Frug (dance)

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The Frug (/frʌɡ/[1] or /frug/[citation needed]) was a dance craze from the mid-1960s, which included vigorous dance to pop music.[2] It evolved from another dance of the era, the Chicken. The Chicken, which featured lateral body movements, was used primarily as a change of pace step while doing the Twist. As young dancers grew more tired they would do less work, moving only their hips while standing in place. They then started making up arm movements for the dance, which prompted the birth of the Swim, the Monkey, the Dog, the Watusi, the Mashed Potato, and the Jerk. The Frug is sometimes referred to as the Surf, Big Bea, and the Thunderbird.[3][4]

In popular culture[edit]

The movie Sweet Charity (1969) contains a number called "The Rich Man's Frug", a wildly energetic dance number comprising three "movements" ("The Aloof", "The Heavyweight" and "The Big Finish") that showcases director Bob Fosse's distinctive choreography style, particularly his creative use of unusual poses, gestures, and arm movements. The evolution of Frug also signified maturation of theatricality in Fosse's choreography, departing regimentation towards visual dissonance, where every dancer could perform their own moves.[5][6]

In 1964, in "In the Red Light: A History of the Republican Convention in 1964," published in the November 1964 issue of Esquire, Norman Mailer wrote: "The American mind had gone from Hawthorne and Emerson to the Frug, the Bounce, and 'Walking the Dog', from The Flowering of New England to the cerebrality of professional football in which a quarterback must have not only heart, courage, strength and grace but a mind like an I.B.M. computer." The piece is collected in Mailer's Cannibals and Christians (1966).


  1. ^ Oxford dictionary
  2. ^ Stevenson, Angus; Waite, Maurice (18 August 2011). Concise Oxford English Dictionary: Book & CD-ROM Set. Oxford University Press. pp. 572–. ISBN 978-0-19-960110-3.
  3. ^ Kassing, Gayle (2007). History of Dance: An Interactive Arts Approach. Human Kinetics. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-7360-6035-6.
  4. ^ Smith, Karen Lynn (2010). Popular Dance: From Ballroom to Hip-hop. Infobase Publishing. pp. 137–. ISBN 978-1-4381-3476-5.
  5. ^ Stiehl, Pamyla Alayne (2008). The 'Dansical': American Musical Theatre Reconfigured as a Choreographer's Expression and Domain. ProQuest. pp. 177–. ISBN 978-0-549-50848-9.
  6. ^ Gottfried, Martin (2003). All His Jazz: The Life & Death of Bob Fosse. Da Capo Press. pp. 181–. ISBN 978-0-306-81284-2.