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The jerk was a popular or fad dance in the 1960s.
The jerk is similar to the monkey. The arms move and hands move as if conducting. The wrists cross in front of the chest and then sweep out in time, or at half time, with the music. The hands are up at face level. On count 1, the outward sweep, the hands are quickly pushed out, giving the jerky motion. For a little more style, the fingers may be snapped on the two outward movements—the first and third counts of the hand motion.
Songs featuring or suggesting the dance
Released as a single in 1964 on the Money record label, "The Jerk" was a hit for the Los Angeles band the Larks. In the same year, the Miracles wrote and recorded "Come on Do the Jerk". The Capitols performed a 1966 hit song called "Cool Jerk", written to capitalize on the dance's popularity. The song has been covered by several bands, including the Go-Go's. The band Rocket from the Crypt recorded the song "When in Rome, Do the Jerk" in 1998 as a homage to the dance.
Bobby Fuller referenced this dance in his song, "Jenny Lee (Do The Jerk With Me)".