Welcome to disco dancing, an amazing retro style created for fun dance and pleasure. It is mostly associated with the disco music and discotheques of the disco era 1970s, full of flashing lights and a disco ball strobing from the ceiling.
It is generally a freestyle fun dance that doesn’t require a partner. You can dance disco solo, in a duo, or in a large group. Sometimes, certain amounts of disco elements and choreography are needed for line dancing.
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If you want to learn more disco dance facts, practice how to perform it on the floor, or watch a breathtaking disco dance performance at your party, you are going in the right direction. Here you are at “Hips Don’t Lie,” a well-known disco dance company in Toronto with a lot of talented performers and dance teachers. We offer picturesque 5-style dancing shows, too. So, you will always find the best option for your entertainment and fun.
History of Disco Dancing
The disco dance meaning derives from the word “discotheque,” which appeared in France to indicate the “library of phonograph records” by analogy to the word “Bibliotheque” in the 1950s. It was also widely used in Britain and the USA. The word “discotheque” was first related to a specific type of nightclub in Paris in the early 1940s during the Nazi occupation. The word “disco” was also used for a short sleeveless dress in the United States in the summer of 1964.
However, disco was not used to describe a sound or music genre before September 1973, when Vince Aletti featured it in an article written for “Rolling Stone” magazine.
As a music genre, it started with a mixture of music for famous venues in Philadelphia and New York City in the late 1960s-early 1970s. It was a reaction to the dominance of rock music at that time. It caused the development of a specific disco dance style within the United States, where every local disco dance group invented its own techniques and subgenres, like the Bump or the Hustle.
The 1970s saw a great breakthrough in disco dance due to the influence of such well-known artists as the Bee Gees, ABBA, Boney M, Baccara, Donna Summer, Sylvester, and many others. Record producers also played a great role in this popularity enhancement.
More and more disco clubs had been thriving in the USA by the end of the 1970s, and many disco dance groups appeared at that time. The need for DJs who could efficiently mix dance records at clubs also grew.
Visitors of those nightclubs wore extravagant outfits that looked loose, though very expensive, to allow disco dancers to move freely. A specific drug subculture also appeared then. Different disco dance teams were often associated with promiscuity as a result of the immensely popular sexual revolution.
The work of DJs was especially appreciated at that time. The public at discotheques and nightclubs wanted to dance disco to a mix of soul, funk, jazz, and R&B recorded in lengthy playlists that could keep them moving for hours. This symbiosis resulted in repetitive driving beats with syncopated bass lines and unexpectedly infectious hooks.
As we continue to follow the history of disco dance, we will see that by the end of the 1970s, it had turned into the mainstream. The Bee Gees’ “You Should Be Dancing” and “Stayin’ Alive,” as well as “Disco Inferno” by the Trammps, added a lot to that overall popularity. The best disco dance performance appeared on the TV show “Soul Train.” The disco dance performers were showcasing their original moves between the two lines of other style dancers.
However, only some people accepted the predominance of those disco dances, and in 1979, DJ Steve Dahl organized the Disco Demolition Might in Comiskey Park in Detroit. It was a part of the “Disco Sucks” movement. People trashed disco records and claimed their anger against the disco dance style and music.
Many disco dance companies at that time popularized the style, though. So, it reached its peak at the end of the 1970s - the beginning of the 1980s. Then, there was a decline in its popularity during the 1980s in the United States and Canada.
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Nevertheless, everything the disco dance means now emerged in Italy and some other European countries throughout the 1980s. Disco dance teams also became trendy in India and the Middle East. The style blended there with local folk styles, such as belly dancing or ghazals.
The disco dance history continued in the activities of many disco dance groups and Canadian dance companies. We follow the trends of this revival, so if you want to see what a disco dance group near me actually is and to learn about this style’s influences on electronic dance music, hip-hop, dance-punk, new wave, house music, and post-disco dance genres, come to “Hips Don’t Lie.” You will experience a great revival of disco dances with our talented and professional instructors and performers.
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Popular Types of Disco Dance Music and Styles
When we look again at the disco dance history, we will see that different countries and locations developed various moves and styles that differ from each other. So, let’s consider the most popular types of disco dance a specific local disco dance group can perform. These types differ in their steps, moves, and overall atmosphere.
The Get Down
This stance derives from African dances. The position is wide-legged. A dancer bends at the knees and waist, and that helps move closer to the floor. You may probably have seen such a style at nightclubs, and you may be interested in finding a disco dance ‘near me’ studio that practices such a style.
It is a very popular disco dancing style. The sequence requires taking three steps back and three steps forward. The arm movements are quite distinct, with fingers pointing to the sky and fists moving around each other in circles. You will surely observe such a style in at least one disco dance troupe.
