How to dance twist

The Twist - Social Dance 

The Twist

The twist is a classic social dance that people still have fun with today at weddings, proms, and special occasions with dancing involved.  The song “The Twist” was written by Hank Ballard in 1955, but first played in 1959 after he saw teens dancing the twisting movements.  This dance move was already discovered by teens before the move became famous.    This social dance move became popular in the 1960’s because of the famous television show American Band Stand hosted by Dick Clark.  One of the main characters in American Band Stand, Chubby Checker was hired to demonstrate the social dance “the Twist” to the song “The Twist.”  After Chubby Checker performed the Twist on American Bandstand the social dance became an American favorite.

Maybe you’re wondering why this dance move created a phenomenon while other dancing styles did not.  This social dance move traveled all over the world, but had a great impact on Americans because the Twist originated in the United States.   The twist dance broke the gap between multiple generations of people dancing together.  During the 1950’s dancing was seen as rebellious.  Parents of children did not like or understand their “rock and roll” music, dancing, and change of hair and clothing.  Once the twist was demonstrated older generations saw the effortlessness and innocence of the dance move. Everyone watched and learned how to dance the twist on American Band Stand so the dance move became trendy.  The history before the Twist had a major impact on the popularity of the dance, but the simplicity of the dance move was also a factor. 


Everyone can enjoy dancing the Twist because the twist involves simple movements of rotating your hips and arms.  The twist was ultimately derived from the dance the Lindy Hop.    An easy way to remember how to dance the twist is to “just pretend to drop a cigarette stub on the ground, place the ball of your foot over this imaginary cigarette and twist it to and fro as if putting it out [a] t the same time place an imaginary bath towel behind your back and pull it from side to side as though drying your 'butt'” ("How to Jive").  This dance style is considered a social dance because a group of people can enjoy dancing together with or without a partner.  The twist is usually danced with another person beside you, but their is no pressure of having a partner because the Twist does not involve touching another person.  A plus of this dance movement is that people can dance to any song they would like.  The twist dance movements are not limited to just the one song “The Twist.”  Since the Twist has been proven to be so popular song artists have created other songs to dance this style to such as “Twist and Shout” written by Phil Medley and Bert Russell and performed by the Beatles.  Dance moves that were created during this time period, but have proved to not be as popular as the Twist includes the mashed potato, the monkey, the swim, and the funky chicken.


I chose to write about this dance style because I believe the twist gives people an idea about how dance socially has developed overtime.   People of all ages show interest in social dancing because during the past and present new dance moves are created such as the prim and proper dance form of the waltz to now the ever popular Soldier Boy dance.  The twist is another example of how dancing in the American culture is important to us. 

For me the Twist is something that I look forward to doing when I am at a dance party.  This dance is still popular today because just like in history the Twist is simple and everyone can enjoy dancing together.  The first thing I can think of when I hear “the twist” is laughing and smiling because this dance brings joy to everyone who participates.  I think the most important reason why the twist became so popular is because my grandparents, parents, younger cousins, and friends of all ages know immediately what to do when the song “the Twist” plays on our CD players.  The social dance allows bonding in a fun and childish manner.

While participating at many dance parties I have come to see how the Twist became an ever popular dance.   The unknown teens that created this dance move were out to have a good time while listening to their favorite music.  The teens could socialize with each other as a group as they danced to the Twist.  Chubby Checker formed a dance craze after débuting the Twist on one of American’s favorite television shows, American Bandstand.  When the producers of the show allowed the Twist to be on the show they knew that this social dance move would create a phenomena in the dance world.  The Twist captures many elements in a fun dance for generations of people that make the dance accepted such as simplicity, entertaining, and innocence.

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kartoffelpüree-tanz - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole


Stilvolles Paar in der Mode der frühen 1960er Jahre gekleidet, tanzt den Twist, Vinyl-Schallplatte im Hintergrund, EPS 8

zeitgenössische kunstcollage eines mannes in einem anzug mit retro-computerkopf verdrehte hülle isoliert über gelbem hintergrund - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Zeitgenössische Kunstcollage eines Mannes in einem Anzug mit...

retro-farben foto von den 1960 er-tänzer umdrehen - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Retro-Farben Foto von den 1960 er-Tänzer umdrehen

Retro-farbiges Foto eines Modemodells im Stil der 1960er Jahre in einem Minikleid, das The Twist vor einem hellen, psychedelischen Hintergrund macht.

entspannte junge schöne frau in kleid und mütze tanzen twist und genießen musik - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Entspannte junge schöne Frau in Kleid und Mütze tanzen Twist und...

