Disco Dancing The Night Away

By | January 23, 2022

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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:

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Source: (Pinterest).

The Funky Chicken

This one is a bit silly. The dance craze came about because of the song “Do the Funky Chicken” written and recorded by Rufus Thomas in 1969. Basically, you turn your arms into wings by balling your hands and placing them on the sides of your chest. Bend your elbows and place them on your ribcage so that you can flap your arms like wings. Once in position, you bob your head back and forth for four to eight beats and then flap your “wings.” Just to make it a little more complicated, you can add foot movements to the dance, perhaps imitating a chicken scratching the ground.