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Jacking, Jackin’ or the jack, is a freestyle dance move in which the dancer ripples his or her torso back and forth in an undulating motion. It was created within the context of Chicago house music in the 1980s.[1]


Simon Reynolds has argued that just as house music evolved from disco music, jacking evolved from the expressiveness of disco dancing.[1] Even more than disco, house music endorsed an “abandonment of subjectivity and self-will”[1], promoting the ecstasy of being enthralled with the beat. He sees jacking as a reflection of this abandonment of subjectivity:

“In disco, dance had gradually shed its role as courtship ritual and opened up into unpaired freestyle self-expression. Jacking took this to the next stage, replacing pelvic thrust and booty shake with a whole-body frenzy of polymorphously perverse tics and convulsive pogo-ing.” (Simon Reynolds: Generation Ecstasy, 1999, p. 29)[1]

“Jackin’ house” as a style of music[edit]

The term “jacking”, “jackin’” or “jack” also found its way into numerous the titles of early house music records, such as the “Jack Trax” EP by Chip E. (1985), “Jack’n the House” (1985) by Farley “Jackmaster” Funk (1985) or “Jack Your Body” by Steve “Silk” Hurley (1986). By this, the term was not only associated with a certain dance style, but also with a certain, particularly percussive style of Chicago house music that can be referred to as “jackin’ house”.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d Reynolds, Simon (1999). Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of House Music and Rave Culture. Routledge. pp. 27–31.

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