Baby Boomers make up a large portion of our population. They were born after WWII between 1946-1964 and now are in their fifties to seventies. As a whole, this is a very resilient group of people with little desire to ‘act their age’. Although some do embrace their golden years, many refuse to accept them. To this, I can relate…forever young. One thing is for sure, whether they’re 50 or 70, Baby Boomers love to dance. Maybe it’s because they grew up with some of the greatest music of all time.
At first, I had in mind to do a post on ballroom dance theme parties. However, as I thought about it, I remembered that Baby Boomers love, love, love to dress up and act crazy at the parties with themes that were the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Of course! Those were the years they grew up in.
Let’s take a look at what was happening with the music during those years.
What is it about the music that makes the Baby Boomers love to dance?
Rock ‘n’ Roll ruled. The good thing about the 1950s is that, when it came to music, there was something for everyone. It could be Chuck Berry getting us all riled up with “Johnny B Goode”, Elvis crooning “It’s Now or Never“, or Patti Page doing “The Tennessee Waltz“. Regardless, partner dancing was where it was at. If you wanted to dance to a Jitterbug, Rumba, or Waltz, you could always find p
The 1960s brought Hippies and the British Invasion. Out went the old style of partner dancing and, since Baby Boomers love to dance, in its place came Freestyle. Everyone was doing their own thing. And, they were having a ball. One of the reasons for Freestyle’s popularity was you could dance even if you were a little tipsy. On the other hand, partner dancing, with it’s leading and following, required a more, shall we say, grounded disposition.
English rock groups like the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and, of course, the Beatles easily became all the rage. Then, the U.S. produced artists like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Jimi Hendrix who fueled the rebellion of the Hippie movement.
Freestyle dances like the Twist, Frug, and Watusi are just a few of the hundreds of dances introduced during this decade. The great thing about Freestyle dancing is that you can dance with nobody or everybody. If the music makes you dance, just get out there, shake it and have a blast! No judging.
“Line Dancing and Ballroom Dancing Help Each Other” is a Dance Safari post about another popular way to express the music that makes you dance.
Finally, the 1970s gave us Disco and we were all ready to ‘do the Hustle’. Yup, just a bunch of Dancing Queens (and Kings). A close relative of the Swing, Hustle was born on the streets of New York City and was danced like an Olympic sport in clubs like Studio 54. It single-handedly brought back touch dancing and reinvigorated the ballroom dance industry. That I know for sure because I was there.
Speaking of being there, check out this post about New Year’s Eve 1977 at Studio 54. I was there, too. And, all I can say is oh, what a night!
Disco artists such as Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer, and the Bee Gees created the music that inspired us. Of course, no discussion about the dance and the era would be complete without mentioning Van McCoy’s “The Hustle“. It reached #1 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1975 and became one of the songs that Boomers love to dance to.
Memories are the key to understanding why the Baby Boomers love to dance.
“Those were the best years of my life.” Ask any Baby Boomer