50’s Dances Hot Rod Rock & Rumble

Do you love rockabilly? I am finding I have an affinity for the fabulous 50’s dances and retro culture. The team from Adventures in Dance had the pleasure of teaching dance at the Hot Rod Rock & Rumble this year. Our show was rained out, but that did not stop up. We came home and filmed our show to share with you.

Take and adventure, a retro dance adventures, back to the 50’s for a rockabilly dance experience with the team from Adventures in dance with Holly, Craig & Jessica. It is a fun journey back in time to the popular dances of the 1950’s. Pared with popular dances are historic songs, and rockabilly hits. Read on for more fun history and dance.

Rumbas from the 50’s

Bali Hai is a mythical island in the musical South pacific. This song premiered onstage in 1949, then again in the 1958 movie version of South Pacific. This song bridges from the end of the 40’s to the end of the 50’s. The American rumba was championed by Xavier Cugot in 1929 and taught by Arthur Murray. But it took off internationally in 1955 when Frenchman Pierre with his partner Lavelle brought it to France.

Latin music became a craze in the 1950’s. By 1955 Pierre Lavelle established the Cuban rumba. Rockabilly band Boppin B does an awesome take on the classic Cuban rumba beat in their song “The earth stood still.”

Beautiful Bolero

Besame Mucho, or kiss of fire was written by a young lady who had never been kissed before. It was made famous in 1956 by Trio Los Panchos and covered later by Dean Martin. Recognized as the most recorded Mexican song in the world, it is also the most popular bolero music to dance to. Trio Las Panchos promoted the popularity of the Bolero in the 1940’s and it continued into the 50’s.

Ga-ga for Cha-Cha

In the 1950’s America was ga ga for Cha-Cha. By 1959 Sam Cooke’s biggest hit was “Everybody likes to Cha-Cha”, which was inspired by a Christmas party he attended. While at the party a Cha-Cha began, and someone yelled out “everybody Cha-Cha!” and the rest is history.

Vintage Viennese Waltz

World renowned song “That’s amore” was commissioned by Jerry lee Louis for Dean Martin to sing in the 1952 movie “The Caddy.” Although it was never a hit, it continues to be played today. It is an iconic Viennese waltz that never goes out of style.

Who is the Boss of Foxtrot?

Love stories never go out of style. Ann-Margaret and Elvis Presley fell in love during the filming of Viva Las Vegas and recorded a Duet “You’re the Boss.” It was then cut for being too sexy. Blues inspired foxtrots can get a little sexy as well. We will not cut our foxtrot for its alluring qualities. 

Can’t tell a Waltz from a Tango?

Alma Cogan was known for her United Kingdom single hits in the 1950’s. Following the popularity of the Blue Tango, in 1954 Alma recorded “I Can’t Tell a Waltz From A Tango”, truly rockabilly with a twist. The Tango dates back to 1857, but really took off in popularity in the 20’s with Rudolph Valentino’s “4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” That popularity did not cool during the 50’s as they continued to produce iconic tango music for dancing.

Line Dancing Rockabilly Stroll

Merging the past with the present is what makes the Rockabilly stroll a great dance. It combines the best of the past with pieces from the bop, the stroll, and the Chalypso into one great line dance. Have a hip cat happy time dancing this rockabilly favorite.

Rock that Waltz

Who ever heard of a Rock and Roll Waltz? Kay Starr did. After leaving capitol records for RCA Kay Starr struck a Number 1 single hit in 1955 with the “Rock and Roll Waltz.” Waltzes have survived the test of time and are a great 50’s go to.

Hot Tequila Mambo

Do you like Cuban Tequila? The song hit #1 in the billboards in 1958 from a rockabilly jam session with Dave Burgess and released by Challenge Records by the band “The Champs” The mambo was quick and fast like a shot of “Tequila”.

Swing with a Stray Cat Jive

What hip cat would not like to cut a rug with a jumpin Jive swing? The Stray cats made their mark with this rockabilly hit, “Stray Cat Strut”. B-bopping Swing and Jive were full of hot dance moves for 50’s hip cats.

Thank you to the Hot Rod Rock & Rumble for inviting us to share our fabulous 50’s dance show with them. We had a great time teaching dance to their guests and look forward to doing it again. Out dance adventure performance team featured Jessica Virgo, Holly Tomazin, and most appreciated, Craig Tomazin. Join us for more fun dances!

Holly Collins Tomazin
WEDDING DANCE instruction
Certified Licentiate in
Ballroom, Latin, Smooth & Rhythm
with ISTD, DIVDA, FADS, & Arthur Murrary’s
author of
Holly’s hot wedding tips, 
Historically Accurate Princess Dances,
Winner of:
The Knot Hall of Fame best wedding dance instruction,
top 50 Dance Blogs
Champion Ballroom Dancer & Coach

owner of
Adventures in Dance
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