The dance style originated in the 1950s or 1960s at Jamaican dance halls, where ska music was played.Britishmods and skinheads of the 1960s adopted these types of dances and altered them. The dancing style was revived during the 1970s and 1980s 2 Tone era, and has been adopted by some individuals in the hardcore punk subculture.
Originally, skanking consisted of a “running man” motion of the legs to the beat while alternating bent-elbow fist-punches, left and right. Over time, however, variations have emerged across the musical world. The punk version features a sharp striking out look with the arms, and is sometimes used in moshing to knock around others doing the same.