Instructions for the ‘Spank Your Blank Blank’ dance. The instructions came along with Chicago-based artist Morris Jefferson’s sole record of the same name from 1978.
I’ve always been a bit jealous of people blessed with the gift of being able to dance—if it were possible for a human to have four left feet, I would be that human. And if I do try to bust a move, it’s in the privacy of my own home with the shades drawn just in case. In other words, if you recall the infamous episode of Seinfeld “The Little Kicks” (Season eight, episode four) where Elaine shows off her dance moves, I make her look like fucking Baryshnikov. I do however love to watch practitioners of the art, as well as professionals, strut their stuff in films and I’m not ashamed to say I’ve seen the 1984 film Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo more (a lot more) than once. So perhaps in an attempt to help myself as well as anyone else suffering from more than one left foot, today’s post features a large collection of instructions for various vintage dance moves from “The Watusi,” “The Shag,” “The Ska,” and, of course, the disco staple, “The Travolta Point.”
One of my favorite artifacts in this post are the instructions for the so-called “Spank Your Blank Blank” dance (pictured at the top of this post) which came along with Morris Jefferson’s only album of the same name released in 1978. Another gem is a sheet of instructions for “the Time Warp” which was a part of the 15th Anniversary CD UK Box Set for The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1989. Check them all out below.
Examples of four different dance moves; “Rowing the Boat,” “the Popeye,” “the Dean Martin,” and “the Dracula.”
“The Zulu Stomp.”
“The Time Shag,” “The Shag Dip,” and “The Side Break.”
“The Monkey.” You can find this dance move and more in the swinging 1965 book ‘Discotheque Dances by Dick Blake.’
“The Surfer Stomp.”
How to do “the Boogaloo” as published in Honey magazine, December 1969.
A handy four-step instruction guide on how to master “the Boogaloo.”
An article published in Ebony magazine in March of 1961 featuring dance move instructions from Leon James and Al Minns.
More funky moves published in Ebony in 1961.
“The Freddie!” This 60s dance fad was created to help promote UK band Freddie and the Dreamers via their hit “Do the Freddie.” The dance was further mythologized in an episode of ‘The Addams Family’ (“Lurch, The Teenage Idol”), the 1989 film ‘Troop Beverly Hills,’ and an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ which aired in 1993, “Duffless.”
Another dance lesson from Dick Blake on how to do “The Hitch-Hiker.”
Pages from the 1979 book ‘Disco with Donny and Marie’ (Osmond).
“The Travolta Point” from ‘Disco with Donny and Marie.’
“The Disco Chicken” from ‘Disco with Donny and Marie.’
Actress Suzanne Somers and Donny Osmond demonstrating the “Walk and Touch Basic” in ‘Disco with Donny and Marie.’
“Pickin’ Cotton,” 1928.
“The Huggy Bug.”
“The Bend It,” 1966.
Ronnie Nasralla and Jeannette Phillips teaching us to dance “the Ska,” step by step. These guides appeared on the back of various records by Byron Lee & the Dragonaires as well as a variety of newspapers in the summer of 1964.
The fantastic cover of the 1976 double album ‘Do the Hustle.’ Songs with dance steps included are: “American Hustle,” “Latin Hustle,” “Rope Hustle,” “Hustle Cha,” “Tango Hustle,” “The Bump,” “Foxy Trot,” and “The Walk.”
Just in case you’ve forgotten how to do it, here are the instructions to execute “The Time Warp” properly.
“The Loddy Lo.”
“Heebie Jeebies,” 1920s.
Freddie and the Dreamers explain how to “do the Freddie” on TV’s ‘Hullabaloo’ joined by Trini Lopez, Chuck Berry, Vikki Carr, Herman’s Hermits, The Sir Douglas Quintet, Martha & The Vandellas and the Hullabaloo Dancers.
Artists Gilbert & George “bend it” to the hit tune by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich.
Annette Funicello teaches Bob Hope how to do “The Ska.”
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Dance Craze - The Best of British Ska Live!’ ft Madness, The Specials, The Beat & more
‘Dazzle Dancin’: Your new favorite best/worst 80’s white people dance video
‘Future Shock’: James Brown’s *very 70s* TV dance party
Do the Jellyfish: The 1960s dance-craze that never was
This will flip your lid: Jayne Mansfield’s wild exotic dance in ‘Primitive Love’