The Batusi is performed by making a horizontal V-sign with one's index and middle fingers of both hands, and drawing them across in front of the eyes, away from the center of the face simultaneously, with the eyes roughly between the fingers. This is performed in time with the music, and is improved upon by continuing to dance with the lower half of the body, simultaneously.
There are conflicting reports as to who invented the dance, which became a national craze on the dance scene. One account is that it was invented by dance instructor Arthur Murray for Batman, and was supposedly first performed at a cocktail party at a New York City discothèque, Harlow's. But in a 2005 Wizard magazine interview, Adam West claims credit for creating the Batusi's unique moves.
The Batusi was seen in two episodes of the original Batman TV series. The first, "Hi Diddle Riddle," was the series' first episode and originally aired January 12, 1966. The second, "The Pharaoh's in a Rut," was the 28th episode and originally aired April 14, 1966.
It has reappeared in many television shows, including two episodes of The Simpsons, Xena: Warrior Princess, and Everybody Loves Raymond, and Shaggy refers to the dance in an episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! It has also been in movies such as Pulp Fiction, Antz, and Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt.
The cover of the DC comic Solo #7 featured a drawing of Wonder Girl in mid-Batusi. The cover (by writer/artist Mike Allred) was originally meant to be one of the Adam West TV Batman in the same pose. However, due to unspecified tensions regarding DC's relationship with the company that produced the 1960s TV show, Allred was forced to submit a different cover for the issue.
- "Dance & Dancing - The Batusi (Batman)". TV Acres. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
- "Wizard Entertainment". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
- "Mr. Plow" (originally aired November 19, 1992)
- "My Mother the Carjacker" (originally aired November 9, 2003)
- "Lifeblood" (originally aired March 13, 2000)
- "Robert's Wedding" (originally aired May 19, 2003)
- "Decoy for a Dognapper" (originally aired October 11, 1969)
- "Mike Allred explains the decision to change the "Batusi Batman" cover". Comicscommunity.com. Retrieved 2010-12-25.