|Look up bunny hug in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
The bunny hug was a dancing style performed by young people, in the early 20th century. It is thought to have originated in San Francisco, California in the Barbary Coast dance halls along with the Texas Tommy, turkey trot, and grizzly bear.
Noble Sissle has been quoted as saying that W.C. Handy's song "The Memphis Blues" inspired Vernon Castle to create the dance when he heard James Reese Europe play the Memphis blues and Castle liked the rhythm. Apparently Castle later renamed the Bunny Hug the Fox-trot, hoping to convince the public that he invented the Foxtrot dance.
The term "bunny hug" is also used in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan to refer to hooded sweatshirts or 'hoodies'. And in 2016 a website launched to promote and preserve this cultural symbol at: https://www.bunnyhugstore.com
For an excellent example of this dance, see Barbara Boylan and Bobby Burgess on The Lawrence Welk Show episode "Strike up the Band", recorded in 1964.