do die note - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Do die Note

Schwarze Vektorsilhouetten von Menschen in Vintage-Kleidung, die den Twist tanzen, jede Figur auf einer separaten Schicht, keine weißen Objekte, EPS 8

gerne älteres paar tanzen und lachen gemeinsam zu hause - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Gerne älteres Paar Tanzen und lachen gemeinsam zu Hause

Verspielte, reifer Ehemann und Ehefrau, die Spaß haben, feiern, tanzen und lachen zusammen im Wohnzimmer

twist-tanz - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole


Cartoon-Paar in den frühen 1960er Jahren Mode tanzenden Twist, Vektor-Illustration, keine Transparenzen, EPS8

twist-silhouette - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole


Schwarze Vektorsilhouette eines Paares, das den Twist oder Rock'n'Roll tanzt

frau, die morgens yoga praktiziert, jathara parivartanasana übung macht - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Frau, die morgens Yoga praktiziert, Jathara Parivartanasana Übung

Üben von Reclined Spinal Twist Pose: Schöne Frau in Sportkleidung, die Wirbelsäulenrotationsübungen auf einer grauen Übungsmatte im Wohnzimmer zu Hause macht.

jede pose zu fühlen in ihrem körper zu ändern - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Jede Pose zu fühlen in Ihrem Körper zu ändern

yoga zu hause: jathara parivartanasana pose - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Yoga zu Hause: Jathara Parivartanasana Pose

Attraktive junge Frau, die drinnen trainiert, Yoga-Übungen auf Holzboden macht, in Reclining Spinal Twist liegt, Jathara Parivartanasanasana, nach dem Training ruhend, in voller Länge, Draufsicht

dame, die yoga praktiziert, in ardha matsyendrasana pose sitzt - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Dame, die Yoga praktiziert, in Ardha Matsyendrasana Pose sitzt

Lächelnde attraktive Frau, die Yoga praktiziert, in Ardha Matsyendrasana Haltung sitzt, Halbherr der Fische posiert, trainiert, trainiert auf der Fußmatte im Wohnzimmer. Sitzende Twist-Pose

glückliche mutter spinnen entzückende kleine tochter spielen im wohnzimmer - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Glückliche Mutter Spinnen entzückende kleine Tochter spielen im. ..

Volle Länge glückliche Mutter hält Hände und dreht sich sorglos entzückende kleine Tochter hören Musik, die sich in modernem Innenlicht bewegt, gemütliches Wohnzimmer. Aktive lustige Spiele, lebhaftes Spielen viel Spaß zusammen zu Hause

junge frau tut yoga twist mat gesunden lebensstil - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Junge Frau tut Yoga Twist Mat gesunden Lebensstil

fifties high school sonnenuntergang tanzen - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Fifties High School Sonnenuntergang Tanzen

Eine Gruppe von Highschool-Schülern der fünfziger Jahre, die im Sonnenuntergang tanzen und sich drehen - die Freude teilen und die Freiheit des Sommers feiern.

schöne frau, die ausübung der russischen variante mit med ball für starke bauchmuskeln in der turnhalle - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Schöne Frau, die Ausübung der russischen Variante mit med Ball für

Schöne junge Frau, die russischen Twist mit Med-Ball aus der Sitzposition für starke Bauchmuskeln während des Gruppentrainingskurses für Frauen im Fitnessstudio trainiert

zusammenfassung hintergrund mit einer dynamischen wellen - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Zusammenfassung Hintergrund mit einer dynamischen Wellen

Abstrakter Hintergrund mit dynamischen Wellen. Vektorillustration.

verdrehten korridor - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Verdrehten Korridor

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Abstrakte gekrümmte und verdrehte Form 3D-Rendern

keltischer twist quilt nahtloses muster - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Keltischer Twist Quilt nahtloses Muster

Keltisches Twist-Quilt-Nahtmuster. Abstrakter, wiederholbarer Musterhintergrund mit keltischer Wendung. Perfekt für Stoffe, Textilien, Tapeten und Geschenkpapier.

golden schimmernden wirbel, strudel oder spirale. glitzernder sternenstaub trail. magie glitzernden linien - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Golden schimmernden Wirbel, Strudel oder Spirale. Glitzernder...

the twist - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

The Twist

EPS 8 Vektorillustration eines stilvollen Paares, das in der Mode der 1960er Jahre gekleidet ist und den Twist tanzt, keine Transparenzen

musik poster. vektor abstrakten hintergrund mit einem farbigen dynamische wellen - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Musik Poster. Vektor abstrakten Hintergrund mit einem farbigen...

