"Grease" Dance Steps

By Monica Patrick

The movie musical "Grease" hit cinemas in 1978, and its choreographed numbers caused a dance sensation. "Grease" dance routines are popular with many dancers and often recreated at shows, recitals and other events. Many of the dance moves from these well-known routines have become almost trademark and are relatively easy to learn for performance or just for fun.

"Hand Jive" Line Dance

The "hand jive" has been used in many variations; there are several line dances based on the performance in the movie that are suitable for doing alone or in a group of any size. This is a boxy- style dance that uses the arms and the legs. Roll your hands to the left while turning your body to the left by pivoting on your heels, then roll your hands to the right while turning your body and feet to the right in the same way. Keep in mind that your hands and feet should face the same direction--when your hands go left, so do your feet, and vice versa. Face forward and tap your knees twice. Next, clap your hands together to the left and then to the right. Make fists and put them together in front of you; with your arms extended straight out, cross your fists one over the other, first at shoulder level and then at waist level. Tap your right elbow with your left hand, then tap your left elbow with your right hand. Start the dance over and keep going through the duration of the song.

"Greased Lightning"

In the movie, the "Greased Lightning" dance is performed by the main male characters while they're fixing up an old car. This part of the routine starts out in a tough-looking stance with the legs apart. As the music plays, point to the right. Keeping your index finger pointed, move your arm from your extreme right to your front in a count of eight. Then bring your right elbow down like you’re emulating a conductor working a train whistle. Do the elbow movement twice, then point to the left and keep your index finger pointed as you move your arm from your extreme left to your front in another count of eight. Next, spread out the fingers of your hands and put them at your side. Stand still, but pop your left leg at the knee and then do the same with your right leg. Turn your body around to face the back, then jump back to the front position. Start over from the beginning.

"You're the One That I Want"

"You're the One that I Want" is one of the closing songs of the movie, featuring the lead characters, Danny and Sandy, dancing together. To do this signature move, you’ll need a partner, and you'll face each other. Stand so that you're leaning forward on your left leg with your right leg behind you. Your partner should be standing with his right leg forward and his left leg behind. Both of you should wiggle your shoulders to the music. Lean forward while still wiggling your shoulders; your partner will lean back, also wiggling his shoulders. Do this to a count of four and then switch so that you are leaning back while your partner leans forward.

About the Author

As a former senior sales director with Mary Kay and the co-owner of a renovation company, Monica Patrick has firsthand knowledge of small business operations. Besides start ups, she has extensive skills in recruiting, selling, leadership, makeup artistry and skin care.