Get Down and Get Funky

Everybody and their mother knows about (and has most likely done) the Batusi.  “Doin’ the Metamorpho” was it’s own craze in the Swingin’ Sixties.  But more superheroes than that had their own dances.  For this week’s LIST we submit a sample of the most overlooked or lost superhero dances.

In larger cities, in the 1940’s, a popular dance craze was the Miraclo Shuffle. While there was no set of steps for the dance, there were rules. Simply, a mob of dancers and a group of musicians would get hopped up on cocaine or some other upper. They would then proceed to dance non-stop for an hour. No breaks, no switching songs, just drug fueled dancing…and occasional accidental trampling.

When doing The M11, a version of the Robot for competition, dancers shoot death rays at other competitors.

The Joker is a dance that has come and gone in several eras of music. Dancers alternately mimic hitting their partners over the head with giant pantomime mallets and squirting each other with pantomimed acid flowers. More advanced dancers will actually bring mallets and squirting acid flowers to the dance club.

The Flash, a staple of the late-80’s and early 90’s, was essentially the Running Man, except it requires tapping into the Speed Force and approaching the speed of light.
Hotsteppers doing The Shazam are really doing a modified two-step in which one of the dance partners hits the other with a taser, thereby simulating a bolt of lightning that will transform them into The World’s Mightiest Mortal.

The Bat-Bomb has dancers rhythmically moving to the music while pretending to run with a giant bomb hoisted over their heads.

The Sandman (now called The Golden Age Sandman), was especially popular at after-hours parties because participants pulled out pillows and napped on the dance floor for 6 minutes.

Many of these dances included special costumes, but only The Mxyzptlk required covering your entire head with an animal mask so you could party like a lycanthrope.  Some revelers opted to go with the enlarged cranium, but that tended to be a Central City variation.

A popular punk rock dance from the 1980’s was the Shadowcat. Participants would vigorously throw themselves at the walls and other hard surfaces in attempts to pass through them.

The Super-Samba was the only dance where a key step is twirling your partner so fast they spin the Earth backwards and turn back time.

Where was the best place to see the best super-heroic dance steps in the 60’s?  Why, on Ben Grimm’s local New York City dance show “It’s Polka’in’ Time!” A combination of American Bandstand and The Lawrence Welk Show, this was the first television show to showcase the dances themselves and not the songs accompanying them.  Only Mr. Grimm and his frequent co-host Aunt Petunia could make a show with polka in the title cool for the kids.

Of the many dances to appear on “It’s Polka’in’ Time!,” none received more fan-mail that the Paste-Pot Pete Polka. This dance involved covering both partners in mucilage, polka dancing around the floor and attempting to pick up as many other couples, tables, chairs, band members, and others items. The couple at the center of the largest ball of stuff won a silver-loving cup.

If the Paste-Pot Pete Polka was the most popular polka on Ben Grimm’s show, the least popular came about when the show and its host were hijacked by Dr. Victor Von Doom. Set to a cacophonous song, “Richards
is a fool,”
those forced to participate were expected to alternately laugh maniacally over each other and raise their arms in the air in frustration… mimicking Doom’s triumph and the inevitable defeat of Reed Richards.

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