Chitty Chitty Bunny Hug how to
Historically accurate princess dance
Who doesn’t like an Easter hug? Then the bunny hug dance is for you. This ragtime variation on a one step is a lively little retro dance to get you ready for Easter.
Bunny hug history
The bunny hug began in the Fairmont hotel 1911. This happy little ragtime dance was a variation of the one step danced in a hug like position. Noble Sissle claimed “Memphis Blues ” was Vernon Castle’s inspiration for the bunny hug. The one step castle walk is the basis for the bunny hug.
Banned Bunny Hug
Animal dances in general were not well received. Dr. Adams, author of ‘The Social Dance’ book wrote ‘The Bunny Hug is danced in imitation of the sex relations between male and female rabbits.’ It was quite the dirty dance with the close embrace of men and ladies. It was considered a steamy dance to ragtime or slow blues music and one of the banned animal dances.
One step origin
One step date back to the middle ages. There is a one-step described in the medieval dance Branle De Original (link) as a single. For the bunny hug one step, I went back to the Castle’s description.
I love Verne’s description of why the lady begins stepping backward. “The gentleman usually starts forward and the lady backward-the reason being that the lady is generally more graceful and can go backward with greater ease, and a man can also see where he is going and thus prevent a collision with other couples.” This makes me smile because prior to the 20th century ladies began dances stepping forward to avoid the train on their dress. It was not until the shortening of skirts in the 20th century that ladies began dances stepping backward.
Castle One Step Description
From Modern Dancing
” Now to begin with the dance:
the gentleman starts forward with his left foot, and the lady steps backward with her right, walking in time to the music. Bear in mind this one important point: When I say walk, that is all it is. Do not shuffle, do not bob up and down or trot. Simply walk as softly and smoothly as possible, taking a step to every count of the music. This is the One Step, and this is all there is to it. There are very many different figures, but they are in this same strict tempo. It is simply one step-hence its name. ”
Bunny Hug How to
Dance position: Closed dance position with gentleman’s arms in a hug position under ladies’ arms, arms wrapping around each other’s necks. Break forward as the waist so your hips are further away from your faces. Now you are ready to dance the Bunny hug.
Basic Bunny Hug step
Gentleman walk forward beginning with the left foot for 8 counts.
Ladies walk back beginning with the right foot (because the lady is always right)
1 beginning with the left foot walk side and slightly forward in promenade position
2 Right foot forward and across in promenade position
3 left foot wide side hips out
4 right foot closed to left foot for 8 counts.
1 Right foot side in promenade position
2 left foot forward and across in promenade position
3 Right foot side hips out
4 left foot closes to right foot.
Natural right turn
1 side left foot commence to turn right
2 hook right foot behind left foot continue to turn right
3 side left foot continue to turn right
4 close right foot to left foot
Basic Bunny Hug step backward
Gentleman walk backward beginning with the left foot for 8 counts.
Ladies walk forward beginning with the right foot for the same 8 counts.
Chitty Chitty bunny hug?
I suppose you are wondering where I got my title. In looking at princesses for this dance, the movie “Chitty Chitty bang bang” jumped out at me. Chitty chitty bang bang was set in around 1911, when the bunny hug was hot. It seemed the perfect dance for the princess of sweets and heir to the scrumptious sweet factory, Truly Scrumptious. I chose a dress like the driving dress Truly wore when she and Caractacus Potts pitched toot sweets. I can just imagine this pair flying in their magic car to San Francisco to dance the bunny hug at the Fairmont hotel.
Bunny Hug Rag
Caractacus Potts- William Hooker –
Truly Scrumptious- Holly Tomazin
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Footnotes. (for my professor friends 😊 )
Animal dance the Bunny Hug
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