Hoochie coochie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The hoochie coochie was a sexually provocative belly dance term that originated at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876.[1] It became wildly popular during and after the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.[2] Described by the New York Journal in 1893 as "Neither dancing of the head nor the feet",[3] it was a dance performed by women of, or presented as having an, Eastern European gypsy heritage,[citation needed] often as part of travelling sideshows. Gooch, goochie or gootchie was apparently already a term in the American South for a woman's vagina,[citation needed] and hoochie coochie has been suggested as referring directly to sex.

The hoochie coochie replaced the much older can-can as the ribald dance of choice in New York dance halls by the 1890s.[4]

A carnival company recently rented a large open space in a New York town of 5000 population and opened up for business. The most lucrative part of their business is a “girl” show, too foul to write of. The barker in his endeavor to secure customers appeals to all that is opposed to decency, while the three main attractions emphasize his harangue by “hoochie-coochie” dances and other physical contortions.

The Social Hygiene Bulletin, Volume VII, No. 7, July 1920

Since the dance was performed by women, a goochie man, or hoochie coochie man, either watched them or ran the show. Alternatively, from the directly sexual meaning of goochie goochie, he was successful with women. This inspired the classic blues song "Hoochie Coochie Man", written by Willie Dixon for Muddy Waters, and covered by numerous musicians since. The dance was still popular at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition: the World's Fair of 1904, but had all but disappeared by the Second World War; the song was therefore harking back to an earlier "golden" era.

In popular culture[edit]



  1. ^ Chujoy, Anatole and P.W. Manchester. The Dance Encyclopedia. Revised and enlarged edition. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1967, p. 474.
  2. ^ Logoi.com
  3. ^ Stencell, A. W. Girl Show: Into the Canvas World of Bump and Grind ECW Press, 1999. ISBN 1550223712. p.605
  4. ^ Asbury, Herbert (1929). The Gangs of New York. New York: Knopf.