. Its "cavortings" could be refined to suit a crowded dance floor.
The dance schools such as The New York Society of Teachers and Arthur Murray, did not formally
begin documenting or teaching the Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy, and Swing until the early 1940's. The ballroom dance community
was more interested in teaching the foreign dances such as the Argentine Tango, Spanish Paso Doblé, Brazilian Samba,
Puerto Rican Merengue, Cuban Mambo and Cha Cha, English Quickstep, Austrian Waltz, with an occasional American Fox-trot and
In the early 1940's the Arthur Murray studios looked at
what was being done on the dance floors in each city and directed their teachers to teach what was being danced in their respective
cities. As a result, the Arthur Murray Studios taught different styles of undocumented Swing in each city.
In the early 1940's, Lauré Haile, as a swing dancer and competitor, documented
what she saw being danced by the white community. At that time, Dean Collins was leading the action with Lenny Smith and Lou
Southern in the night clubs and competitions in Southern California. Lauré Haile gave it the name of "Western
Swing". She began teaching for Arthur Murray in 1945. Dean Collins taught Arthur Murray teachers in Hollywood and
San Francisco in the late 1940's and early 1950's.
late 1940's, the soldiers and sailors returned from overseas and continued to dance in and around their military bases.
Jitterbug was danced to Country-Western music in Country Western bars, and popularized in the 1980's.
music changed between the 1920's and 1990's, (Jazz, Swing, Bop, Rock 'n' Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Disco,
Country), the Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy, and Swing evolved across the U.S. with many regional styles. The late 1940's
brought forth many dances that evolved from Rhythm & Blues music: the Houston Push and Dallas whip (Texas), the Imperial
Swing (St. Louis), the D.C. Hand Dancing (Washington), and the Carolina Shag (Carolinas and Norfolk) were just a few. In 1951
Lauré Haile first published her dance notes as a syllabus, which included Western Swing for the Santa Monica Arthur
Murray Dance Studio. In the 50's she presented her syllabus in workshops across the U.S. for the Arthur Murray Studios.
The original Lauré Haile Arthur Murray Western Swing Syllabus has been taught by Arthur Murray studios with only minor
revisions for the past 44 years.
From the mid 1940's to
today, the Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy, and Swing, were stripped down and distilled by the ballroom dance studio teachers
in order to adapt what they were teaching to the less nimble-footed general public who paid for dance lessons. As a result,
the ballroom dance studios bred and developed a ballroom East Coast Swing and ballroom West Coast Swing.
In the late 1950's, television brought "American Bandstand", "The
Buddy Dean Show" and other programs to the teenage audiences. The teenagers were rocking with Elvis Presley, Little Richard,
and Chuck Berry leading the fray. In 1959, some of the California dance organizations, with Skippy Blair setting the pace,
changed the name of Western Swing to West Coast Swing so it would not be confused with country and western dancing. In the
1990's, dancers over 60 years of age still moving their Lindy Hoppin', Jitterbuggin', Swingin', and Shaggin'
one of the biggest dance hits of the modern era, and is often credited with inspiring a whole generation of stodgy adults
to let loose. (Previously, we imagine, they stood arms crossed, motionless except for an occasional nod or toe tap.) It was
so big, in fact, that it’s still played at wedding receptions and high school dances, where it inspires even
grandmas to boogie down. (And no, we are not talking about the Cha-Cha Slide.)
refer, of course, to Chubby Checker’s “The Twist”—a song (and dance) performed by a Philly native
and made famous at 46th and Market on American Bandstand—which hit number one on the Billboard charts
Sept. 19, 1960. Though Checker popularized “The Twist,” it was actually written by early rock group Hank Ballard
And The Midnighters.
