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Five Dance Crazes That Need to Come Back

Macarena

An example of a dance craze that can stay lost in the past.

 Wikipedia defines a “dance craze” (or as they call it, a “fad dance”) as a dance “characterized by a short burst of popularity.” They also mention “novelty dances,” which end up having a longer shelf life because of their quirkiness or nostalgic value. Well, Wikipedia is wrong, because most dances started out as “fad dances” in some way or another, and while these next five dances enjoyed a short burst of popularity in their heyday, they have great reasons to make comebacks and become regular parts of our nightlife repertoires.

#1 The Robot

The Robot has been a nerd staple for at least two generations now, but somewhere around the early 90s it fell out of fashion, and it’s been missed! Now that being a nerd is cool (right?) The Robot should be the dance everyone is trying to nail down.  Check out this totally  awesome 80s video which might be silly, but actually gives you a pretty good short instruction of how to do this butt-kickin, geektastic dance.

#2 The Twist

Despite the classic scene in Pulp Fiction where Uma Thurman and John Travolta twist for their trophy, The Twist never really came back into fashion, and that’s an outright shame. It’s a fun, energetic dance, that is great for your lat muscles, and a partner dance that doesn’t involve touching- a bonus for those that wish to get to know a stranger first before touching them, or just have tactile issues. No judgment!

#3 The Hand Jive

Popularized in the 1970s film Grease, this extremely simple, yet fun hand-motion based dance has faded into most people’s dim memories. The best reason to bring this one back is that it’s a great group dance to boogie to at weddings.  Forget the boring, monotonous, and overly complicated electric slide. The hand-jive is energetic, upbeat, and most importantly, simple to learn, which would be especially helpful for that one uncle that’s had a bit too much at the reception. You know the one.

#4 (C’Mon Ride It) The Train

Another potential group wedding dance, The Train is an improvement on the classic conga line in three ways: 1. You don’t have to touch the person’s hips in front of you in the line 2. The person behind you also will not be touching your hips and 3. You get to pull the imaginary cord to make the train engine sound every time the chorus goes “Toot toot!” That last part is the best part – believe it.

#5 The Waltz

Some might not realize the Waltz was a dance craze…in the 18th century. It started out as a peasant dance, because it was considered just too racy for the aristocrats (people whirled about and danced so close! The scandal!). It went through many permutations, and now there are numerous versions of the dance based on culture, type of music, and pace of the song. The Waltz is the ultimate in romantic dances: flowing, twirling, and light. It’s worth getting reacquainted with especially since you can Waltz to ANY song with a ¾ beat. Here’s a fun list. Did you know you could Waltz to Journey?

Ten Movies That Accidentally Teach You How to Dance

Ace Ventura shows you proper ballet turn out.

Ace Ventura shows you proper ballet turn out.

 Some movies are dance movies, with a capital “D.” These movies seek to illuminate the already shimmering world of dance, and bring new converts into the fold. Dirty Dancing captured many an imagination, and straightened many a frame after Patrick Swayze chastised, “Spaghetti Arms!” But for every Dirty Dancing, there are many non-dance focused films that actually snuck dance lessons into their scripts. Here are 10 great examples of these fun, accidental learning curves.

 

#10 Pulp Fiction

Dance: The Twist

 Tarantino is famously a musical director, and Pulp Fiction really put his vintage tastes on display. By the 90s, most people had totally forgotten The Twist, but seeing Uma Thurman and John Travolta torqueing their hips on the dance floor ignited a craze. Just by observing these two, you can get a pretty good idea of how to do the dance, and then realize what a workout it is for your lats!

#9 Hitch

Dance: Awkward Man Dance

 Will Smith’s legendary dance skills come into play in this charming romantic comedy when he tries to teach clueless bachelor Kevin James how to dance. While Smith gives a great, easy lesson about how to move if you just have no idea what to do, this movie also contains a hidden, more valuable gem: expressing yourself is the best dance move of all, no matter what anyone thinks.

#8 Grease

Dance: Hand Jive

 Really, the entire school dance scene in this film could be a lesson in how to provocatively partner dance. In fact, all of the moves these (supposedly) high school students do are extremely appropriate…for anywhere but in a high school dance. Nevertheless, one can’t help watching Olivia Newton-John and Travolta (again) without trying to mimic their motions. Generations of schoolgirls know the handjive just from watching this movie a thousand times.

#7 Addams Family Values

Dance: Ballroom/Tango

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbMq5d0UJgM

 A dark horse candidate for our list (see what I did there?), this sequel to the gleefully ghastly Addams Family was noteworthy for many reasons, but perhaps none so much as this excessively silly yet passionate dance between Gomez and Morticia. While many of these dance moves are, obviously, nigh impossible, there is actually a great amount of proper etiquette and technique present in this scene. Gomez invites Morticia onto the dance floor with impeccable style, their attitudes and facial expressions (not to mention their demeanor) fit perfectly with the amorous, antagonistic tango, and their frame is almost flawless! Plus they are aces at engaging with their audience, as any expert dancer would do.

#6 Moulin Rouge

Dance: Argentine Tango

 In a more realistic turn for the tango, Moulin Rouge includes a detailed scene that captures the perfect essence of the dance, along with most of the lovely steps as well. Moulin Rouge in general is a frenetic film that features many interesting dance lessons, if you pay close enough attention!

#5 Rocky Horror Picture Show

Dance: Time Warp

 In a film with cross-dressing aliens, a scantily clad Susan Sarandon, and shiny gold Speedos, who would have expected such a detailed dance lesson? But there it is, with diagrams and everything! No one can watch this scene and not know how to do the Time Warp afterwards. It’s just a jump to the left!

#4 Magic Mike

Dance: Hip-Hop/Manly Stripping

 If there’s any motto you can learn from these films, it’s that strippin’ ain’t easy. Now, while Channing Tatum in Magic Mike pulls off some moves that human beings probably shouldn’t be able to pull off, the more average, yet still athletic MConaughey gyrates, contorts, and shimmies in a way that could teach any man watching how to shake his stuff for his lover, or an adoring crowd.

#3 Death Proof

Dance: Lady Stripping

 Again Tarantino with his retro music, and extended dance scenes. And somehow, he provides a lap dance to end all lap dances. Any woman would be wise to watch this scene and take notes, as these moves are probably too hot even for the strip club, but can be toned down if you must use them out in public.

#2 James Bond films

Dance: Bellydancing

 Who knew that all these years, James Bond films were really trying to teach all of us to belly dance? Now, the technique these women show is not so easy to mimic, but it’s almost impossible not to try after watching them gyrate sexily for several minutes!

#1 Cinderella (or any film where they dance the Waltz)

Dance: Waltz

cinderelly

The Waltz is a surprisingly easy dance to learn, considering how hard it is to actually dance it in a modern ballroom. Since it is a traveling dance, it requires a much larger amount of room than most dance halls have nowadays, and an ability to navigate that many modern dancers don’t have developed. However, if you ever get the opportunity, you’ll probably know how to Waltz, if you watch this clip or any period film, because they’re always doing the basic box step, and almost nothing else! Simple, elegant, and impossibly romantic.