With Robert Webb. Irene Cara shares a surprising fact about Flashdance, Katy Brand on why the lambada made her feel uncomfortable, and an interview with Kylie's choreographer.
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Dancing is super fun. It's a form of expression and it's cool.
Oh, I know this song. Let's do the routine to it. It brings everyone together. It's great.
Having a dance craze gives us a chance to do something all together
and all feel like we are one animal.
There's been so many great dance crazes
and I've partaken in most of them.
It's fun, it's something that everyone can do.
Oh, it's camp as Christmas.
You can just do your thing.
You know what I'm saying.
Dance is a way to free the soul and ease the mind.
The moment any of these songs start, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.
Better to slap on a smile and get stuck in, I reckon.
Hello, I'm TV's Robert Webb, and this is Pop's Greatest Dance Crazes.
A countdown of the songs that have got you bopping like idiots
at office parties, wedding discos or alone in your front room drunk.
These are some of the sexiest, the quirkiest and, let's be honest,
the gayest dance crazes from the last 40 years.
It was about a young girl who aspires to be
a legitimate dancer, and she right now is a welder
during the day, and at night she does this incredible,
music video-type dancing.
It was based
on some girls in Pittsburgh who were
working in strip clubs, or whatever, but they were trying to do something that represented themselves.
It was called flashdancing.
Wow, I'm such a huge fan of Flashdance,
especially the scene where she pulls the chain
and all the water goes over her.
And the water, pow.
That was my favourite.
I would've kicked myself round a steelworks if I could look like that in the end.
I think it was a movie that was just one great music video.
The film made everyone want to dance, and even people who had
never been near a dance studio wore leg warmers and lycra.
Everyone knows the flashdance look, with the cut-off shoulder and the leg warmers, the whole Eighties feel.
It was very, very Pineapple, what with the off-the-shoulder sweat and
the high-cut knickers and the crop in cotton lycra.
It was about jazz dance, you know, that Fame era with the leotard and leg warmers and the hair.
It caught people's imagination, and that's great when you do that,
it's the best feeling, when people live your movie.
To fulfil her dream, Alex needed a scholarship to the dance academy,
and we were all rooting for her on the day of the big audition.
When that music kicks in and she's doing that audition,
I could be 100 and I'd be dancing,
because it's the adrenalin, "You will do it, do it, do it, do it."
# First, when there's nothing... #
That scene, where she's just like living What A Feeling
is just what dance is about in that era.
# In a world made of steel... #
I think people were caught up in the idea of somebody
wanting something enough and having their dream come true.
# What a feeling!
# Being's believing! #
She goes along the panel pointing you, you, you, and the kicks, everything.
Take your passion, make it happen.
It speaks to people's motivation, their faith in themselves.
Those are themes that are very human, very universal.
She's doing all these leaps and somersaults.
She turns on her back,
which is a very hardcore, hip hop move, then it was like, "Whoa."
Is it an urban myth, that it was really a man that all the acrobatics and stuff?
I've watched that over and over again, and it's definitely not her doing that backspin!
Being asked to wear a leotard, tights and a wig
and being asked to shave my legs and my underarms...
I wasn't groomed to be an actor or anything like that,
where they would be like, "Oh, yeah, cool, all right, so you need me to shave my legs?
"I'll shave my ass, too, just in case."
I was like, "Yeah, you'd better give me some money for this."
If you like a man whose surname is a number, you'll love our next entry.
It's Hey Ya!, sung by Outkast's Andre 3000.
I'm actually toying with the idea of changing my name from Robert Webb to Bobby Millions.
I won't really do it, of course. It just sounds ace when I'm chatting up women on the street.
Anyway, the great thing about this video
is that Mr 3000 plays the roles of all the band members himself.
It had to be filmed in one day, too, so the less energetic the dance, the later it was in the shoot.
And unusually for something coming out of my mouth, that's actually true. Here is your number 20.
Oh, guys, get some vitamin C. Come on.
# Hey, ya, hey ya... #
The Outkast dance was that.
# Hey, ya... #
It's pretty much that, isn't it?
# Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo. #
# Shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it... #
Shake it like a Polaroid picture. I can only guess that it means shake your booty like a Polaroid picture.