Schallwellen. Dynamischer Effekt. Vektorillustration mit Partikel. 3D-Rasteroberfläche.

vektor-abstrakten hintergrund mit einem farbigen dynamische wellen linie und partikel - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Vektor-abstrakten Hintergrund mit einem farbigen dynamische...

rock ' n ' rol_silhouette - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Rock ' n ' Rol_silhouette

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Chairoplane beim Oktoberfest in München, Deutschland

Chairoplane auf dem Bierfest in München

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Satz von dynamischen goldenen Wellen Rauch oder Flammen mit. ..

Set von dinamischen goldenen Wellen Rauch oder Flamme mit funkelnden Partikeln. Vektorrotationselemente

vektor abstrakten hintergrund mit dynamischen wellen - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Vektor abstrakten Hintergrund mit dynamischen Wellen

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spiralförmig leuchtend gelber hintergrund. heller spiralförmiger hintergrund. verdrehtes, lebendiges design. abstrakte kreative 3d-illustration. - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Spiralförmig leuchtend gelber Hintergrund. Heller spiralförmiger...

Die Spirale leuchtet gelb hinterher. Heller spiralförmiger Hintergrund. Verdrehtes, lebendiges Design. Abstrakte kreative 3D-Illustration.

glücklich tanzen paar - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Glücklich Tanzen Paar

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Spiral-Logo. Rundes logo-Design. Farbe Wirbel auf schwarzem...

baum paare tanzen rock-and-roll - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Baum Paare Tanzen rock-and-roll

motion blue wave. dynamischer lichteffekt. glühender pfad, schiene und wirbel isoliert auf transparenten backgraund - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Motion Blue wave. Dynamischer Lichteffekt. Glühender Pfad,...

Bewegung blaue Welle. Dynamischer Lichteffekt. Leuchtender Trail, Track und Wirbel isoliert auf transparentem Backgraund. Vektor-Illustration

twist - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole


Vektorillustration eines tanzenden Paares

hochturmfahrt auf dem oktoberfest in münchen, deutschland - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Hochturmfahrt auf dem Oktoberfest in München, Deutschland

München, Deutschland - 21. September 2019: Jung und Alt genießen die Hochturmfahrt auf dem Oktoberfest in München. Das Oktoberfest ist das größte Bierfest der Welt mit über 6 Millionen Besuchern pro Jahr.

astronauten tanzen twist. weltraum-tanzparty. mann und frau auf dem mond. vektorillustration. - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Astronauten tanzen Twist. Weltraum-Tanzparty. Mann und Frau auf...

Astronauten tanzen drehen. Space Dance Party. Mann und Frau auf dem Mond. Vektorillustration im Comic-Stil.

abstrakter wirbelweg oder tunnel. verrockter schaulustierplatz - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Abstrakter Wirbelweg oder Tunnel. Verrockter Schaulustierplatz

Abstrakter Wirbelweg oder Tunnel. Rotierender funkelnder Hintergrund. Vektoreffekt von Beschleunigung, Geschwindigkeit, Bewegung und Tiefe

early rock and roll-tanz - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Early rock and roll-Tanz

wellenhintergrund. abstrakte vektorillustration. 3d-technologie-stil. - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Wellenhintergrund. Abstrakte Vektorillustration. 3D-Technologie-St

Vektor abstrakter Hintergrund mit einer farbigen dynamischen Wellen-, Linien- und Partikel-Stock-Illustration

regenbogenwirbelhintergrund mit sternen. radialer einhorn-regenbogen aus verdrehter spirale. vektorillustration. - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Regenbogenwirbelhintergrund mit Sternen. Radialer Einhorn-Regenbog

Regenbogenwirbelhintergrund mit Sternen. Radiales Einhorn Regenbogen der verdrehten Spirale. Vektorillustration

die pose einer einfachen person "tanzen" - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Die Pose einer einfachen Person "Tanzen"

Pose einer einfachen Person Illustration "Tanzen"

schöne junge frau üben yoga, tun janu sirsasana übung - twist dance stock-fotos und bilder

Schöne junge Frau üben Yoga, tun Janu Sirsasana Übung

Schöne junge Frau in schwarzer Sportbekleidung, die Yoga praktiziert, Janu Sirsasana-Übungen, gedrehte Kopf-an-Knie-Vorwärtsbeuge-Pose, Mädchen, das zu Hause oder im Yoga-Studio mit grauen Wänden trainiert

handschellen, twister - twist dance stock-grafiken, -clipart, -cartoons und -symbole

Handschellen, Twister

Illustration aus dem 19. Jahrhundert.

