Novelty and fad dances
This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Novelty and fad dances are dances which are typically characterized by a short burst of popularity. Some of them may get longer-lasting life. They are also called dance fads or dance crazes.
This section does not cite any sources. (January 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
As the pop music market exploded in the late 1950s, dance fads were commercialized and exploited. From the 1950s to the 1970s, new dance fads appeared almost every week. Many were popularized (or commercialized) versions of new styles or steps created by African-American dancers who frequented the clubs and discothèques in major U.S. cities like New York, Philadelphia and Detroit. Among these were the Madison, "The Swim", the "Mashed Potato", "The Twist", "The Frug" (pronounced //), "The Watusi", "The Shake" and "The Hitch hike". Many 1950s and 1960s dance crazes had animal names, including "The Chicken" (not to be confused with the Chicken Dance), "The Pony" and "The Dog".
In 1965, the Mexican-American group Cannibal and the Headhunters had a hit with the 1962 Chris Kenner song Land of a Thousand Dances which included the names of such dances. One list of Fad Dances compiled in 1971 named over 90 dances. Standardized versions of dance moves were published in dance and teen magazines, often choreographed to popular songs. Songs such as "The Loco-Motion" were specifically written with the intention of creating a new dance and many more pop hits, such as "Mashed Potato Time" by Dee Dee Sharp, were written to cash in on recent successful novelties.
In the early 1970s the disco spawned a succession of dance fads including the Bump, the Hustle, and the YMCA. This continued in the 1980s with the popular song "Walk like an Egyptian", in the 1990s with the "Macarena", in the 2000s with "The Ketchup Song" and in the 2010s with "Gangnam Style". Contemporary sources for dance crazes include music videos and movies.
There are fad dances which are meant to be danced individually as solo, others are partner dances, and yet others are danced in groups. Some of them were of freestyle type, i.e., there were no particular step patterns and they were famed by the style of the dance movement (Twist, Shake, Swim, Pony, Hitch hike). Only some have continued to the present day, sometimes only as the name of a step (Suzie Q, Shimmy) or of a style (Mashed Potato) in a recognized dance. Fad dances are in fashion at the time of their popularity. They come to be associated with a specific time period, and can evoke particular forms of nostalgia when revived.
Notable novelty and fad dances
|1909||The Grizzly Bear|
|1937||The Lambeth Walk|
|1961||The Chicken Walk|
|1962||The Gravy (On My Mashed Potato)|
|1962||The Monster Mash|
|1976||Car Wash-Rose Royce|
|1977||The Running Man|
|1978||Y.M.C.A.-The Village People|
|1981||Agadoo (aka Agadou)|
|1981||Superman (aka Gioca Jouer)|
|1982||The Safety-Men Without Hats|
|1986||Wig Wam Bam|
|1990s||The Carlton-Alfonso Riberio|
|1990||Boot Scootin' Boogie|
|1990||Do the Bartman-Nancy Cartwright|
|1990||The Humpty-Digital Underground|
|1991||The Urkel-Jaleel White|
|1992||Achy Breaky Heart (Line dance)-Billy Ray Cyrus|
|1992; 1994; 1996||Macarena-Los del Rio|
|1996||Tic, Tic Tac|
|1998||La Bomba (not to be confused with Bomba)-Azul Azul|
|1998||The Roger Rabbit|
|2000||Cha Cha Slide-DJ Casper|
|2002||The Ketchup Song-Las Ketchup|
|2004||Lean Back-Terror Squad|
|2005||Letkajenkka (aka Letkajenka, Letkiss, Letka-Enka)|
|2006||Chicken Noodle Soup-Webstar|
|2006||Lean wit It, Rock wit It (aka Snap dance)-Dem Franchize Boyz|
|2006||Shoulder Lean-Young Dro|
|2007||Crank That-Soulja Boy|
|2008||Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)-Beyonce|
|2009||Stanky Legg-GS Boyz|
|2011||The Creep-The Lonely Island|
|2015||Hit the Quan-iLoveMemphis|
|2015||Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)-Silento|
- Outline of dance for a list of general dance topics.
- Summer hit
- List of specific dances for a general, noncategorized index of dances
- Encyclopedia of Social Dance. Albert and Josephine Butler. 1971 & 1975. Albert Butler Ballroom Dance Service. New York, NY. Table of Contents in 1971 edition.
- Streetswing.com's Dance History Archives hosts a large information base about more than thousand dances.
- Dance Crazes of the 50s & 60s - by Dr. Frank Hoffmann
- sixtiescity - 60s Dance and Dance Crazes
- Go-Go Dancing - Fad and Novelty Dances from the 1960s at Little Miss Go-Go!