Looking for an idea for your next dance recital? Do a fifties theme and have a lot of fun with your students! There are many different dance styles during the 50s, but here we list our top favorites.
The Swing – One of the most popular dance steps still famous during the 1950’s. This style requires partners to swing with one another in a rhythm similar to the jitterbug. It is still widely practiced today which allows for a lot of good choreography ideas.
The Bop – The Bop, also known as boppin’, is normally a solo dance step, though it can work to incorporate more for a recital. Boppin’ uses a lot on heel and toe tapping, and normally is danced with blues or rockabilly music from the 50s. Your dancers can alternate between dancing and tapping.
The Stroll- This popular line dance is another good 50s hit. Have your dancers face each other and move with the music, doing more elaborate dances in between the rows of dancing. A good song to use would be “The Stroll” by The Diamonds.
The Hand Jive – This 50s dance works well with rock and roll or the rhythm and blues music of the 1950s. This style involves a lot of hand moves and claps, as well as sometimes imitating the percussion instruments of the movies. This dance is sure to be fun for dancing students due to the fun thigh slapping, fist pounding, and elbow touching moves. If you are looking for inspiration for your choreography, check out the movie Grease’s musical display of the song “Born to Hand Jive”.
The Cha Cha – This dance is named after its Cuban music under the same name. Use classic 50s Cuban music to make the dance more authentic. This is a fun dance that shows a lot of energy with its steady beat.
Rock and Roll – Don’t forget classic rock and roll dancing, made famous during the 50s. Put on some Elvis songs and do the jailhouse rock. Partners no longer had to formerly dance together, but could dance in more twists and have choreographed dance moves similar to the Lindy Hop.
The Madison – The Madison is a line dance made popular in the later 50s. It features a regular pattern of going back and forth, along with steps that are called out by a cuer. A good example of the Madison is seen on the movie Hairspray.
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