Dances go through phases of popularity. Oftentimes, dance fads have a short lifespan but others like the Twist or the Hokey Pokey have gone on to become iconic in their own right. Regardless of whether they’re short-lived or not, popular dances are always fun to watch and learn.
Rock ’n’ roll and the subsequent rock music era of the 1950s brought a new youth culture with it. Gone were the underground ballrooms and cigarette-smoke jazz clubs of the prohibition era, now kids could dance in school auditoriums and municipal theaters. A lot of different dances came out of this era, but none were as popular as The Twist. Made famous by Chubby Checker on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, this deceptively simple dance incorporated just enough gyration to shock parents of the time.
The 1950s also saw the birth of Rhythm and Blues. This style of music influenced many of the dances popular in that decade. The Stroll emerged from the early Rhythm and Blues phase and is still danced at some events today.
During the 1960s Hip Hop became popular, inspiring a whole new generation to move. This style of dancing was more social, light-hearted and less competitive than Breaking and allowed people to express themselves with their own unique style.
Other popular dances of the era included the Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing and Jitterbug. These swing dances were easier to learn than the more complicated ballroom waltz and therefore became more accessible to younger dancers.