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Dance Moves Through Time [Infographic]

There have been numerous dance moves through the decades originating from several countries, evolving and transforming into dancing we know today.

Dance Moves | Blackpool Grand

Did you know that the earliest archeological proof of dancing dates back 9,000 years ago in cave paintings in India? Dance has evolved and changed a lot throughout the centuries but certain things remain the same: it’s fun, engaging, and healthy!

1910s: Foxtrot

The birth of couple dancing, mainly through animal dances such as the famous Grizzly Bear.

  • Fun Fact: The dancers would yell out “It’s a bear!” as they imitated the movements of a dancing bear.

1920s: Charleston

Maybe the most famous dance of the 1920s, the Charleston can be danced either solo or with a partner.

  • Fun Fact: The Flappers, young women with bobbed hair and shorter dresses, took up the Charleston and helped spread its popularity.

1930s: The Lindy Hop

This style of Swing dancing is likely to have evolved from the Texas Rommy, the Breakaway, the Hop, and the Charleston.

  • Fun Fact: The music of the 1930s led the way to dance marathons, with people wanting a distraction from the Depression.

1940s: The Jitterbug

Associated with the East Coast Swing, Jive, and the Lindy Hop, the term Jitterbug encompasses different Swing dances.

  • Fun Fact: The term originated from how similar swing dancers looked compared to the jitters of alcoholics, seeming out of control.

1950s: The Hand Jive

Made famous due to Grease, the Hand Jive usually involves a simple jazz square foot movement with hand motions like the hitch hike move.

  • Fun Fact: The Hand Jive is typically associated with rhythm and blues and it was invented due to a crowded dancing space.

1960s: The Twist

The 1960s saw solo dancing reach a new level with the Twist. Without any standardised steps and with no hold, it’s simple and allows for individuality.

  • Fun Fact: Inspired by Rock ‘n’ Roll, it opened the way for dances like the Mashed Potato, the Funky Chicken, and the Pony.

1970s: The Hustle

This term refers to several Disco dances, becoming popular due to John Travolta’s Saturday Night Fever (1977).

  • Fun Fact: The early Hustle was invented by Puerto Rican teenagers, as Puerto Rican Elders objected to the grinding slow dance called 500.

1980s: The Moonwalk

This Popping move became popular when Michael Jackson included it in Billie Jean. It includes moving backward while seeming to walk forwards.

  • Fun Fact: The Moonwalk can be traced back to 1932 with Cab Calloway, who said the move used to be called The Buzz.

1990s: The Macarena

Created by Los Del Río for their 1993 album A mí me gusta, it’s still a very popular dance move in weddings and similar events.

  • Fun Fact: The song got its name from the “quarter” in Seville, Spain of the same name.

2000s: Krump

Popular in the early 2000s, Krumping is a street dance with three main moves: armswings, stomps, and chestpops.

  • Fun Fact: According to Dave Chapelle’s documentary Rize, this dance was a great way for many to escape gang lives and to express themselves in a nonviolent way.

2010s: Gangnam Style

Made popular in 2012 by K-pop musician Psy, Gangnam Style is a Korean neologism referring to lifestyle in the Gangnam District of Seoul.

  • Fun Fact: This single was the first video to reach one billion views on YouTube.