Oh yeah! Bobby Banas rocks “The Nitty Gritty” 13


The great, great stage and screen dancer Bobby Banas swings, very hard and very well, in “The Nitty Gritty” — this television clip from The Judy Garland Show in 1964.

Banas choreographed the number on the spur of the moment. “I choreographed the “Nitty Gritty,” he shared in an email, explaining that choreographer Peter Gennaro’s assistant was originally tasked with the assignment but didn’t quite know what to do. So Banas was conscripted.

“If you noticed, my partner was Gina Trikonis, “Gaziella” from West Side Story.”

Perhaps, Bobby, but none of the dancers ports quite the demonic energy that you display!

Peter Gennaro also dances in the number at far right.

The opening moments of this delicious morsel make good use of “croisé” position … dancing on the diagonal. The body orientation then swaps to “en face,” dead-on, a straight presentation to the camera.

13 thoughts on “Oh yeah! Bobby Banas rocks “The Nitty Gritty”

  1. Catherine Wilkinson Jun 25,2024 8:18 am

    Why does no one name all the dancers?

  2. Jujubee Sep 16,2021 4:22 am

    I LOVE this. I can watch this over and over again and I never get tired of it!

  3. GS Feb 12,2021 9:02 pm

    Shirley Ellis and Bobby Banas OWN “The Nitty Gritty. Totally floored when I see this performance with Peter Lawford starting off explosive Banas. I have seen this many times and react the same-like getting a ride in my older brothers 62 “fuelie” vette back in the days. Banas will be a young spirit forever.!

  4. Graham Maguire Feb 2,2021 7:50 am

    People tend to forget how todays dancers/artists owe it all to these guys and girls….they made a blueprint that’s immortal and still looking fresh in 2021!!!

  5. Warden Neil Jan 27,2021 11:06 am

    BIG THANK YOU to a wonderful creative multi talented guy BOBBY BANAS–who i am very grateful was my first boss when i went Freelance Costume Designing and Bobby helped me launch my Costume Design career
    He was the nicest human being to work and get creative with and i can’t get enough of his creative work on the screen–he deserved to be another Gene Kelly in stardom and looks and status

  6. debra levine Dec 22,2020 10:40 am

    A very special dancer … Bobby Banas.

  7. Vicki F. Dec 21,2020 4:22 pm

    I could watch him/Bobby Banas 24/7

  8. Jon Smetana Nov 1,2020 8:22 pm

    I know the names of all the dancers in the Nitty Gritty dance EXCEPT the OTHER two (2) women dancers. Please, someone, tell me the names of the OTHER two (2) dancers in that Nitty Gritty dance show. Thank you.

  9. Terry Sykes May 16,2020 9:10 pm

    I realize this is 56 years too late and I was only 7 at the time, but I just discovered this fantastic dance routine with Bobby Banas on YouTube recently. It’s only had about 10 million views, so l was late to that too. LOL!. Wow! I was just blown away that Banas tore up the dance floor with a routine he choreographed and on The Judy Garland Show no less – not exactly known for Rock ‘n Roll. I have watched it at least a dozen times and it’s fun and amazing on every view. Thank you Mr. Banas for wonderful and inspiring work throughout your career. Glad that you’re doing well. Take care of those roses!

  10. Barry Mar 2,2019 3:57 pm

    Who is the girl on the right I’m in love – she’s only 80 by now but….

  11. Jim Dec 5,2018 3:37 am

    The other boy dancer is no slouch, either. He is Gary Menteer who partnered Ann Margret in Onna White’s great “Lot of Livin'” number in Bye Bye Birdie,and was also the blond waiter prominent in the Harmonia Gardens scenes in Hello Dolly. I guess that rehearsal time was really limited for this number.

  12. Debra Cater Nov 12,2018 4:43 pm

    I have watched this video sooo many times and LOVE IT! The boy in the front (Bobby Banas?) just gets it…really gets it. Excellent dancer…totally absorbed.
    To think this was in the 60’s….wow! He is great.

  13. Michael zip Aug 31,2018 5:58 pm

    A Friday inspiration. Get right down.

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