While there are many dances to be enjoyed, a few are more popular than others. One example is South Korean producer PSY’s Gangnam Style which racked up over a billion views on YouTube. This fun and goofy hopping dance has become a cultural phenomenon.
A less recognizable popular dance is the polka, which is done with couples and requires a certain amount of energy to do well. Despite its somewhat dry origins, this duple-meter round dance has become a staple of most music and almost every manual published after 1845 contained instructions for the polka.
The roaring 20s weren’t called that for no reason-they’re known for the high-energy dancing that came with it. In fact, dance was a popular pastime that allowed people to express themselves and relieve the stress of a difficult decade. The Cotton Club and other clubs provided a showcase for African American artists who would perform a variety of fast, energetic styles like the Foxtrot, Charleston and even the mambo.
While the jitterbug and waltz were wildly popular during the era, the boogie woogie, rock and roll, and modern jazz dances were the hip choices for young people who wanted to get into the groove and shake their groove thing. The ’40s saw the emergence of styles like Jookin’, which was developed in Memphis, and a more elegant form of dancing known as the lindy hop. This high-energy dance is characterized by its fast footwork and synchopated beats that resembles a foxtrot.