Dance Twist

Twist (Eng. twist - wrap around, twist, spin) is a dance of a rock and roll group. Appeared in 1960 thanks to the American singer Chubby Checker, who performed the song "The Twist" by X. Ballard (English) (1959) and proposed a new version of the dance to this song. Became known for his performances Chubby Checker on television shows Dick Clark. It became widespread among young people in many countries of the world in the 1960s.

Dance Twist

Twist (translated from English "to spin" "to rotate") is performed at a fast pace with a clear rhythm, which includes a huge number of rotational elements, which makes the dance look very bright and spectacular.

The main elements of this style are rotations, which are carried out with the foot standing on the heel or toe. When dancing the Twist, it is important to be able to properly transfer your own weight, keep your balance and feel the rhythm - then the performance will look incendiary and energetic.

In addition, Twist is one of the dances of the Ye! The popular musician D. Holiday in the USA, speaking on stage, often included this exclamation in songs, as a result of which this name was born.

The history of the Twist style began in 1961. It was then that Chebbi Checker performed his own invented dance on television, and gave a complete description of how to perform movements similar to extinguishing a cigarette butt. To perform these simple elements did not require a partner, which brought him even more popularity. Europe, the whole USSR - everyone danced the Twist.

The style gained popularity in the West with the help of radio broadcasts and dance studio shows. And so Twist gained such popularity that not a single holiday was held without its performance. In addition, the dance made it possible for the ladies, who were patiently waiting for the invitation of the gentleman, to dance on their own without a partner.

From the outside, the elements of the dance Twist seem easy and not complicated, but recently a huge number of new movements have been included in the traditional complex of elements.

After some time, styles with similar elements and movements began to appear: slop , halli-galli , sef , etc. This happened in the seventies, then there was a real revival when one of the above styles began to play . To date, all these styles are almost forgotten, but at one time they were popular on a par with Twist, even outside of Europe, the USA and Russia.

Twist combines a playful and frivolous mood, and is an era that the whole world remembers as a distinctive and unique period in dance history.

Twist has its own character - life and optimism, which is why it is distinguished from other dance styles, and which makes it still very famous and popular.

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Who invented the twist? | Culture

However, “according to the passport” the inventor of the twist was called differently - Ernest Evans. He came from a poor Negro family living in South Philadelphia. Like many young people of that time, Ernest raved about rock and roll, and, like many poor young people, he worked in a supermarket. True, there he not only plucked chickens, but also gave impromptu concerts, parodying either Elvis Presley or Fats Domino.

The talented kid so charmed his boss, store owner Henry Colt, that he set him up with his influential acquaintance, TV presenter Dean Clark. Dean Clark helped Ernest get a record deal, and his wife came up with a sonorous pseudonym for Ernest. The pseudonym was a parody of the name of rock idol Fats Domino. If fat meant “fat”, then chubby meant “chubby” (ironically, the inventor of energetic dance was always inclined to be overweight). Well, as a response to domino, the surname checker appeared - "checkers", which also noted the performer's love for checkered suits.

Chubby Checker's first single went unnoticed. Such a fate could await the second single, on which the famous song "The Twist" was recorded. I must say, the song was someone else's - a year ago it was already released by Hank Ballard. The release company, against the wishes of Chubby Checker, placed it on the back of the record (the so-called b-side - "load" to the main hit). Then Checker decided to "promote" the song himself and began to actively perform it at performances and TV shows. It was on the TV show, hosted by the aforementioned Dean Clark, that the famous phrase was uttered and a new dance announced.

They write that Dean Clark was rather conservative and disliked rock and roll dances, where girls were grabbed, twisted and tossed up, lifting up Dior's puffy skirts. The word “Twist” itself, in principle, also meant “torsion, spinning”, but now the partner could spin and spin himself. The world has never seen such a democratic and self-sufficient dance. The figures were simple - jerk back and forth with your hands, wiggle back and forth with your back, trample cigarette butts with your feet. There was only one obligatory condition: the dancer must touch the ground with at least one foot, that is, jumps were excluded.

Twist partners are optional, and even if they are, it is not necessary to synchronize movements with them. The girls were especially happy. Now I didn't have to wait for someone's invitation if I wanted to dance.