Twist Again Lyrics
Come on everybody clap your hands Now you’re
looking good I’m gonna sing my song and you won’t take long We gotta do the twist and it goes like this
Come on let’s twist again like we did last summer Yea, let’s twist again
like we did last year Do you remember when things were really hummin’ Yea, let’s twist again, twistin’
time is here
Yeah round ‘n around ‘n up ‘n down we
go again Oh baby make me know you love me so then Come on let’s twist again like we did last summer Yea,
let’s twist again, twistin’ time is here
Come on let’s
twist again like we did last summer Yea, let’s twist again like we did last year Do you remember when things
were really hummin’ Yea, let’s twist again, twistin’ time is here
round ‘n around ‘n up ‘n down we go again Oh baby make me know you love me so then Come on let’s
twist again like we did last summer Yea, let’s twist again, twistin’ time is here
pictures were revived in the late 1970s by director John Badham's classic urban drama/dance film Saturday Night
Fever (1977) that starred John Travolta (with the film's sole nomination for Best Actor) as a vulgar, blue-collar
Brooklyn paint-store clerk - transformed into a pulsating, white-suited disco king Tony Manero who struts across a dance floor
of rainbow-colored squares. The famous disco film featured a popular Bee Gees soundtrack (un-nominated by AMPAS!). Dance champion
Denny Terrio and choreographer Lester Wilson trained Travolta, who was a teen idol and starring on TV's Welcome Back,
Kotter (as Vinnie Barbarino), to swivel his hips on the dance floor. The film, costing about $3.5 million, made almost
$300 million for Paramount Studios. [The film's lesser sequel was Sylvester Stallone's Staying Alive (1983).]
The next year, Travolta co-starred with Australian singer Olivia Newton-John
in Randal Kleiser's popular, spirited, nostalgic 50s film Grease (1978) with smutty dialogue - it was
a former 1972 hit Broadway musical that brought two big hit songs: "Summer Nights" and "You're The One
That I Want", to the charts. (The film's only nomination was Best Song for"Hopelessly Devoted to You.")
It was about two lovers, Australian transfer student Sandy (Newton-John) and American greaser Danny Zucko (Travolta), who
enjoyed a summertime romance but had to adapt to new roles back in their high school cliques, the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies.
Its popularity made it one of the highest grossing movie musicals ever. Patricia Birch's lesser sequel, Grease
2 (1982), her debut film as director (she had choreographed the original film) maintained the same locale, Rydell
High School, but brought a new cast including Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield. Olivia Newton-John's follow-up
film to Grease was a disaster -- the musical roller disco fantasy Xanadu (1980), in which she starred
as a Greek muse in Los Angeles alongside co-star Gene Kelly (in an attempted comeback).
to Grease, independent film producer Roger Corman provided the low-budget Rock 'n' Roll High School
(1979) with a soundtrack by The Ramones. A Western-style Saturday Night Fever film, James Bridges' Urban
Cowboy (1980), with popular young stars John Travolta and Debra Winger, featured Houston honky-tonks, mechanical
bull-riding in bars, blue-collar cowboys, and country music dancing (including the Cotton-Eyed Joe). Alan Parker succeeded
with the dance musical Fame (1980), a story of eight struggling young dancers in New York High School for
the Performing Arts - so popular that it helped launch a television show - and it received six Academy Award nominations and
two wins (Best Score and Best Song).
Adrian Lyne's slick Flashdance
(1983) was the immensely popular, highly kinetic, music-video style film - with an Oscar-winning title song by Irene
Cara. It featured 19 year-old Jennifer Beals in her first starring role as Alex - a day welder in Pittsburgh and night dancer
in a men's club who aspired to successfully audition for ballet school. Herbert Ross' energetic rock/dance film Footloose
(1984) was also a culturally-significant film with a pounding, hit soundtrack (that featured Kenny Loggins' Oscar-nominated
hit single of the title song, and a second nominated Best Song "Let's Hear It For the Boy"). It starred John
Lithgow as a strict minister and Kevin Bacon as the illegal and defiant dancer in town. Singer Prince (in his first starring
film) played "The Kid" in the feature-length music video Purple Rain (1984), and succeeded in having
the #1 movie, album, and single simultaneously. The sleeper hit, feel-good teen-oriented dance/romance film Dirty
Dancing (1987) with Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze provided nostalgia, great dance routines, sexy young stars,
and a coming-of-age story set in the Catskills in 1963. The film sparked a short-lived revival of the sexy Latin dance - the
lambada - with such exploitative films as Joel Silberg's Lambada (1989), and The Forbidden Dance
(1990), starring Laura Elena (Martinez) Herring (the first Latina to win Miss USA - in 1985).
are also called "dance crazes". Dancing style fads have for some centuries been a part of social dancing, sometimes
gliding smoothly into tradition after their "newness" has faded, and sometimes simply fading away into oblivion.
