How to Learn the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Dance

By J. Lynn Patten ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Comfortable clothing
  • Lots of space
  • Copy of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from the Broadway Musical "Mary Poppins"
  • A stereo, CD player or MP3 player

Following the premiere of "Mary Poppins" as a musical on Broadway in 2006, audience members have been awed by the choreography accompanying the new version of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." The cast spells out the word over and over again and has a special move that goes with each of the letters. Within the song the word is broken down into smaller series of letters, and you will find those series of letters with their movements listed below.

Spell out SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS

Begin with feet together, hands at sides. Feet will remain together unless otherwise noted.

S-U-P-E-R: S - Keeping your palms flat, place the back of your left palm to your left hip. Place your right inside wrist on your left inside wrist. U - Keeping wrists together, bring them up to above your right shoulder. P - Make a "P" shape with your hands in front of your face by keeping your left arm parallel to your body and left palm straight, curving your left fingers and thumb to touch the top of your left fingers. E, R - These two letters have two moves that meld into one. Your right hand sweeps in a circular motion around your left hand, starting at the thumb side of your left hand. Once it has rotated one time, move your right arm out toward your right, above your right shoulder, keeping the elbow bent, wrist bent, and palm facing up as if you were holding a tray. Your left flat palm touches your right elbow. Bend your right knee, and lift the foot off the ground. (Pause) There is a beat before beginning the next letter. During this, place your right palm over your heart, and lift your left arm outward toward the sky in a half-V position, palm flat.

C-A-L-I-F: C - Keeping legs straight, bend forward at the hips. Keep your left arm flat against your side. With your right arm, bend it at the elbow and place the right hand by the forehead in a salute. A - Straighten your body and make the peak of an "A" over your head by bending the elbows at shoulder level and keep them towards the outside of your body. Touch the fingertips of both hands together over the head. L - Left arm is bent at the elbow, held at shoulder level. The lower part of the arm is facing upward, with the palm flat and facing toward the head. The right arm bends at the elbow at shoulder level and is perpendicular to the left arm. Keep the palm flat and touch the right wrist to the left elbow, making an "L" shape with the arms. I - Touch the center of your chest with your fingertips, bending your elbows, as if you are saying "me" or "I" with your body. F - Step forward with your right foot, bending slightly at the knees. Make an "F" with your fingers by bending the left elbow at shoulder height and facing the lower part of the arm upward toward the sky. Point your first finger. Bring your right arm over your head, bend at the elbow and place it perpendicular to the left arm. With your first two fingers out and the rest tucked, touch the two fingers of the right hand to the one of the left hand. (Beat) - Stand up straight with hands down at your sides.

R-A-G-I-L: R - Same as the beat from step 1. Place your right palm to your heart, left arm out in a half-V with a flat palm. A - Bend left arm at elbow and place left hand at hip. Bend right elbow and place right hand to right ear, palm facing forward, as if saying "eh?" with your body. G - Bend slightly at the knees and forward with the torso. Arms go straight down towards the floor, palms facing each other. I - Hold the "G" position. L - Step backward with left foot and let your upper torso lean back as well. Bend arms 120 degrees at elbow, hold at shoulder level with elbows facing forward. Palms face forward. (Beat) - Same as the very first "L" with the left elbow bent, upper arm shoulder level, lower arm facing upward and palm straight. Right arm bent 90 degrees, right wrist touching left elbow.

I-S-T: Think of these three letters as one successive move. I - Grab hands together at head level toward the left side of your body. S - Move through this letter by swooping clasped hands down toward your right hip and up along your right side to end in the motion for "T," below. T - Make a "T" shape with your arms by bending at the elbows, the left arm is parallel to your body, the right lower arm is perpendicular. Make fists with both hands and rest the right wrist on the left fist.

I-C-E-X: Also think of this as one move shifting into another. I - Keeping elbows bent and hands in fists at head level, cross the wrists in an X with the right over the left. C - Move through this letter by rotating your arms, having the wrists rotate over one another inward toward the body. Bend at the knees, ready to jump at the next letter. E - Keep moving your arms and wrists through the rotation to make an X with the right arm over the left and palms now flat. Jump up slightly. X - Land from your jump, arms still crossed in an X.

P-I-A-L-I-D-O-C-O: P - Bend left elbow, place hand out, palm up as if asking for something to be placed in your hand. Right arm comes up slightly over head and outward, fingers open. I through C - On each letter, tap the left hand with the right thumb and forefinger, which are placed in a circle together with the other three fingers out in an "OK" sign. Through this series of letters, make one full sweep from left to right with the hands and body, feet remaining still. O - This letter has two moves that meld into one. Begin by shifting weight into the left foot and bending the right knee, taking the right foot off the ground. Bend both arms at the elbows, point elbows out from the body, and have the lower parts of the arms facing down. Hands are in fists. Move into a kick with the right leg, folding the left arm up against the body and punching the right fist across the body down toward the left hip.

C-I-O-U-S: C - As in the first "C", keeping legs straight, bend forward at the hips. Keep the left arm flat against the left side. With the right arm, bend it at the elbow and place the right hand by the forehead in a salute. I - Remain bent with the body, keep saluting and place left hand over heart. O - Remain bend with the body, keep hand over heart and place right hand out from head with the palm facing toward the head.
U - Stand up straight, place arms straight out about waist level with palms facing up. Bend left ear towards left shoulder. S - Keeping palms straight, touch wrists together on the insides, with the right on top of the left. (Beat) - Stand straight with arms down at each side. You did it!

Tip

Listen to the song several times to ensure that you know the rhythm. Once you have the rhythm down in your head, begin practicing without the music. Go slowly, breaking down each letter of each section before moving on to the next. Speed will come with time. Once you have the moves down and can perform them without thinking through muscle memory, play the music. You will probably notice that you mess up once you add the music even though you could perform the moves by themselves. This is normal, your brain is just picking up more stimuli. Keep practicing! This move can take several hours or days to learn, just remain patient. Watch the online video from Disney, below, to see the professionals.

About the Author

J. Lynn Patten has her bachelor's degree in psychology from Central Michigan University and is working on her master's in drama from Texas Woman's University. She has worked with the young for more than eight years, in educational, social and artistic venues.