Dance Crazes of the 20th Century

Dance crazes are nothing new and folks have been getting their boogie on for many decades after the surge in popular music at the start of the 20th century. Recent disco floor favourites that still linger include the Macarena and Gangnam Style. As long as people feel the need to dance, new ways of getting funky will always come and go. Here are some of the most influential breakthrough crazes of the last century:

The Lindy Hop

You can still attend classes to learn this popular dance which first hit the streets of Harlem, New York during the 1930s. It inspired the later Jitterbug craze and took influences from classic dances such as the Charleston, the Foxtrot and tap dancing. America in the 1930s was still largely segregated in terms of race and the links with jazz music combined with European dance influences went a long way towards breaking down some of these racial barriers in society. It was a pretty wild and frenzied dance, although milder versions of it could be applied. It was a lot of fun and a huge break from the traditional and conservative dances that preceded it.

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The Bunny Hop

This is a famous dance craze that originated as a bit of fun at a high school in San Francisco in 1952. It was created to be a bit of an ice-breaker, mixing social dance but quickly became a full-on craze. It was based on a similar dance from Finland and dancers engage in a kind of conga line, holding the hips of the person in front of them. It was easy to learn and perform which might explain its huge popularity and the fact that wedding parties have never been the same since. For a Wedding DJ Gloucestershire, visit

The Twist

Beginning at the end of 1959 and carrying on through the swinging sixties, the twist was a colossal dance craze that took the world by storm. Conservative critics of the time argued that the dance was too provocative, but it was strong enough to last and inspire future crazes such as the Jerk, the Mashed Potato and the Funky Chicken. The move was spotted by Hank Ballard who saw some teenagers doing it in Florida. He then penned the famous song, later to be performed by Chubby Checker which was a huge hit and made the number spot in the charts in 1960.

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The Hustle

A dance that requires a partner, the Hustle was a combo of ballroom-inspired moves and disco music. It became a craze after a song of the same name was released by Van McCoy and the Soul City Swingers in 1975. At the peak of its popularity in 1977, the dance appeared in the iconic movie Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta. Velvet jumpsuit anyone?

The Moonwalk

Anyone who grew up in the 1980s and has subsequently attended a disco has attempted to do Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk move with mostly limited success. While not truly a dance, Michael Jackson did inspire a whole generation of dancers with his unique moves, stunning choreography and signature poses. Music videos of today have no doubt been inspired by the King of Pop and a whole generation of middle-aged people are still trying to moonwalk at wedding discos around the world!