Since the Renaissance, the courts of European monarchs and nobles played host to a long
succession of dance fads, many of which became social 'crazes' that spread into general society. They include the
minuet, the allemande, the schottische, the mazurka and the waltz. Many of these European Renaissance dance crazes—such
as the allemande—have long since faded into obscurity, but their rhythms were preserved in European classical music.
By the time of Bach, the tempi of these dances had evolved into standardized rhythmical frameworks that formed the basis for
the various movements of Baroque and early Classical instrumental works
modern times new dances ("fads") arise and disappear much more frequently. This is certainly spurred by modern communication
improvements (printed media, radio, movies, television, internet).
the early 1920s a string of dance crazes swept the world, including jitterbug and the Charleston. Perhaps the most significant
of all these early 20th century crazes originated in Argentina in the early 1900s. The tango swept the world in the late 1910s
and early 1920s, sparking a worldwide craze that was fanned by its use in Hollywood movies, and the style was soon appropriated
to become part of the standard dance repertoire.
The tango was the first
in a series of 20th century Latin music dance crazes that included the merengue, the samba, the mambo, the rumba, the cha-cha-cha
and, in the early 1960s, the bossa nova. Each new Latin style enjoyed massive popularity, and many transcended their fad status
to become standardized styles in the repertoire of western popular dance tradition.
dance styles also exerted a huge influence on the direction of western popular music; this was especially true of jazz, which
was profoundly altered by the advent of the first wave of Latin music in the 1940s and then by the bossa nova craze of the
1960s, which also had a massive influence on American pop music.
the 1950s to the 1970s, new dance fads appeared almost every week. Many were popularized (or commercialized) versions of new
styles or steps created by African-American dancers who frequented the clubs and discothèques in major U.S. cities
like New York, Philadelphia and Detroit. Among the dozens of crazes that swept the world during this fertile period were the
Madison, "The Swim", the "Mashed Potato", "The Twist", "The Frug" (pronounced 'froog')
and "The Watusi", "The Shake" and "The Hitchhike"; several '60s dance crazes had animal
names, including "The Pony", "The Dog" and "The Chicken" (not to be confused with the later
In 1962, the Mexican-American group Cannibal and the
Headhunters had a hit with the Chris Kenner song Land of a Thousand Dances which included the names of sixteen of these dances.
One list of Fad Dances compiled in 1971 named over ninety dances.
the pop music market exploded in the late 1950s, successive dance fads were commercialized and exploited. Standardized versions
were printed in dance and teen magazines, often choreographed to popular songs. Many pop hits of the Sixties were purpose-written
to exploit emerging new dance crazes—notable examples include "Mashed Potato Time" by Dee Dee Sharp and this
appropriation continued into the 1990s. Other songs such as "The Loco-Motion"--composed by Gerry Goffin and Carole
King and first recorded by Little Eva -- were specifically written with the intention of creating a new dance style.
In the early 1970s new dance styles fueled the emergence of the disco phenomenon, which
spawned a succession of dance fads including the Bump, The Hustle, and the YMCA. This continued in the 1980s with the popular
song "Walk like an Egyptian", in the 1990s with the "Macarena", and in the 2000s with "The Ketchup
Song" dance. Contemporary sources for dance crazes include music videos and movies.
are fad dances which are meant to be danced individually as solo, others are partner dances, and yet others are danced in
groups. Some of them were of freestyle type, i.e., there were no particular step patterns and they were distinguished by the
style of the dance movement (Twist, Shake, Swim, Pony, Hitchhike). Only some of them survived until now, sometimes only as
the name of a step (Suzie Q, Shimmy) or of a style (Mashed Potato) in a recognized dance. Fad dances are in fashion at the
time of their popularity. They are associated with a specific time period, and evoke a nostalgia when danced nowadays.
70s, I was very much involved in disco dancing. So much involved, that I became an Arthur Murray's Dance Instructor and
danced professionally with Jeff Kutache's Dancing Machine in casinos located in Reno, Nevada and Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
By winning several dance contests and dancing disco dance marathons, one for 79 hours which
generated a new record for disco marathon dancing and finally dancing 205 hours of disco dancing, allowing me to have the
Guinness Book of World Records for a period of one month, I became the 3rd and 5th (the last) Disco King of Sacramento, California.
Whoever has the record when Guinness Book of World Records is published, gets into their book. Unfortunately, my 205 hour
disco dance marathon record was broken within one month by 329 hours.
