Dance is one of humanity’s most enduring art forms, but its popularity has also come in waves. The Renaissance, post-French Revolution and Elizabethan era, Prohibition, Ragtime and even WW2 brought about a variety of new styles.
In the modern era, technological advances helped fads spread faster and farther than ever before. The rise of radio, film and the Internet made it possible for dancing to become a global phenomenon. Dance fads have spawned entire genres, influenced music and films, challenged social norms and traditions, horrified genteel society, and thrilled young people.
From the latin-clave beat powered one hit wonder Macarena to the country line dancing sensation that is The Electric Slide, there are many different dance crazes to enjoy today. While the Cha-Cha Slide may be one of the most popular of recent times, its origins go back as far as the 18th century.
The jitterbug, developed in African American juke joints during Prohibition, was a wild, explosive couples dance. It used the Lindy Hop as a base and then added lifts, flips and other death-defying aerials.
The foxtrot, named for Vaudeville performer Harry Fox, had its heyday in the 1920s. This dance borrowed European ballroom steps and fitted them to jazz rhythms. It was a major force behind the development of swing dancing. During this era, Benny Goodman and other big band artists popularized the dance by playing swing music. Swing dancing is still popular to this day.