This style is characterized by one specific move. One arm swings up in a semicircle in front of a dancer. They may also click their fingers at the top. Then, the dancer swings the arm down in a semicircle, too. You can also pop your hips with every arm’s movement.
Have you ever observed an amateur disco dance group near me where dancers swing their hips toward their partners and then bump them together? As you understand, you need at least one partner to perform such moves. Then, the partners change direction and face each other from the opposite side to bump each other hips.
The Bus Stop
This pattern is a line dance, and the whole disco dance troupe can perform together here. This simple combination has come from the Hustle, and it was modified for more convenience. Dancers make three steps to the right and then three steps to the left. After that, they start twirling and repeating these steps once again.
Characteristic Features and Routines of Disco Dancing Commonly Presented on the Dance Floor
Disco dancing is a specific style of social dance that is quite loose and does not demand any established disco dance routine. That is why if you need an accurate disco dance description, you won’t get it because it is more about individual freedom of movement on the dance floor.
However, you may notice something absolutely specific if you watch a performance of any disco dance group near me. First of all, popular music is an important element of all presentations. The rhythm is pretty driving to help dancers punctuate the disco moves, hit the beat, and maintain the rhythm throughout long or non-stop disco parties.
Side dance steps are performed to give dancers a retrieve between more intensive disco moves during long stretches of time. They can have a break but still, maintain the beat during them.
These dance forms are extremely social, so it is mostly about courting or flirtation on the dance floor. That is why some pelvic movements are often used, such as popping hips to the side or forward.
Pointed fingers are a common gesture among dancers. John Travolta made this gesture notorious in the film “Saturday Night Fever,” produced in 1977. It was disco-inspired and featured posing with one arm up and fingers pointing to the sky. The pose has become classic and most widely used since then.
You can see all these moves and routine elements in our perfect shows and entertainment acts for hire presented by our talented dancers as a part of our well-known disco dance company.
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Therefore, you can now get a complete disco dance definition as a social dancing style that influenced the further appearance of different subcultures in the 1970s. It also contributed to many cultural phenomena we are enjoying these days.
So, what is disco dance, interpreted for today’s music and dancing culture development? First of all, many disco dance troupes for hire near me appeared and performed successfully at nightclubs and discotheques all over the USA and Canada. Then, the trend expanded to Europe and other parts of the world. It highlighted the immense role of DJs. DJ mixes resulted from it as a specific form of dance music. It led to the appearance of the entire DJ culture with individual styles and mixing techniques.
Post-disco music and dance genres also originated on this basis in the 1970s and early 1980s. They involved R&B and post-punk musicians who focused on the electronic part of disco music. Therefore, electronic music started its development. Italo disco, boogie, and alternative dance were also introduced to add more to electronic dance music.
Disco had a big influence on early hip-hop development, too. The trend included hip-hop electronic dance powered by the use of synthesizers alongside disco bass guitar lines and MC rhymes.
Later on, the new trends gave birth to house music. It originated in Chicago in the early 1980s and quickly spread across many American and Canadian cities and worldwide. After that, rave culture started with house music in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It involved the elements of disco culture, such as powerful sound systems, sexual promiscuity, recreational and club drug use, and hedonism. The post-punk movement appeared in the late 1970s. It experimented with the elements of both disco and punk rock. Then, New York City saw the appearance of no wave that was a subgenre of post-punk.
Nowadays, we see the appearance of nu-disco. It is associated with the renewed interest in the style of the 1970s-1980s. The performers tend to revive the original-era disco music and dance, and they are pretty successful.
At “Hips Don’t Lie,” we are striving to follow the trends and combine the best features of the past and the present in our eye-catching dance acts for hire. You have arrived at the right destination if you are looking for disco dance troupes for hire near me.
What is a disco dance?
This is a dancing style that became very popular in the 1970s-1980s all over the world. It involves loose dancing movements to immensely rhythmic music. It is usually associated with DJing, flashing lights, and a disco ball hanging from the ceiling and rotating. The style sees its revival nowadays in dancing to electronic music at nightclubs.
What was the popular disco dance?
The types of disco dance that were very popular among most lovers of this style were the hustle, the bump, the snap, the bus stop, and the get down. They appeared at different times but remain well-recognizable nowadays.
What are the elements of disco dance?
The main elements of this style that can be combined in specific routines are side, forward, and backward steps, popping hips to the side or forward, and raised arms with fingers that point to the sky.
Where did disco dance originate?
The style originated in Philadelphia and New York City in the late 1960s-early 1970s. Then, it spread across the United States and Canada. It became popular in Europe and other countries of the world in the 1970s, adding different elements from their dancing cultures.