Home : Indroducing Partner Dancing : The Twist
The Twist & 60's Fad Dances
Although dancers no longer touched when dancing the Twist, it was still usual to dance with a partner while dancing it socially and the basic twisting of the hips technique came straight out of the Lindy Hop. Chubby Checker released the song 'The Twist' in 1959 and its world debut on the Dick Clark Show in August 1960 set the world a twistin'.
The Twist is so easy to do….just pretend to drop a cigarette stub on the ground, place the ball of your foot over this imaginary cigarette and twist it to and fro as if putting it out. At the same time place an imaginary bath towel behind your back and pull it from side to side as though drying your 'butt'. Hey Presto!! You're doing the Twist!
It was because The Twist was so simple that it became a worldwide craze - even across generation gaps. It caused people to dance alone with no partner contact and a whole generation effectively either forgot or never learned how to jive.
Various other fad dances added to the sixties disaffection with 'touch' partner dancing, including the 'Mashed Potato', the 'Monkey', the 'Swim', and the 'Funky Chicken'. But none more so than the Twist. There were other factors too, like the flower power Hippy culture, with its sexual liberation. Each of these new dances was demonstrated on teenage TV programmes such as Dick Clarke's 'American Band Stand' and promoted in a way that 1950's Jitterbug-Jive never was.