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September 19

Conway Twitty, Chubby Checker and Dick Clark doing "the Twist".

"The Twist" ushered in a whole decade of dance crazes including the 'shrug,' the 'jerk,' the 'mashed potato,' and the 'pony.'

Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-126067

1960: The Dance Craze Is On
“The Twist” tops the charts
Chubby Checker’s version of this song started a dance revolution. Kids everywhere were dancing the Twist’s signature moves: swiveling hips, stretching out arms, lifting one foot off the floor every now and then. Though the dance was considered fairly provocative, the song’s ascent drove the popularity of the Twist and made it mainstream.

Dance crazes were nothing new: for example, in the 15th century, noblemen and women went crazy for the minuet, while in the 1930s, everybody was doing the jitterbug. Basically, anytime people gather to dance, a new fad could be spawned. Think about that next time you’re dancing with your pals—maybe you will invent the next Mashed Potato or Moonwalk!
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