Believe it or Not went ahead and published me in one of their comic strips, indicating that I danced for 205 hours. Ripley's
Believe it or Not gave me a lifetime membership card in which I could use to visit any one of their museums for free.
With big expectations, I went to Hollywood and was an extra in a few movies and did a couple
of disco commercials. That was the glory days I had in the 70s. In the pictures from those glory days, on the top right picture,
you can see the sign behind me which says I danced 200 hours, I went for 205 hours altogether. What was so funny about dancing
205 hours, is that I had a 5 minute break on every hour, if I needed to utilize the restroom, it had to be during that 5 minutes,
Guinness required witnesses to that effect. Also, I was transported by van from one location to another location and had to
dance in the van. If I ate, I had to keep those feet moving. Other dancers attempted to break the record with me and one girl
Kathy Kleiber collapsed and her legs swelled up like a balloon. Another dancer collapsed and was hospitalized.
During the time I was the Disco King of Sacramento, I had some interesting run-ins with
celebrities. When dancing with Jeff Kutache's Dancing Machine in Reno, Nevada and Lake Tahoe (casinos), we were the first
number to Cher. Cher just went solo in 1979 and was making her debut in the casinos. I was honored to meet her.
When I went to Hollywood to audition for Skatetown USA and Rollerboogie, I also auditioned
for American Bandstand and The Gong Show. Instead I did a bit part for a movie called Grad Night and did a couple of disco
commercials. In one of the disco dance contests I entered in Sacramento, Monterock III (disc jockey for Saturday Night Fever)
was the judge. We became personal friends after the contest and on the night he was judging the contest, I came in 2nd place.
At Galactica 2000 in Sacramento, I was a dance instructor and during the evening when the
nightclub was open, I always got to sit in the VIP section. One night, I was booted out of the VIP Section, because Chic came
into the nightclub and the owner allowed Chic to sit in the VIP Section instead.
1979, I went back into the Army and was stationed in Seoul, Korea. Disco was just becoming popular in Korea and before I knew
it, I was instructing dance classes in one of the nightclubs, entering dance contests and again working as a movie extra in
various Korean disco dance movies - TV shows.
As the Disco King of Sacramento,
I had access to 3 Rolls Royce automobiles. One from a private owner, one from a owner of a popular disco nightclub and one
from a exclusive club called Club Lido. The chauffeured me in one of the Rolls Royces and as the Disco King waved at the crowd
of onlookers at the Sacramento Parade. Of course, I was with the Disco Queen at the time - her name was Lia Waters. Other
Sacramento Disco Queens were: Kathy Kleiber, Karen Jean Caruso/Walker. What is amazing, a 12 year old girl by the name of
Patricia Mary Mitchell was in the crowd and she asked her father who I was. Her father said, that's the Disco King. When
Patricia was 29 and I was 39, we met and married. We are now divorced, but what a strange coincidence to have met later in
our lives.The days of disco are gone, but I still have the memories of my former Disco King days.
Dance Floor Courtesy is a beneficial tool for dancing
on any ballroom floor, however, Off the Floor Courtesy is also a welcome tool.
If all dancers were to observe dance floor etiquette and technique, the dance floor would be able to accommodate
up to its maximum capacity and still permit movement and more enjoyment. When the dance floor is overcrowded, all dancers
should refrain from "performing" and participate in "social" dance, or perhaps even choose to politely
sit some numbers out to ease the situation.
Social dances are
classified as either progressive or spot dances. In progressive dances such as foxtrot, waltz, etc., the rule is to move around
the floor only in a counterclockwise direction. This also includes the patterns that take the man backwards.
In spot dances, such as the swing, cha cha, rumba, etc., the couple should try
to keep as much as possible in and around the small area where they began dancing. Other dancers' space should be respected.
When the dance music is such that it permits more than one type of dance, such
as a foxtrot or swing, the swing dancers should go towards the center of the dance floor thereby making it possible for the
foxtrot dancers to move freely around the outside of the dance floor. Dance patterns in which the forward movement is temporarily
suspended should be executed in the centre or fringes of the dance floor, unless one is sure the dance flow will not be impeded.
This courtesy also applies to newer dancers, moving towards the centre allows the experienced dancers to really move around
the outside of the floor.
Dancers getting on the dance floor
should not interfere with those already dancing, simply because it is convenient to start in a particular spot. Watch out,
and move onto the floor with respect for the people moving towards you. Couples should not stop on the dance floor to make
conversation, argue or discuss the working of a dance pattern in such a way that they block others from continuing to dance.
