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Dance Craze ~ Twist Nostalgia in 1960 Era ~ Chubby Checker

Updated on March 4, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I have many fond memories of growing up as a child in the 1950s in Wisconsin. The 1960s saw many changes including a family move to Texas.

Nostalgic memories of the fun we had during the 1960s dancing the TWIST made famous by Chubby Checker popped into my head the other day.

Talk about terrific exercise and fun...that was a dance that accomplished it all!

This goes back in time when I was in high school and I vividly remember slumber parties with my girlfriends when we would try out the various dance moves of the day and talk about the boys whom we wished would ask us for dates.

Generally speaking most of those wishes never came to fruition...but it did not stop our speculating and dreaming about what it would have been like to have dated this young man or that handsome fellow.

We would practice the dance moves so that we would be prepared for those dates if and when they would occur.

The TWIST was a favorite!

My brothers and me in the heyday of the twist era...1960s
My brothers and me in the heyday of the twist era...1960s | Source

"Let's Twist Again"

Chubby Checker and The Twist

The song, "The Twist" got almost everybody up on the floor dancing...or at least wanting to dance.

The picture at the top of this page portrays both of my brothers and me during the time of the 1960s when Chubby Checker burst upon the scene with his hit single "The Twist." This picture was taken probably around 1965 or somewhere near that date.

Chubby Checker's real name was Ernest Evans and he was born on October 3, 1941.

One of his schoolmates was Fabiano Forte who later became known as Fabian. I can clearly remember many a girl swooning over Fabian!

Working at the Produce Market in South Philadelphia, Ernest picked up his nickname of Chubby which morphed into Chubby Checker for his first television broadcast.

Chubby Checker debuted at The Clay Cole Show in New York when he first introduced The Twist in July of 1960.

He had many other hit songs through the years which also became popular some of which include the following:

  • The Huckleback
  • The Fly
  • Dance the Mess Around
  • Pony Time
  • Let's Twist Again
  • Slow Twistin'
  • Limbo Rock
  • Twistin' USA

and there were others.

My Dad
My Dad | Source

This video shows people still doing the Twist in 2007 and having fun!

Chubby Checker's The Twist was known for getting adults up on the dance floor and joining their teens in this dance.

From a personal perspective, I can verify that it had my entire family up and learning how to do The Twist.

My Dad was an expert!

He could not only do the dance moves as well as any teenager, but he could do it double time! It was so much fun having him join our twisting parties with not only family but some friends we had over as well. I am certain that he amazed my girlfriends with his aptitude for that particular dance.

My Dad was an excellent dancer in general.

In performing the twist dance, he would not only be gyrating back and forth but lower himself almost to the floor by bending his knees and then slowly rise up again all the while keeping to the beat of the song.

The grin on his face while performing was priceless!

My Dad was always jovial and a fun character as most all of my friends back then would attest.

He was light on his feet and quite athletic in his day. I guess it just translated well into his rendition of doing Chubby Checker's The Twist . I am smiling just thinking back to those days of family fun and times we shared together.

Doing The Twist was fun and also great exercise at the same time. We were burning calories, toning our bodies and having a blast at the same time which was certainly a winning combination.

Did you ever dance The Twist made popular by Chubby Checker?

See results

Other Dance Crazes in the 1960s

There were other dance crazes in the sixties, but none as popular and long lasting as The Twist.

A few of the others included these:

  • The Madison
  • Mashed Potato
  • The Mambo
  • The Pony
  • Watusi
  • The Monkey
  • The Swim
  • The Monster Mash
  • The Locomotion

Slow dancing and partners holding their other half will always be popular. But The Twist made it OK to go out on the dance floor unaccompanied and join in with the mass of others just enjoying the beat of the song and keeping time to the music.

Hopefully you enjoyed this nostalgic look back into the 1960s when the dance craze The Twist by Chubby Checker broke onto the scene and impacted my life and many others around the globe.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 19 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Druca Fate,

      So glad you enjoyed the video showing Chubby Checker and his twist dance.

    • profile image

      Druca Fate 19 months ago

      I adored the video! Many thanks for share it.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 23 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      Glad you liked this hub about the twist and Chubby Checker. HP has not featured it due to quality. Perhaps it was too personal? Oh well! At least hubbers can still see it.

      It is sizzling down here also. I also remember the summers up in Wisconsin when I was a child. No triple digit numbers like here in Texas back then. Stay cool up there!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 23 months ago from North Texas

      Your father must have been doing the Peppermint Twist, another song and dance made famous by Chubby Checker. It was slightly more complicated and faster. www.youtube.com/watch?v=tF80F79rywM

      Voted up, interesting, and shared with followers.

      Hope you are staying cool. We are into the triple digits daily and should peak at 107 in a couple of days. When I was growing up in Wisconsin 80 degrees was a hot day. Yesterday's low temp was 81.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Charlu,

      I'm in the same boat as you from the sounds of it. Easier to get down but not as easy to get back up with these aged knees. Ha! The twist was really fun and would still be good exercise if dancing to it today.

      My dad was a fun and great guy in so many ways. Everybody loved him! Thanks for your comment and votes.

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