Checker tried not in vain - they say that during the promotion of his song he threw off a dozen kilograms. On September 19, 1960, the single from "The Twist" topped the 1st spot on Billboard. Early 1962 years old, he again landed in first place. At the same time, an even more killer hit was released - "Let's twist again" - as for me, much better and more groovy than the first "Twist". I will give a translation of this song, although, as you will understand, it is not at all obligatory.

(translated by Oleg Lobachev)

Hey all of you!
Clap your hands!
You look good!

I will sing my song.
It won't take long!
We will dance the twist.
Like this

Let's do the twist again
How we danced last summer.
Let's dance the twist again,
How we danced last year.

Do you remember the time when
Life was in full swing?
Let's do the twist again,
It's time for the twist!

We're spinning this way and that,
We're dancing again!
Oh baby let me know
That you love me so much
And then

Dance the twist again,
Like we danced last summer.
Let's dance the twist again,
How we danced last year.

Who is that flying up there?
Is that a bird? Not!
Is that an airplane? Not!
Is that a twist dancer? Yes!

Let's do the twist again,
It's time for the twist!

Twistomania has gripped the whole world. The twist was danced by the Dukes of Windsor, and Greta Garbo, and Jacqueline Kennedy. Checker advertised anything with a twist - from clothes to cakes, which were offered to be "twisted in the hands" before being eaten. On the wave of success, films about the twist with the participation of Checker were released - for example, "Twist Around The Clock" ("Twist around the clock"), whose title openly referred to the sensational film "Rock Around the Clock", which opened the era of rock and roll .

The twist also reached the Soviet Union, and, like everything new that came from the West, it seemed wild and suspicious. However, in the West, he caused a wave of indignation. Here is a complaint from dance teacher Mr Stetson to BBC reporters: “Knees and pelvis are used in such a way that the dancer makes very obscene movements. Also, I strongly object to the unpairedness of such a dance. A girl should not go out on the dance floor without a partner and demonstrate herself in a way that is completely unworthy for British dance halls.

On one sixth of the land, Comrade Khrushchev echoed him in his usual manner: “What is the name of this dance then?.. Whistling or whistling? Twist? Well, what is it?! They say there is a sect - shakers. Yes, yes, there is one. Shakers!!! I know this from the works of Chekists. They are doing it. I didn't see them, but they told me what kind of sect it was... They say they dance like that!!! That is, to the point of frenzy, you know. Then they fall, you know. And this is a dance?! Why should we give up our folk dance? I'm not saying: Russians, Ukrainians. Take Uzbeks, Kazakhs, any peoples - their dance is smooth, beautiful. And this, listen, this is indecent!!! Make such gestures with certain parts of the body !!! It's indecent in society. And is this new?! I think, comrades, let's still stand up for the old days. Yes, old. To not succumb to this decadence. I don't know what the hell to say here."

Everything new and shocking is gradually becoming familiar. Why cancan - a frankly vulgar and indecent dance - and then it got accustomed, settled down. The same thing happened to Twist after the exit of the expressive Soviet leader. At the "Blue Light" in 1966, comedians Livshits and Levenbuk openly ridiculed the persecution of the twist and themselves, as they say, "lit" to the music of Arno Babajanyan. Well, a year later, the characters of the “Prisoner of the Caucasus” were already famously dancing the twist.

From a speech by Livshits and Levenbuk, 1966:
“There are administrators who can remove you from the site for a twist. Or write to the local committee at the place of work. Or even worse: in the window "Do not pass by!" they will hang a photograph of the dancer, and the signature below: “Remember! The one who dances the twist is a parasite and an imperialist! What to do? There is a way out. If such an administrator comes up to you and forbids you to dance the twist, you say: “This is not a twist. This is a new student dance, each movement of which symbolizes the glorious work of our student. This movement symbolizes the polishing of the floors in the hostel on the principle of self-service. And this is how (they make passes with their hands) our students sit behind books every day. And so (another hand pass) our students work on the virgin lands. And this is how (lifting their heads) our students follow the flight of the satellite. And so (they pull their feet forward) they are parasites.

What about Chubby Checker? As expected, the wave of twistomania subsided, giving way to “Beatlemania” by 1964. However, from time to time, the twist now and then surfaced from the depths of oblivion. In 1975, the re-released single "Let's twist again" again hit the top ten in the British charts. In 1987, Chubby Checker revived "The Twist" again, performing it along with ... rappers from THE FAT BOYS. At 19In '88, he had already performed it at the Super Bowl. In 1994, the twist was remembered thanks to the movie "Pulp Fiction", where John Travolta and Uma Thurman famously danced it (although they danced to Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell").

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