Yankee Doodle Goes Viral: A Line Dance Tutorial

Do you remember the early American song Yankee Doodle? This song is the rallying song of the rebel forces of early America. I took traditional dance moves and put together a fun Yankee Doodle Line Dance.

Yankee Doodle

The marching air Yankee Doodle is composed by my favorite composer, anonymous. No one knows for sure where this air came from. The melody can be traced back to a medieval Irish maypole song “all the way to Galway.” It was re-worded as a derisory tune the British sang about the American troops.

Yankee Doodle British meaning

Song facts states that the Yankee doodle song dates to the 1754 French and Indian war. The British troops had a low opinion of the American troops. “Yankees” was a derogatory term for sloppy and ill-equipped American soldiers. A doodle was a German term for fool.  A dandy was a highly fashionable English gentleman, and by Sticking a feather in your cap and wearing a “macaroni” wig you became sophisticated. This was more slang to emphasize the lack of style. “Mind the music and keep the step and with the girls be handy,” was a reminder that dancing was different overseas and to check that you are doing your steps properly and holding the girl in the correct way. 

Yankee Doodle meaning

As Americans turned the Revolutionary war in 1775, they picked up the song as a slap in the face of the British troops. At the British surrender in Saratoga, New York in 1777 “Yankee Doodle” was played in victory. “Yankee Doodle” became a term of pride in 1781. American Songwriter writes,” Adding to the subversion of the song, according to a Boston newspaper, after the Battle of Lexington and Concord, one British soldier asked another how he liked “Yankee Doodle” now? To which the latter responded, “Dang them [the American troops]. They made us dance it till we were tired.” It later became the official song of Connecticut.

Lyrics

Yankee Doodle went to town
A-Riding on a pony
Stuck a feather in his cap
And called it macaroni.

Yankee Doodle, keep it up.
Yankee Doodle, dandy.
Mind the music and the step
and with the girls be handy.’ 

Betsy Ross & Yankee Doodle line dance

Betsy Ross is the iconic American woman patriot. An adept businesswoman who darned the first American flag. She surely hosted barn dance and kicked her heals up with the sons of liberty and American rebels like Geroge Wahington. I adapted traditional American dance moves into a modern line dance to the song Yankee Doodle and performed it as Betsy Ross with her uncle George Ross. Have fun learning this doodle line dance.

Yankee Doodle Line Dance.

7 steps to the left (grapevine) and a tap. If the grapevine is too difficult, a side step can be substituted.

8 steps to the right (grapevine) and a tap.

3 steps in and a tap.

3 steps out and a tap.

8 steps turning to your right.

New wall.

Cast

Betsy Ross – Holly Tomazin

George Ross- Craig Tomazin

Holly Tomazin


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References

https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/resources-for-educators/classroom-resources/media-and-interactives/media/music/story-behind-the-song/the-story-behind-the-song/yankee-doodle/

https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/colonial-music-institute/essays/real-words-to-yankee-doodle/

https://www.cliffsnotes.com/cliffsnotes/subjects/history/what-is-the-song-yankee-doodle-dandy-really-about

https://abcnews.go.com/US/yankee-doodle-dandy-explained-revolutionary-facts/story?id=24314207

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/traditional/yankee-doodle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yankee_Doodle