# ..like a Polaroid picture... #
Shake it, shake it, shake, shake it... At one moment there's a slow motion.
I fell in love with that girl when that music video came out.
God, she's so hot.
Polaroid used the popularity of this song to try and revive sales of their cameras.
However, shaking a Polaroid
doesn't actually help to develop the picture, as the image is behind a protective film.
Indeed, vigorous shaking risks distorting the image and can actually cause the ink to separate.
I'm so sorry, that was incredibly boring, wasn't it?
And everyone did this to make them develop quicker, didn't they?
I don't know why. Photographers used to do this.
It was the heat I think that did it. But everyone used to shake them.
-I never had any Polaroid pictures of me.
-It's digital now, really. It's been pretty much modernised.
-That's a good point.
-It's completely redundant.
-Get over it, Outkast.
At number 19 on our list of pop's greatest dance crazes
we have the 1989 dancefloor sensation the Lambada.
It's a sensual piece of music
that evokes romantic evenings by the beach,
eyes meeting over cocktails and a moustachioed busker in a sombrero going "Ayayayayeee!"
as he plays a guitar two feet from your table,
his phlegm drenching your deep fried calamari. Idiot.
We've brought in an expert to teach us the steps,
but first here's a reminder of the video that started the craze.
The video featured two Brazilian kids, Chico and Roberta.
I was about the same age as the little boy.
My mum used to say, "Bradley, that looks like you."
But the girl that he dances with, my gosh I used to fancy her so bad.
This sort of slightly uncomfortable Lolita-ish girl
and her tiny dance partner sort of,
you know, wiggling around like doing this really quite full-on dance.
I'd feel uncomfortable if that came on telly when my parents were in the room.
Embarrassing, maybe, but that's what the lambada was designed to do - to make us get up close and personal.
You need the energy of your partner that's holding your hand and he's like pulling you, hips, hips, hips.
The intimacy of the lambada is quite aggressive for the Brits, because
everyone is a bit more reserved here.
And of course, we know it's a Brazilian carnival type-dance.
-You need a partner. "Where is my partner? Partner?"
-I think the Latino culture is really fiery.
There's no gap between the partner. It's really important to have that physical contact and eye contact.
You do it together and it's
almost like having a lot more fun than just dancing.
A lot of women just like wanted to put on a mini skirt and twirl and maybe show their panties,
-a glimpse of their panties.
-I couldn't cope with it.
It was so beyond my experience of life, I didn't know what to do.
It was a very, very naughty, sexy dance.
That's what dancing is meant to be.
It's meant to be sexy and skilful and poised.
I agree, Rufus, but unfortunately not everyone is quite as skilful and sexy as Lorraine Kelly.
One, two, three, four.
Right, next up it's YMCA by the Village People. Not really!
It is of course the Bangles with their lie about how Egyptians walk.
But first, a Bangles fact - when they were recording the song Eternal Flame,
producer Davitt Sigerson convinced them to sing naked.
There's only one thing I have to say about that.
If you've got a great song with a title like Walk Like An Egyptian,
what do you reckon you're going to do?
# All the old paintings on the tomb they do the sun dance don't you know... #
How did people move to Walk Like An Egyptian?
Everybody knows it's like that.
It did it for you, didn't it?
Easy. A bit of this.
Thing is, we had an Egyptian kid in our school and we used to just walk past him all the time going...
He had a terrible time.
# Walk like an Egyptian... #
The Bangles were a trailblazing, all-girl power pop combo from LA
who hit number three with this track in 1986.
But the moves weren't exactly groundbreaking.
The Egyptian dance was a dance that had been done like years ago, and then they brought it back.
The sand dances were performed in the music halls by very, very thin men in nappies.
The joke basically was, "Look at this very, very thin man skidding around on some sand."
You just wouldn't make a song now picking a country and saying, "They all look like that!"
You just wouldn't nowadays.
But, oh, back in the Eighties you didn't think of such things.
Even the writer of the song admits the inspiration -
and he wasn't in Arabia and saw people doing that, it wasn't some documentary he saw people
doing that - the inspiration is when he saw people struggling on a ferry.
He saw people struggling to stand up on a ferry, doing that. "Oh, that looks Egyptian."
I think Walk Like People Struggling On A Ferry probably hasn't got the ring to it.
