Popular Dances of the Past, Present, and Future

Jul 9, 2023 Uncategorized

popular dances

Dance fads aren’t always as elegant or timeless as the ballet, but they can still inspire a whirlwind craze that lasts months or even years. They’ve fueled cultural revolutions and shocked genteel society. They’ve also spawned new genres of music, influenced film and television, and thrilled young people.

Some fads simmered in underground scenes for years before being introduced to the masses by a star, a band, or a song. Others, like the limbo and the Watusi, have very dark origins. The limbo, for example, was a slave era dance that required participants to bend over backward while gliding forward under an ever-sinking bar. It became a modern craze after Chubby Checker recorded his hit “Limbo Rock.”

The ’50s saw the Jitterbug, a spin-off of both swing and Lindy hop, become popular, thanks in part to the movie “Cab Calloway’s Jitterbug Party.” The ’60s brought the Twist to the forefront, a solo dance wherein no partner was needed. And the ’70s gave us disco, the Bump, and the Y.M.C.A.

Line dancing made a comeback in the ’80s with dances such as the Madison and the Pony. But it was the ’90s when the MC-directed dance crazes really took off, starting with the Electric Slide and gaining momentum in 1996 with the song “Macarena.” Today, you’ll see people of all ages dancing in unison to songs such as the Cha-Cha Slide at wedding receptions, workout classes, birthday parties, and other celebrations.