The Hucklebuck dance had its origins in the 1900s and was considered very provocative, even by today's standards. Popular in the 1940s and 50s, it is regaining popularity today. Now, it's possible to take classes devoted to this step, participate in flash mobs where people spontaneously begin doing the Hucklebuck, or join groups of people doing it on the dance floor. Why wait? Start doing the Hucklebuck today.
Start Out Simple
Stand facing the center of the room with your feet together. On the beat, lift your right foot and tap the floor about a shoulder's width from your left foot, tap the floor next to your left foot and tap the floor about a shoulder's width away from your left foot. Bring your right foot back to your left foot, then repeat the steps with your right foot. Tap the heel of your right foot in front of you twice, bringing your foot back next to your left foot between each heel tap, then repeat the heel taps with your left foot. Bend your right knee, bring your right foot in front of your left knee twice, then do the same with your left knee. Kick left once with your right foot, kick once right with your left foot, then kick each foot once more left and right. Put your left foot down about a shoulder's width from your right, jump up and land with your left side facing the center of the room and your feet about shoulder's width apart. Jump up again, clicking your feet together, and continue the steps from the beginning. Keep on going, doing a quarter turn each time, until you end up facing front again.
Cross Those Feet
When you do the quarter turn add two leg crosses for effect. After you do the two sets of single leg kicks to the left and to the right, jump up and turn so your left side is facing the center of the room. Leap up and land with your legs crossed, your right foot in front of your left. Leap up again and cross your legs the other way so your left foot's in front. Leap up again and land with your right foot again, then leap up and land with your feet together,side by side. Continue on with the dance steps described above.
Add Some Fancy Footwork
After the first steps of the Hucklebuck where you tap your right foot to the side twice and do the same with your left foot (see Section One), add a subtle dance step that will add more pizazz to your dance steps. WIthout moving your foot from the ground, raise your right toe off the ground and pivot your toe to the right with your heel on the ground. Tap your right toe on the ground, pivot your right toe back so it's facing front again and tap the ground again. Raise your right toe a second time and pivot your foot to the right and tap the ground with your right without raising your heel. Return your right toe to the front again, tapping the ground, then repeat the toes taps with your left toe. Continue on with the rest of the dance steps.
Go on and add your own steps to the Hucklebuck. As long as you keep with the beat and the general swing of things, you can't go wrong. According to Sonny Watson's Streetswing, pretty much anything goes. "The dance can get very sexual in nature with the male dancing behind the female, one hand on her waist or hip and the other on her shoulder, gyrating the hips in unison...," Mr Watson writes, and even describes how the woman can lie on the floor as her partner dances over her. While it's up to you whether you wish to add these variations, you must remember the most important part of doing the Hucklebuck: have fun.
Marjorie Gilbert is a freelance writer and published author. An avid researcher, Gilbert has created an Empire gown (circa 1795 to 1805) from scratch, including drafting the gown's patterns by hand.