5 The Chicken Dance
One of the strangest dance crazes began in 1963 and refuses to go away. The “Chicken Dance” is performed to a song written by Swiss accordionist Werner Thomas. At the start of the song, dancers make a beak with their hands. They open and close their “beak” during the first four beats of the song and flap their arms like wings to the next four beats. Dancers then make tail feathers with their hands and wiggle downward for four beats, and then rise while clapping their hands. The whole shebang is repeated four times and then at the bridge, dancers spin around the room like airplanes, or link arms with the person next to them and turn right for eight steps, switch arms, and turn left for eight steps. The dance gets faster and faster until the music stops.
“Vogue” is a song recorded by Madonna for her 1990 album “I’m Breathless.” Dancers and choreographers Jose and Luis Xtravaganza introduced “vogueing”—which had already been a trend—to the Madonna song. Basically, it involves posing like runway models to the beat of the music. The dance has morphed since then to include a mixture of hip-hop, ballet and contemporary dance moves, but the strange poses struck to the beat of the music remain.
3 Lean Back
“Lean Back” is a 2004 single from the Terror Squad album “True Story.” The dance of the same name is one for all the non-dancers, because it requires only that you lean back your right shoulder to the beat of the music. Your arms should sort of dangle loosely, and your eyes must be on the ceiling instead of your dance partner. Apparently the ladies like it when you don’t look them in the eye. You might wonder how this can be called a dance, but the real question is why people went crazy for it.
2 Harlem Shake
Unless you dwell at the bottom of a hole in the center of the Earth, you’ve at least heard of the Harlem Shake, which involves a lone dancer bopping to a track by DJ Baauer. About 10 seconds into the song, the dancer is suddenly surrounded by a crowd of dancing people in elaborate costumes or props. The Harlem Shake is strange because it’s not done on a dance floor of any kind. It’s recorded in homes, at work, at school or wherever the notion takes you, and then broadcast online. The original Harlem Shake, which dates back to the ’80s, was performed by Albert Boyce to entertain crowds at street ball games.
In 2009, an erotic Jamaican dance craze left some serious pelvic injuries in its wake. That’s right. Pelvic injuries. Daggering is a dance style in which couples mimic sexual positions. Some dancers also leap from atop scary heights to land on their partners. That totally sounds like tons of fun. Not. Jamaican doctors issued warnings after treating seriously injured dancers, and the Jamaican government banned songs or music videos with blatantly sexual content to discourage daggering.