Changing times shape new perspectives on motion
Photo courtesy of DANGEROUSLEE.BIZ
by TIFFANY LIU
Leaving a mark on social history, some exceptionally iconic dance moves are still remembered long after they go out of style.
What people looked for in an iconic dance move in the 1920s is not what made another trendy in the 2000s.
Going back into the Roaring ’20s, the dance prevalent in the ballroom was the famous arm swinging Charleston. This fast-paced dance became a crowd pleaser after the song “The Charleston” appeared in the Broadway musical Runnin’Wild, according to history1900s.about.com.
Inspired by the Charleston, the Lindy Hop was a wild swing dance that blended African and European cultures, according to lindycirlce.com. Especially popular among Flappers, young middle-class women with cropped hair and short dresses, the dance also provided an escape for people after the devastating stock market crash.
Similar to one of Elvis Presley’s classic moves of the 1950s, the Twist “shook” things up by becoming the 1960s first worldwide Rock n’ Roll dance craze. According to the60sofficialsite.com, it was very popular, even though the movements were considered too suggestive by some.
An inspiration to dance teams and competitions, the Madison was a popular line dance that continues to appear in the Broadway musical Hairspray. Its main goal was to liberate and recreate the way the world danced because of the period of civil unrest during the 1950s-60s when the nation’s youth sought comfort in dance.
Like a sleek sports car, the Hustle was a flashy, fast-paced partner dance that dominated discos during the 1970s according to the article “What is Hustle?” on swingshoes.net. Associated with fun times and popular because of its simple steps, the dance included many twirls and quick movements that left an impact on the audience.
Highly regarded as one of the most unique dances, the Moonwalk, made trendy by Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, in 1983 according to the article “Revisiting Michael Jackson’s First Moonwalk” on craveonline.com, has made one of the biggest impacts on the world. Strolling backwards while making the illusion of moving forwards, the dance has mesmerized and captured attention around the world.
Causing over 50,000 fans to boogie during a Yankees game, the groovy single “Macarena” by Spanish duo Los del Rio introduced the dance that became the biggest trend in the 1990s according to macarena.com. Loved for its appeal that reached a diverse audience, the dance was seen in clubs all over America as the catchy tune played.
When trendy dance moves are mentioned, the Cha-Cha Slide is one of the most famous, as it can be heard at school proms, dance clubs, and many other celebrations, according to the article “National Line Dance Week: How to Do the Cha-Cha Slide” by Britt Bickel. Originally created as an aerobic workout by DJ Casper in 1996, it was formally released in an album in 2000 and quickly soared to new heights of popularity because of its simple catchy moves.
Arriving from South Korea in 2012, the Gangnam Style hip-hop move was introduced by the artist PSY. Clad in a classic black suit, PSY demonstrates the trendy horse-riding motion in his video “Gangnam Style,” with over 2.5 billion views on Youtube.
From the 1920s when people broke into the Charleston and swing dance to forget about stock prices and stress to 2012 where the internet popularized the famous horse dance, perceptions about what makes a dance trendy may have changed, but the beat goes on.