50’s Dance Steps to Teach Your Students

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- Students will have a lot of fun with swing dancing. Although swing originated from the 1920s, the Lindy Hop was still a popular dance in the 1950s. Swing dancing features the combinations or triple steps and a delayed approach to rhytmic timing.

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. Be sure to get the right 50’s poodle skirts to complete the dance.

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 – Rock and Roll dance is very athletic and originated from the Lindy Hop. Rock and Roll is choreographed, unlike the Lindy Hop, and is a great idea for a performance piece. This acrobatic style can work for all girl groups or couples. Use Rock-And-Roll music and let your dancers have fun.

The Madison – The Madison dance was made popular in the late 1950s to mid 1960s. This line dance works well with recitals because of the regular back-and-forth patterns. Look for examples of this style and music inspiration with the movie Hairspray.

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