Disco Dancing The Night Away

By Linda Speckhals
John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Source: (IMDb).
Disco music arose from various subcultures; it had origins in the dance parties thrown by the New York City underground gay community as well as in the R&B scene in Philadelphia from the end of the ‘60s to the early ‘70s. As it emerged, big-name R&B musicians like Stevie Wonder and Donna Summer started to incorporate disco into their music. Gloria Gaynor and Donna Summer were on the top of the charts with disco music by the mid-seventies. On August 28, 1976, Billboard launched the Disco Action Top 30 chart, and the first number-one song on the chart was the Bee Gees’ “You Should Be Dancing.” With the mainstream acceptance of disco music, disco dance moves also became popular and well known with the TV show Soul Train; on Soul Train, dancers demonstrated their best disco moves between two rows of dancers. And then, in 1977, Saturday Night Fever was released.


Disco dancing is all about the music. There are a few choreographed dances, like the Hustle, the Bus Stop, the Funky Chicken, and YMCA (which has more to it than the arm movements for the chorus). Here are two of these choreographed dances: