I have a theory about the British attitude towards dancing. And I say this as a British person.
Your average Briton is not comfortable with dancing. It means moving your body about too much in an uncontrolled way. It has overtones. It's sexual. It's a bit animal. We aren't sure how to do it. Bit like sex really.........so many of us are not sure how to do that, either, or at least, not thoroughly. Dancing and sex are linked......so that's probably why the British find it all so embarassing. Best to get it all over with.........or have rules which tell you how to do it.
Certainly, we can do formal dances such as the Waltz, Quickstep and other ballroom dances, and we did invent Morris Dancing, if that is something to boast about, but when it comes to freeform dancing.......well, that's not Quite Proper, is it? Lacks organisation. And oh, we love organisation! But dancing? Too spontaneous.Yes, when it comes to Country Dancingfor example, we are fine because there's set moves, but anything else? Forget it!
Oh, give us a few drinks at a wedding and we will be out there slipping a disc with the best of 'em while we try to do The Twist, and some younger people might have altered their consciousness by bobbing up and down rhythmically for hours at a rave, but beyond that, what do you do?
Party Dances. That's what you do.
By "party dances" I mean group dances, often to very inane music with trivial lyrics, the sort that should be only done by the under 10's at a birthday party.
In the 1940's we had The Hokey Cokey......"You put your left leg in, left leg out, in, out, in, out, shake it all about......" and this set the scene for a whole host of similar dances. Who could forget (though those of use who experienced it would like to be able to),the great dance of the late 70's.......yes, The Birdie Song, accompanied by frantic arm movements to mimic the flap of a bird's wings? Or prior to this, The Wigan Slosh , about which I can remember almost nothing, apart from the fact that it involved clapping your hands under one raised knee?
In the 1980's we had Black Lace, stalwarts of the Working Men's Club circuit, complete with mullets and jackets with rolled up sleeves, giving us Agadoo ("Aga - do, do, do, push pineapple, shake the tree"), and a very strange one which I think was called Superman, and involved pretending to clean your teeth and spray under your arms; before flinging your arms wide and singing out "Superman!"
Moving swiftly on, in the 90's we had the Macarena , my main experience of which was in a hotel in Dublin at midnight with a load of drunken Irish people.
Now, a lot of these dances did indeed originate in the context of parties, or, in the case of the Macarena, at archetypal British holidays at concrete hotels in Spain; but my main point is, to the non-dancing British, they were a godsend. And you can bet that any group that can link a little, easy to follow dance routine with a cheesy, cheerful little song, will have a hit on their hands. Specially if they launch it in the summertime.......
There is, of course, a linked article to this....Cheesy British Summertime Pop Songs, but I'm not sure I have the strength to write it. The dances were bad enough, although I was unusual in that I did not flock onto the dance floor with dozens of my fellow Brits, grinning madly and flapping my arms like a demented chicken.
And if anyone knows of any more party dances, please let me know!