If you are trying to get to the other side of the dance floor, walk around not thru the dancers.
The way one dances and the selection of dance patterns should be governed by the size of the dance floor and the
traffic. It is incumbent upon all dancers to be alert and watch out for others when changing imaginary lanes or executing
a maneuver that may put them in someone else's path. Like in driving, dancers should use good judgment.
Good manners dictate that you apologize when you accidentally bump or kick someone.
It is quite annoying to be cut off, bumped, or hurt by overly enthusiastic or inconsiderate dancers who do not observe good
dance floor etiquette and technique.
Off the Floor etiquette
consists of some basic human courtesies. When asking others to dance, ensure you ask and do not guilt or force an individual
into dancing with you. Be polite, careful not to interrupt conversations but to wait for a break in the conversation and indicate
that you would like to ask the person to dance with you.
you attend a dance as a single, be careful not to over occupy another person's partner in asking them to dance more than
twice in an evening. Ladies, refrain from asking every man in sight to dance with you ... if you are polite, you may find
that they will ask you. If you'd really like to dance with a particular person, ask them ONCE, then allow them to make
the decision to ask you the second time. Men, when you're asking a lady to dance be courteous, if she apologizes for saying
no and requests that you ask her later in the evening -- do so! Often times there is a good reason for her answer. Also for
you, men, don't over occupy another man's female partner unless he has decided to finish dancing for the evening and
she wishes to continue. Be conscious of another person's feelings -- this applies to both sexes! Also, men if you take
a lady onto the floor to dance please escort her back to her seat at the end of your time together. This will ensure that
you have been a gentleman, also that she returns to her seat without slipping and falling on the floor. Dance Floor Courtesy
On or Off the Floor is really based on Common Sense Rules of everyday politeness! Let's practice this a little more!
are someone who has always viewed line dance as an exciting and interesting way to dance but thought it was too complicated,
you owe it to yourself to take a second look at this dance craze that many people get into for the sheer fun of it. Many people
only associate line dancing with country or western music.
Over the years,
however, line dancing has expanded to include many other types of dance and many different age groups. Children to seasoned
seniors can get into the action with line dancing because there are dances created from songs that have a variety of tempos
both fast and slow for anyone who likes to dance.
Whether you are a beginner,
a novice or consider yourself an expert, there is something you can learn from line dancing to spice up your style and the
dances done with others at parties, clubs or just for your own enjoyment. Learning line dance is not difficult because it
has a little to do with watching what others around you are doing.
you know that world records have been set for line dance? Well, it’s true. There is a record for the world’s longest
line dance. Of course, you don’t have to attempt to set or bet the world longest line dance to learn and enjoy line
dancing. You can start with some basic steps that will give you the confidence to get into the more complex line dance steps
that let you dance with the best.
There are even some songs that are
specifically for line dance. These songs are great to start learning if you prefer that kind of music. There may even be videos
that accompany these songs where you can watch people doing the steps you want to learn or master.
are many different types of line dances. Some of the most popular go by the following names: Electric Slide, Cha Cha Slide,
Cupid Shuffle, Soulja Boy, Tennessee Twister, Blue Boy, Cripple Creek, Booty Call, Mustang Sally, Achy Breaky Heart, Alley
Cat, Chicken Dance, Charleston, Pensacola Slide, Power Jam, Good Time, Hoedown Throwdown, Wild Wild West, Tulsa Shuffle, Cleveland
Shuffle, Play Something Country, Jose Cuervo ’97, Copperhead Road and more.
you discover how easy it is to get into line dancing, you may want to hook up with other people who do line dance regularly.
Did you know that there are groups and associations who get together for fun, competitions and regular line dance activities?
For some, it is a chance to have some wholesome fun with family and friends and get some natural exercise in as well.
The bottom line of any idea about dancing that you may have in the back of your mind is
that you have to take that important first step, pun intended. Line dance may be one of the easy things you’ve decided
to do in a very long time. Give yourself a chance to see just how much fun you can have getting into this easy form of dancing
Astaire (born Frederick Austerlitz; May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987) was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer,
singer and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films.
He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute. He is particularly associated with Ginger
Rogers, with whom he made ten films.
