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Five Iconic Dances of The 1970s [VIDEOS]

Couple disco dancing
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

If you are having a 70s party or just want to see the moves of the Disco Era, you might want to take some time to learn some of the classic 70s dance steps so you can show off a bit. Do you remember ‘The Hustle’, ‘The Bus Stop’ or ‘The Bump’? Surely you know how to do the ‘YMCA’. If not, enjoy these videos that are sure to bring back memories.

Do the Hustle

In 1975, singer Van McCoy got everyone on the dance floor to “Do The Hustle”. There were both line and partner forms of The Hustle and a few variations as well, depending on what coast you lived in. Dance experts describe this dance as a mixture of Swing and Latin, performed to a 70s disco beat.

The dance rose to fame when it was performed in the movie Saturday Night Fever, though dance experts will argue that Travolta’s dance was much more freestyle than the original. Watch a flawless performance digital version of “The Hustle”.

The Bump Dance

The Bump was a fairly easy 70s dance that didn’t require learning a lot of complicated steps or moves. Instead, partners stepped or swayed to the music – standing apart from one another – and came together to bump hips (or other body parts) about every other beat.

The idea was to bump gently, but some people got carried away and bumped a little too hard, sending their partners across the dance floor.

There were number of songs that were inspired by the dance, including one this called “Lady Bump”. Will someone please tell me why she screams during the song?

The YMCA

The YMCA dance is an example of a dance deriving from a particular song. In this case, the song was YMCA by The Village People, recorded and released in 1978.

For this dance, dancers simply move their arms to form the Y, M, C, and A whenever those letters appear in the lyrics. The rest of the dance is freestyle. Still done at weddings and often between innings at sporting events, YMCA is likely to be around for many more decades.  If you want to do the dance accurately, watch this video.

Funky Chicken Dance

Not to be confused with the ‘Chicken Dance’ that you can’t stand to hear at weddings anymore, this is one of the more bizarre 70s dances. It was called ‘The Funky Chicken, and it could be a solo dance or a group dance that involved steps with names like “chicken wings” and “chicken legs.” The Funky Chicken simply imitated the jerky movements of a chicken, with dancers incorporating their own style to make their dance moves a little different from everyone else.  From 1972, watch the crowd do this dance.

The Bus Stop

The Bus Stop is a good dance for beginners. Simply start with your feet together in a line and facing the front of the room. Step back three times, starting with the right foot. On the third step, stop and tap your left foot against your right foot and clap. Repeat the sequence going forward, starting with your left foot and tapping your right foot on the left and clapping when you reach the third step forward. Next, step to the left side with the left foot, and then cross the right foot behind to take another step. Take three steps in this manner before you tap the right foot on the left and clapping. Repeat the sequence, only going right this time, tapping and clapping, then make a quarter turn to the left and start all over again  The group in this video has a good grasp of all the steps involved.

Let’s not forget the evolution of punk rock began in the late 70s giving us a unique form of dancing that included a mosh pit of body slamming rockers and fans tossing themselves onto the top of the pile from the stage. This dominated the rock scene well into the 80s.

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