But I think what the Bangles fundamentally misunderstood
was that the pictorial hieroglyphic representation of Egyptian history was just that.
I'm not an Egyptologist,
but I don't think the Egyptians were walking around like that
and therefore I think the Bangles have done history a great disservice.
# Walk like an Egyptian. #
Hello there. I'm just rowing a small boat across a lake.
Hang on a minute, no, I'm not. I'm actually sat on a dancefloor with a piece of broken glass in my bottom.
Which can only mean one thing - I'm hammered and the DJ's put on Oops Upside Your Head.
I could have stopped doing this ages ago, couldn't I?
# Oops upside your head
# Say oops upside your head
Oops Upside Your Head is a song played exclusively at family get-togethers.
It's basically a group sat up on the dance floor as if they were in canoes, a pint of lager either side.
It's the ultimate inclusive dance craze.
Assuming all the kids in your family drink lager.
In the Eighties, Oops Upside Your Head used to come on all the time.
We used to sit on the floor and bash the floor.
Say Oops upside your head. And more.
Oops upside your head
Say oops upside your head.
It's basically line dancing for lazy people.
You can sit down and not worry about a thing.
It's a classic and it's one that gets everyone going.
-This is the biggest dance record at the moment. What do you do to this?
-A sort of rowing motion.
-Sort of like they do at Henley, I'd say.
-# Don't believe that I wanna dance... #
-The first time we went
to perform the song scared me half to death.
Everybody started sitting down. I was freaking out! I was like, "Come on, everybody come on, oops, up..."
And they was all getting on the floor and I was like, "What's going on?"
I turned around to my brothers and I was like, "This don't look good."
Then I turned back around and everybody was rowing and I was like, "Whoa, what's this?"
After I figured out they was doing a dance I was like a happy camper.
The origins of the dance are shrouded in mystery,
but it seems like it was us Brits who first came up with the moves.
Pat the floor, slight double pat, oops upside your head, with a shimmy to the front.
Once you get the hang of it, it's actually quite easy.
And then someone is normally sick down the back of your shoulder.
# Oops upside your head... #
I said, "So what's this called?" And he was like, "The Row Dance," and I was like, "The Row Dance?
OK!" And I was like, "Everybody row, come on."
There's something very strange about seeing lots of people sitting down on a dancefloor.
It kind of, is it a dance or is it a protest?
I don't know where it came from. It was a UK thing only.
They didn't do it in the States. I thought it was the coolest thing.
Do they still do it? They still do it.
That's all right.
We've all watched the X Factor and marvelled at Dannii Minogue's ability to make either positive,
negative or neutral remarks about a contestant's performance.
But how many of us realise that Dannii has a sister?
Well, she does, and her name is Kylie.
Interestingly, both Minogue sisters are so diddy that they sometimes save money on travel costs
by taking a sleeping pill, jumping into a Jiffy bag and being posted to their destination.
# Come on, baby, do the locmotion... #
Back in 1988, Kylie had a number two hit with The Locomotion, a cover of Little Eva's song
with a cute little dance that had us all pratting about with a chugga chugga motion.
But in 2001 Kylie got us grooving in a whole new and frankly much cooler style.
# ..do the locomotion with me... #
# La la la... #
Can't Get You Out Of My Head was a great dance track and a really iconic video.
I remember the white all-in-one with the hood and the robotic dance moves.
That was really cleverly choreographed, actually. It was simple but it was really effective.
# I just can't get you out of my head
# Boy, your lovin' is all I think about... #
Can't Get You Out Of My Head - choreographically, performance wise,
stylistic, clothing wise, it absolutely was a turning point for her.
Globally and internationally, she felt like a superstar.
# Every day... #
Loved that, that white suit Kylie wears in that video is so hot.
I love it. It's great. With a body like that, I mean phew.
# Won't you stay? #
Kylie asked me to come
into her dressing room and she showed me the dress
that she was going to be dancing in,
and... I said, "Where's the dress?"
The outfit she was wearing was completely covering her hair,
She wore that and just looked like a goddess.
Anything could pop out at any sort of time and she was just this swirling sort of sexy ghost.
What looks so scrummy on Miss Minogue was foolishly copied by clubbers.
But out in the real world, it just never seemed to look as good.
