Movin’ & groovin’: Black teen dance shows of ’50s, early ’60s

Teenage dancers on the set of Teenage Frolics (Raleigh, NC), ca. 1960. Courtesy of Yvonne Lewis Holley. Ed. note: artsmeme is delighted to share the second of three excerpts from an marvelous new book by author Julie Malnig. Dancing Black, Dancing White: Rock ‘n’ Roll, Race, and Youth Culture of the 1950s and 1960s (Oxford ...

Don’t just sit there … jive with your hands!

Dance · Film · Music
Ed. note: We’re pleased to feature a fun item contributed by an expert in American popular dance, Julie Malnig. Take it away, Julie! The Hand Jive was one of the most popular rock and roll group dances of the late 1950s and became a hit on televised teen dance programs of the era such as ...

Strolling through American teen-dance history 1

Dancing to a hit song of late 1957, “The Stroll” by The Diamonds, these kids clearly did not get the memo that being a teen in in the ’50s was a boss thing to be. Their charming shyness — and, ahem, terrible dancing — is precious. And it’s the polar opposite of today’s Tweeting, Instagraming, ...

Doing the mashed potato with Dee Dee Sharp … and Steve

When we last left our friend Steve Vilarino, he was 15 years old and doing the pony at “Hollywood A Go Go,” a teen dance-party broadcast, behind Marvin Gaye singing (er …lip syncing) “Can I Get A Witness.” Steve pops up again, this time doing the mashed potato, appropriately enough to “Mashed Potato Time” sung ...

‘Hollywood a Go Go’ mystery dancer ‘backs’ Marvin Gaye 1

Dance · Music
Boogieing with insouciance, without so much as a glance at the performing artist — that would be Marvin Gaye — is arts·meme friend Steve Vilarino. Steve has his moment in the Zelig world as a studio dancer on Hollywood A Go Go, the short-lived television teen dance program dating from the mid 1960s. Steve’s aged ...