The Twist is 50 years old this year and in celebration of the anniversary of this dance craze LMM bring you the top ten dance crazes of all time (in no particular order!) NB.Note to DJs…many of these songs should not be played ever as they induce spontaneous and quite ridiculous dance moves in an audience.
Its the grandaddy of them all.Hard to believe but before the Twist hit the charts back in 1961 couples always danced together often in a formal routines.The twist gained popularity in venues like the Peppermint Lounge in New York and after being taken up by celebs crossed the Atlantic.
2.The Birdie Song
Beloved by 8 year olds and 80 year olds The Birdie song is still a favourite at both kids parties and old age pensioners events.
We should simply say Aga Don’t to Aga Do the Black Lace monstrosity which gets played in cheesy seaside fun bars at all inclusive resorts to this day.
Black Laces second appearance on the chart.Superman (for those who dont know) has instructions for various things the dance floor should do….kind of like Simple Simon says. To see a massive night club dancefloor following these instructions to the letter as I had the misfortune to see back in the 80s is a thing of wonder.Scary and makes you realise that humans will do just about anything en masse if an authorative voice (or a bloke in oversized specs) tells them to.
With a vaguely Latino beat this is the dance beloved of saucy aunts and girls out on the town.Its surprisingly popular in Eastern Europe and Brazil as we found out when one of our LMM DJs played it at a London mid week club night aimed at these nationalities.
From the 1920s and conjuring up images of flapper girls and the jazz age its the great,great gandaddy of them all.
7.Cha Cha Slide
DJ Casper and his cha cha slide.The first time the LMM team saw a room moving in unison to this track was in Middlesborough Jumpin Jacks just before Middlesborough Walkabout opened.We were searching for DJs in the area and the DJ in Jumpin Jacks played this tune several months before it landed on UK shores.We were pretty impressed that he had taught the whole club the dance moves.It was cheesier than cheddar but in a good way.
8.Oops Upside Your Head
Whoever first decided to sit down and row to this pretty average funk song was a genius.Its meant that Oops Upside Your Head has remained in the publics minds long after the Gap Band are largely forgotten.
9.The Music Man
From the kings of the bad dance,Black Lace,The Music Man has its roots in a folk song dating back to the 1800s. Still popular at kids discos (and with pensioners!)
Play this song and the dancefloor finds it hard to resist doing the YMCA bit.Its drilled into us from an early age like an essential part of our heritage despite it being about the New York bath house scene in the 70s.
So there we have it.
The LMM top ten dance crazes.
Of course there are many more from the Loco Motion to the Mashed Potatoe,Voguing to Single Ladies (put a ring on it.) Feel free to add to the list if you are in the mood.