Gene Kelly, another major innovator
in filmed dance, said that "the history of dance on film begins with Astaire". Beyond film and television, many
classical dancers and choreographers, Rudolf Nureyev, Sammy Davis, Jr., Michael Jackson, Gregory Hines, Mikhail Baryshnikov,
George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins among them, also acknowledged his importance and influence. Astaire was born in Omaha,
Nebraska, the son of Johanna "Ann" (née Geilus) and Frederic "Fritz" Austerlitz (born September
8, 1868, as Friedrich Emanuel Austerlitz). Astaire's mother was born in the United States to Lutheran German immigrants
from East Prussia and Alsace, while Astaire's father was born in Linz, Austria, to Jewish parents who had converted to
After arriving in New York City at age 24 on October 26,
1892, and being inspected at Ellis Island, Astaire's father, hoping to find work in his brewing trade, moved to Omaha,
Nebraska, and landed a job with the Storz Brewing Company. Astaire's mother dreamed of escaping Omaha by virtue of her
children's talents, after Astaire's sister, Adele Astaire, early on revealed herself to be an instinctive dancer and
singer. She planned a "brother-and-sister act," which was common in vaudeville at the time. Although Astaire refused
dance lessons at first, he easily mimicked his older sister's step and took up piano, accordion and clarinet.
When their father suddenly lost his job, the family moved to New York City to launch the
show business career of the children. Despite Adele and Fred's teasing rivalry, they quickly acknowledged their individual
strengths, his durability and her greater talent. Sister and brother took the name "Astaire" in 1905, as they were
taught dance, speaking, and singing in preparation for developing an act. Family legend attributes the name to an uncle surnamed
Their first act was called Juvenile Artists
Presenting an Electric Musical Toe-Dancing Novelty. Fred wore a top hat and tails in the first half and a lobster outfit in
the second. The goofy act debuted in Keyport, New Jersey, in a "tryout theater." The local paper wrote, "the
Astaires are the greatest child act in vaudeville.
As a result of their
father's salesmanship, Fred and Adele rapidly landed a major contract and played the famed Orpheum Circuit not only in
Omaha, but throughout the United States. Soon Adele grew to at least three inches taller than Fred and the pair began to look
incongruous. The family decided to take a two-year break from show business to let time take its course and to avoid trouble
from the Gerry Society and the child labor laws of the time. In 1912, Fred became an Episcopalian.
career of the Astaire siblings resumed with mixed fortunes, though with increasing skill and polish, as they began to incorporate
tap dancing into their routines. Astaire's dancing was inspired by Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and John "Bubbles"
Sublett. From vaudeville dancer Aurelio Coccia, they learned the tango, waltz and other ballroom dances popularized by Vernon
and Irene Castle.
Some sources state that the Astaire siblings appeared
in a 1915 film entitled Fanchon, the Cricket, starring Mary Pickford, but the Astaires have consistently denied this.
Fred Astaire first met George Gershwin, who was working as a song plugger in Jerome H. Remick's,
in 1916. Fred had already been hunting for new music and dance ideas. Their chance meeting was to deeply affect the careers
of both artists.
Astaire was always on the lookout for new steps on the
circuit and was starting to demonstrate his ceaseless quest for novelty and perfection. The Astaires broke into Broadway in
1917 with Over the Top, a patriotic revue. The Astaires performed for U.S. and Allied troops at this time too.
Curran "Gene" Kelly (August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996) was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director
and producer, and choreographer. Kelly was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks and the likeable
characters that he played on screen.
Although he is known today for his
performances in Singin' in the Rain and An American in Paris, he was a dominant force in Hollywood musical films from
the mid 1940s until this art form fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical
film, and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences.
Kelly was the recipient of an Academy Honorary Award in 1952 for his career achievements.
He later received lifetime achievement awards in the Kennedy Center Honors, and from the Screen Actors Guild and American
Film Institute; in 1999, the American Film Institute also numbered him 15th in their Greatest Male Stars of All Time list. He was the third son of James Kelly, a phonograph salesman, and Harriet Curran, who were both children of Irish Roman Catholic
immigrants. He was born in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and, at the age of eight, was enrolled
by his mother in dance classes, along with his elder brother James. They both rebelled, and, according to Kelly: "We
didn't like it much and were continually involved in fistfights with the neighborhood boys who called us sissies...I didn't
dance again until I was fifteen." He thought it would be a good way to get girls. Kelly returned to dance on his own
initiative and by then was an accomplished sportsman and well able to take care of himself. He attended St. Raphael Elementary
School in the Morningside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from Peabody High School in 1929 at the age of sixteen.
