An infectious bouncy beat, blazing horns, catchy melodies, signature clothing styles and dance moves --- these contribute to make up what we know as disco music. Disco, which peaked in the 1970s, is a genre of dance music with funk, soul and pop influences. Even though its popularity is nowhere near what it used to be, the hits and dance styles of disco are still around today.
A dance can't be a dance without the music behind it. Disco spawned several memorable artists and bands, many of which still tour and record today. Some big names include the Village People, KC & the Sunshine Band, the Bee Gees, Donna Summer and more. It's hard to find a wedding or a party without the Village People's "Y.M.C.A." being played. Disco music typically has a strong "four on the floor" feel, meaning the four counts in a measure (1, 2, 3, 4) are heavily accented. This is what makes it easy to dance to. As well, disco often features funky guitar and horns, thick bass lines and catchy lyrics.
While disco music can be played anywhere, it's known for being played in dance clubs, often called "discos" or "discotheques" with disco balls hanging from the ceiling. These clubs were especially prevalent in the 1970s. Patrons decked out in bell-bottoms got together to dance to disco hits into the late hours of the night. Many dance clubs today try to revive this experience by having "retro nights" or other events where adults of all ages can bring out their bell-bottoms and dancing shoes for a night of disco hits.
In addition to the signature music and clothing styles, a big part of disco is the dance steps. Disco dance typically involves movements with the feet to the side or forward or backward. All the patterns are in groups of four to coincide with the four counts of a measure of music. As well, some songs have certain dance moves, so dancing in the disco style often means dancing the exact same patterns as the other people on the dance floor.
Four-Count Dance Step
Disco has different dance steps, but one of the easiest ones is this four-count dance step. Before beginning, your left and right feet are side by side. On count 1, you move your right foot to the right about a foot. On count 2, you move your left foot behind your right foot and then to the right of your right foot. On count 3, you move your right foot about a foot to the right of your left foot. On count 4, you move your left foot just to the left of your right foot, similar to the position in which you started.
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