We have highlighted 20 artists and groups that were created in the 1950s and 60s:
Fred Astaire, Chubby Checker, Danny & The Juniors, Guillermo Del Toro, Diana Divine, Bob Fosse, Bobby Freeman, Annette Funicello, Jerry Lewis, Marvin Gaye, RJ & The Del Guapos, Renata & Samuel, Ginger Rodgers, Dee Dee Sharp, The Diamonds, The Orlons, Gene Vincent, and Lawrence Welk. Their links to the dance types follow…
Fred Astaire (May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987) and Ginger Rogers (July 16, 1911 – April 25, 1995) were dance partners in a total of 10 films, nine of them with RKO Radio Pictures from 1933 to 1939, and one, The Barkleys of Broadway, with MGM in 1949, their only color film. The best all-time dance partners!
In 1950, Rogers presented an honorary Academy Award to Astaire “for his unique artistry and his contributions to the technique of musical pictures.” Throughout the 1950s, Rogers’ film career declined, and she began to focus more on Broadway roles; she received great acclaim for her portrayals of the title characters in Mame and Hello, Dolly!.
The Impact of Dance
The impact of dance during the two decades between 1950-1970 can be as dramatic as the singers that lived during the time. For starters, there were seventeen new types of dance types that were created (see the details that follow below). I am not counting two of them (i.e., Jitterbug and Swing) as they started between 1920-1930. I would challenge you to think of another period of history that initiated more types of dances.
As a result of people immersing themselves into such a variety of new ways to dance to their favorite songs, this led to greater overall enjoyment for music during these years. While a person gains enrichment and appreciation for music by listening, adding dancing further reinforces their love for the artist that is singing and/or playing instruments. As you listen and watch these dance videos, pay specific attention to the individual dancer’s facial expressions and try to imagine what they are thinking about and how they are feeling inside. I believe you will conclude that they are enjoying themselves and all seem very happy.
The Madison (line dance) Annette Funicello: https://youtu.be/07R_Ne5J4AQ (RQ 6 live)
The Swim – Bobby Freeman: https://youtu.be/h6S5v6lLEgs (RQ 8 live)
The Mashed Potato – Dee Dee Sharp: https://youtu.be/51eJ3-h86JQ (RQ 7 live)
The Twist – Chubby Checker: https://youtu.be/im9XuJJXylw (RQ 6 live)
The Frug – Bob Fosse: https://youtu.be/mcrZIK3gqbU (RQ 9 live)
The Wah Watusi – James Copeland: https://youtu.be/OcQQi9vbZZE (RQ 8 live)
The Shake – RJ & The Del Guapos: https://youtu.be/LD3NdJF2NqM (RQ 7 live)
The Hitch Hike – Marvin Gaye: https://youtu.be/hqukP-JABKI (RQ 8 live)
The Chicken – Lawrence Welk: https://youtu.be/6UV3kRV46Zs (RQ 7 live)
The Pony – Chubby Checker: https://youtu.be/JyaxcvHSyZY (RQ 6 live)
The Dog – Diana Divine: https://youtu.be/n4fX2zQ2Jp0 (RQ 7 live)
The Boogie Woogie (Jungle Jive) – Oleg Astakhov: https://youtube.com/shorts/7ngvfrZkTPc?feature=share (RQ 8 live)
The Bop – Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps: https://youtu.be/ezpRXPn_UxU (RQ 8 live). Gene also recorded another hit “Lotta Lovin” (https://youtu.be/oNeY_czZ7Zo) (RQ 10) which continues to be played on the radio.
The Bunny Hop – Ray Anthony: https://youtu.be/EmC1KyxhEJU (RQ 5 live)
The Calypso – Guillermo Del Toro: https://youtu.be/R3DXyhxx8b0 (RQ 7 live)
The Jive – Julianne and Derek Hough: https://youtu.be/7KChBpxOA1M (RQ 7 live)
The Jitterbug – Jerry Lewis: https://youtu.be/CowekQq6kY8 (RQ 6 live) (Note: The Jitterbug actually originated in the 1930s)
The Rock n’ Roll (or the Swing) – Ludo and Stacy: https://youtu.be/bLAD4borMbg (RQ 7 live)
The Stroll – The Diamonds: https://youtu.be/aEGMm0Dgsbs (RQ 7 live)