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Dance History Archives
February 24, 2006 6:46 AM   Subscribe

I'm no dancer, but I'm fascinated by the Dance History Archives. The index of dance styles is comprehensive, and the individual entries provide everything from history to related music links. (Jitterbug, May Pole, The Watusi) There's a short glossary, an index of dancers, a voluptuous section on burlesque (including some great NSFW pictures), an archive of posters (Josephine Baker!), and so much more. The list of Dancer Related Celebrities is pretty extensive (Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth), although there's no Jennifer Grey, so I guess Baby got put in a corner after all.
posted by OmieWise (17 comments total)

 
It's an ugly website, though.
posted by OmieWise at 6:46 AM on February 24, 2006


Wow, that IS comprehensive. (No design points, though, I agree!)

Good section on jitterbug -- and for those who are hep to the jive, also check out Yehoodi for information on the current scene.
posted by Miko at 6:56 AM on February 24, 2006


The origins and inter-relationships of "Hootchy-Kootchy" made my day.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:58 AM on February 24, 2006


Boo!

*Throws popcorn at OmieWise for his Dirty Dancing reference*

(Otherwise, this is pretty cool post. I thought I knew a lot of dances, but now, not so much.)
posted by dios at 7:42 AM on February 24, 2006


Also, I wonder why they don't have "ass-shaking" listed as a dance style, or whatever you call it that hip-hop dancers of the female persuasion do when they thrust their hips and shake their butts like they are riding a... erm... pogo stick.
posted by dios at 7:44 AM on February 24, 2006


What a cool FPP OmieWise, thank you. It is truly an ugly website, what a pity, the info/cross referencing info is very interesting.
posted by nickyskye at 7:47 AM on February 24, 2006


No listing for the Batusi< ?a>?
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:52 AM on February 24, 2006


Eurgh. Cleanup. Sorry.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:52 AM on February 24, 2006


I've been using this site regularly. Why?

Well (self-link) …

Seriously, anything that lists the hamster dance is really making an effort at being as complete as possible.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:20 AM on February 24, 2006


that hip-hop dancers of the female persuasion do when they thrust their hips and shake their butts like they are riding a... erm... pogo stick.

I think that's called "wining".
posted by Miko at 8:36 AM on February 24, 2006


Cool, Astro Zombie, but if that's the reason we haven't seen one of the Dirtiest Things In The World in the last couple weeks then I will have to disapprove.
/greedy
posted by If I Had An Anus at 8:43 AM on February 24, 2006


I'm a blog slut, just going from one to another without a care, getting cheap thrills where I can.

Anyway, taught myself the Bossa Nova the other night. Highly recommend it. Great dance, surprised it only found limited popularity in the Sixties.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:08 AM on February 24, 2006


Miko >>> "I think that's called 'wining'."

No, wining is when you're grinding with another person. No idea what the booty shake is called. Booty bouncing? Masturbation material for guys who aren't gonna get any?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:12 AM on February 24, 2006


Wining used to be called the Hully Gully. And wasn't it recently called The Freak? I think in Baltimore it was called the Bodie Green.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:48 AM on February 24, 2006


Thanks -- you're my hero, OmieWise. I've been mildly obsessed with 60s dance fads since I first heard the Cannibal & the Headhunters version of "Land of 1,000 Dances" and decided it was the best song ever, so this should keep me busy for a while.

The entry on the Monkey gave me a forehead-slapping moment this morning:
What was leading the way for these dances you ask, the answer is "SAND." Surfing was becoming extremely popular with the young and sand was replacing the dance floors. This sand would prove the death kill to any of the prior dances that required spinning or traveling while promoting stationary dances such as the Twist, Clam, Surf, Watusi, Frug and Monkey. These dancers could basically just stand in place in the sand and do the dances.
This would probably have been obvious to me if I had ever seen a Frankie and Annette movie.

On a related note, last year I skimmed through an academic book called Chicago Soul (Robert Pruter, 1991) which includes a chapter called "Chicago Black Dance," a photocopy of which happens to be in my desk here at work. I loved reading this:
By far the most knowledgeable and perceptive of the popular dance authorities was motion picture director John Waters. In his brilliant film Hairspray (1988), he recreated with remarkable accuracy many of the most popular black dances of the early sixties, notably the Madison, Dog, Roach, and Bird. The film, as no written account can, takes one into the world of early 1960s teenage dance. A careful viewing of Hairspray will give one an appreciation of the dances that are discussed in this chapter.
Finally, I just want to recommend the Ace Records "Land of 1,000 Dances" compilation series to anyone that's looking for 60s dance music on CD. I'd provide a better link, but their site seems to be on the fritz right now.
posted by cobra libre at 10:53 AM on February 24, 2006


Oh, and Astro Zombie, you're also my hero.
posted by cobra libre at 10:56 AM on February 24, 2006


Well, you know, John Waters is from Baltimore; I'm from Baltimore...I'm being deliberately vague in the hope that you'll come to some kind of erroneous conclusion about some kind of relationship between him and me.
posted by OmieWise at 11:17 AM on February 24, 2006


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