From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Waack/Punk is a form of dance created in the LGBT clubs of Los Angeles,[1][2] during the 1970s disco era.[3] This dance style was named punking because "punk" was a derogatory term for gay men in the 70s. Naming the style punking was a way of turning this negative term into something positive. A "whack" was a specific movement within the punking style. Although the heterosexual dance community took part in punking, they did not want to associate themselves with the negative, violent, and sexual connotations of name and therefore called the dance genre "waackin". Later, Jeffery Daniel added the "g" to waackin to make it "waacking".[4]

Waacking consists of moving the arms to the music beat,[5][6] typically in a movement of the arms over and behind the shoulder. Waacking also contains other elements such as posing and footwork. Waacking puts a strong emphasis on musicality and interpretation of the music and its rhythm. It also took inspiration stylistically from movie stars such as Lauren Bacall, Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis and James Dean.[1]

Waacking was popularized by Soul Train and influenced the creation of Outrageous Waacking Dancers, a Los Angeles-based waacking dance group.[5][7] Waacking gained renewed attention through the American TV series So You Think You Can Dance in 2011[2] when a dance routine was choreographed by Kumari Suraj.[2]

The typical music of choice for Waacking is 1970s Disco.[8] The originators of Waacking were said to have danced to underground Disco music and records imported from various European countries.

The dance has been incorporated by dance programs including the Department for Theatre and Dance at University of South Carolina.[3]

The style of dance is famously performed by the character Garnet in the cartoon show Steven Universe as a catalyst for many of her magical powers, including summoning magical weapons and fusing with other characters.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Edrich, Carole. The Joy of Dance: For Those Who Have Rhythm in Their Feet. Summersdale Publishers.
  2. ^ a b c McKay, Mary Jayne (2011-08-04). ""So You Think You Can Dance" introduces "waacking"". cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2012-12-08.
  3. ^ a b Overstreet, Amy (November 2012). "USC Dance Students Present Original Choreography in Fragments of Light". free-times.com. Retrieved 2012-12-08.
  4. ^ Kumari Suraj (2016-07-03), EP 13 | WHAT IS WAACKING? | History of Punking, Whacking, Waacking 1970-2003 | PT 1 | #KUMARISWORLD, retrieved 2017-03-03
  5. ^ a b "Waacking - What is "waacking"?". toomuchflavour.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-08.
  6. ^ Dave (2010-12-16). "What is waacking: Aus Ninja (Imperial House of Waacking on the differences between waacking and vogue". toomuchflavour.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-08.
  7. ^ Outrageous Waack, Ebony, August 1978, p. 64-66.
  8. ^ Fogarty, Mary. "Waacking, (Punking), Recycling, Schooling: Disco Dance on the Move". The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  9. ^ "I am Rebecca Sugar, creator of Steven Universe, and former Adventure Time storyboarder, AMA!". Interviewly. Retrieved 2016-08-22.

External links[edit]