He enrolled in Pennsylvania State College to study journalism but the economic crash obliged him to seek employment to help
with the family's finances. At this time, he worked up dance routines with his younger brother Fred in order to earn prize
money in local talent contests, and they also performed in local nightclubs.
1931, Kelly enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh to study economics where he joined the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. While
at Pitt, Kelly became involved in the university's Cap and Gown Club, which staged original, comedic musical productions.
Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with his graduation from Pitt in 1933, he remained active with the Cap and Gown Club,
serving as its director from 1934 to 1938, while at the same time enrolling in the University of Pittsburgh Law School.
Also during this period, the Kelly's family started a dance studio on Munhall Road in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of
Pittsburgh in 1930. In 1932, the dance studio was renamed The Gene Kelly Studio of the Dance. A second location was opened
in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1933. Kelly served as a teacher at the dance studio during both his undergraduate and law student
years at Pitt. In 1931, he was approached by the Rodef Shalom synagogue in Pittsburgh to teach dance and stage the annual
Kermess and was so successful that his services were retained for seven years until his departure for New York. Eventually,
though, he decided to pursue his career as a dance teacher and entertainer full-time and so dropped out of law school after
two months. He began to focus increasingly on performing, later claiming: "With time I became disenchanted with teaching
because the ratio of girls to boys was more than ten to one, and once the girls reached sixteen the dropout rate was very
high." In 1937, having successfully managed and developed the family's dance school business, he moved to New York
City in search of work as a choreographer.
On the evening of the thirty-ninth annual Grammy Awards that was broadcast on national
television on February 27, 1997, Colin Dunn and Savion Glover faced off in the fiercest tap dance challenge of their lives.
Colin Dunn, the star of Riverdance—The Musical, was challenging Savion Glover, the choreographer and star of Bring in
‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk, to a battle of the feet that was staged to showcase and celebrate the two hottest
musicals on Broadway. But there was nothing festive about the challenge dance for these two stars. Not only was their reputation
as dancers at stake but also the supremacy of the percussive dance forms that each show represented--Irish step dancing and
African American jazz tap dancing.
Dunn went on first. Standing tall and straight,
his back to the audience and hands placed neatly at the waist of his slim black pants, he spun around quickly on his introduction,
and with the stamp of his high-heeled shoe drew himself up onto the balls of the feet and clicked out neat sets of triplets
and cross-backs in place. The camera zoomed in on the dazzling speed and precision of Dunn’s footwork, zoomed out on
the handsome symmetry of his form, and quickly panned right to reveal the hulking presence of Glover—who stood crouched
over, peering at Dunn’s feet.
Without an introduction,
Glover slapped out a succession of flat-footed stomps that turned his black baggy pants, big baggy shirt, and mop of deadlocks
into a stuttering spitfire of beats.
Huinkering down into a
deep knee bend, he repeated the slamming rhythms with the heels, toes, and insteps of his hard-soled tap shoes. Dunn heard
the challenge. Taking his hands off his hips and turning around to face Glover, he delivered a pair of swooping scissor-kicks
that sliced the air within inches of Glover face; and continued to shuffle with an air of calm, the fluid monotone of his
cross-back steps bringing the volume of noise down to a whisper. Glover interrupted Dunn’s meditation on the “ssssh”
with short and jagged hee-haw steps that mocked Dunn’s beautiful line and forced the conversation back to the sound,
They traded steps, spitting out shards of rhythmic phrases and daring each other
to pick up and one-up. Dunn’s crisp heel-clicks were taken up by Glover with heel-and-toe clicks, which were turned
by Dunn into airy flutters, which Glover then repeated from a crouched position. When they tired of trading politely, they
proceeded to tap over each other’s lines, interrupting each other wittily with biting sounds that made the audience
scream, applaud, and stamp its feet.
When Dunn broke his focus
just for a moment to politely acknowledge the applause with a smile, Glover seized the moment and found his edge by perching
on the tip of one toe and delivering a flick-kick with the dangling other that brushed within inches of Dunn’s face.
All movement came to a halt. And for one long moment, the dancers just stood there, flat-footed, glaring at each other. Though
the clapping melted their stares, they slapped hands and turned away from each other and walked off the stage without smiling
and never looking back.
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