Category: 

What are the Common Dances from the 1960s?

One of the most popular dances of the 1960's was the Twist.
Article Details
  • Written By: Cathy Rogers
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Peruvians eat more than 60 million guinea pigs a year.  more...

December 21 ,  1933 :  Dried blood serum was first produced.  more...

Common dances from the 1960s featured the ability to dance without a partner. The dances also shared vivid names. These unique dances included the Mashed Potato, the Fly, the Penguin, the Monkey, the Swim and the Funky Chicken. Some sources claim that as many as 500 dances were introduced in the 1960s.

Just one of the dances from the 1960s that created the largest craze was The Twist, debuting, as the decade began, on the Dick Clark Show. The Twist originated with the song of the same name, originally released by Hank Ballard. Chubby Checker, who had only one minor prior hit song, released a new version of the song. Checker’s success continued with over a dozen hits that decade, many of which contributed to the most popular dances.

The simplicity of The Twist dance made it popular with all ages. The movement was simple: place one foot forward and twist it back and forth while rotating your hips from side to side. Other twist songs followed by artists including Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, The Beatles, Gary “U.S.” Bonds, Sam Cooke and others.

Ad

The common dances from the 1960s veered away from the touch partner dancing that had been popular in prior decades. As a dance, The Mashed Potato originated with songs by Steve Alaimo, James Brown and Dee Dee Sharp. Variations exist, but some descriptions of this dance involve both arms placed out in front of the body. While grinding each foot alternately, the performer flutters the arms one at a time. The concept was that the performer appeared to be mashing potatoes with his or her feet.

Just as you would imagine, the dance named the Monkey, another popular dance from this decade, imitated the antics of the animal it was named for. Dancers faced their partners while waving their arms, bobbing their heads, scratching and hopping. Major Lance introduced the dance in 1963 with the hit "The Monkey Time."

Other popular dances from the 1960s included the Locomotion, the Duck, the Hanky Panky, the Camel Walk and Do the Freddie. Many of the dances caused controversy. In one instance, Brigham Young University (BYU) banned all “fad dances” in 1966 and Buffalo banned the Twist in 1962.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon308612
Post 9

I finally have read about someone else dancing the "soc". It was called the Detroit Social when I was doing it in South Bend, Indiana. Thank you anon 263000.

anon263000
Post 6

My hubby and I have danced the "soc" for 48 years, mostly in Michigan but in Florida for nine years. It's no place on the internet.

anon170946
Post 5

My mom used to do the camel walk to an instrumental song from the 60's. Any idea who did the song? Kind of a catchy tune.

anon154406
Post 4

Does anyone know how to do "the skate"? I can't find any website that tells you how it goes.

anon95172
Post 3

One of the most popular dances of the 60s was the jerk. And The Skate was also very popular.

ivanka
Post 1

The twist was a fun dance. Everybody would come alive.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email