Especially on men. I only wore mine once before donating it to Dr Barnardo's,
unwashed and with one particularly unsightly stain.
There would have been a lot of toupee tape going on there
for those quick turns, just to, just so it doesn't come out.
There was some double stick tape going on. They were going to get the staple gun out,
but they just decided to go with the double stick.
Some of the iconic moves from the Can't Get You Out Of My Head video for Kylie Minogue - I had a pivot
where I had her step forward, sliding your feet against the floor.
And locking, these are called quarter pivots, slide, quarter, pivot.
Hands are kind of here, bent, really kind of cool.
Have the head kind of go with it, grooving and moving.
You've got a great tune there that allowed the choreographer to go, "Well, this is easy.
"Can't get you out of my head, hands on my head."
That's it, you know, and just animate that.
# La la la, la la la la la... #
Kylie doesn't even know this, but when I was making up the steps for her video
she put me up in a beautiful hotel and I had three feet from the bed to the wall and I literally
had to make up all the dance steps so I was doing everything like this
and keeping everything parallel, and all the dance moves that I did had to be in a three foot confined space.
Someone like her doesn't have to move much to make people catch on
to it because you're just kind of like hypnotically into it.
Everyone, when it came on, everyone was like going like they're a little bit demented.
That is the beauty of great choreography,
that every single person can pick it up and they can do it on a dancefloor
and feel like they're a star themselves.
# And ever... #
Kylie called me one day and she's like,
"Oh my God, Michael, everybody's doing these dance steps in the clubs in London!"
And I was like, so thrilled because any time a dance move catches on and becomes iconic,
it's just amazing.
If there's one thing you can always say about the British public, it's that they know their music.
That's why in 1998 they bought over 1.5 million copies of a single by Steps.
But then again, Tragedy was originally a Bee Gees song but H and the rest of the guys
really made it their own by coming up with these nifty little moves.
Maestro, if you please.
-# Tragedy... #
-When the feeling's gone and you can't go on, it's tragedy!
-When you know...
# With no-one to love you You're going nowhere
# When the feeling's gone and you can't go on, it's tragedy... #
You can't not remember...Tragedy.
As soon as you hear Tragedy, I mean, even I can't help it.
If you played it now, I'd have to sit on my hands.
My hands automatically go up to my face.
Tragedy. Arms out.
And the head.
That's one of my favourites! They just didn't even care.
They weren't cool, but it didn't matter
and I still do the routine to Tragedy.
Tragedy. One, da, da, da. Tragedy.
Under the command of pop Svengali Pete Waterman Steps conquered the UK charts,
peddling their own brand of catchy pop songs and disco covers
accompanied by equally infectious dance routines.
Even Prince Charles was infected, joining their legion when they performed at Hyde Park.
I was worried that he would think that we were taking the mickey out of his ears,
but of course, we were doing the Tragedy dance.
You know your dance craze has caught on when the future King knows the moves,
but actually, most people get the famous hand gesture wrong.
Our second single, Last Thing On My mind, had a similar dance routine to Tragedy.
We had a move like this and we called it "washing our hair".
And so some people do confuse that with that and you get a bit of a mix, but, you know, it's all good.
I just remember doing that.
# Take a chance on a happy ending... #
With a string of 14 - yes, 14 - consecutive top five singles,
Steps were based on a simple gimmick but boy, did it catch on.
We learned early on that everybody enjoyed
the dance routine as much as the song and it really went hand in hand for us and it became our signature.
The dance thing was definitely as important as the music.
They were acting out what they were singing and that made it so easy for everyone to copy it.
We decided it would be a good idea to actually have the dance moves
in the sleeves of our singles, so that the fans could join in.
We wanted the steps and that's what their name was and that's what they showed us - steps.
If they were called Acapella Harmonies, it'd be a different story,
but they were called Steps, they delivered steps. That's why we like them.
Regardless of your level of dance, the routines were simple,
everybody at home could join in and that's what we wanted.
I mean, they were no Beyonce.
Do you know what I mean? They were no Jackson Five.
I think they knew that, the public knew that.
But what they were, when they were, was great.
So! That's your lot. If, like me, you spent the whole show
dancing along to each and every song, then, like me, you probably stink.
Take a shower. Seriously, have a shower. Now.
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