Monster Mash Dance Steps

by Kent Page McGroarty
Dress up in a scary costume before performing the moves.

Dress up in a scary costume before performing the moves.

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Learn to do "the mash," the dance discussed in the lyrics to the hit song "Monster Mash," and impress your friends with your knowledge of '60s dance moves. Once you learn the moves, try incorporating the song and dance into theatrical productions, music videos or haunted houses with a humorous twist.

Song History

The song "Monster Mash" was written and performed by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kicker 5. The song was a hit when it was released in 1962 and charted once again after its re-release in 1972. One of the most famous novelty songs ever recorded, the song is played on radio stations each year around Halloween and has been covered by many groups and performers including The Beach Boys, The Smashing Pumpkins, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Vincent Price.

Dance Origins

The Monster Mash dance is basically a version of the Mashed Potato, a song and dance performed by '60s artist Dee Dee Sharp in 1962. Called "Mashed Potato Time," the song was one of several hits for Sharp, including "Slow Twistin" with Chubby Checker and "Mashed Potato's" follow-up hit, "Gravy For My Mashed Potatoes." The song's music was loosely based on the Marvelettes' hit "Mr. Postman," another popular song for performing the Mashed Potato.

Monster Mash Dance Steps

The Monster Mash dance is the same dance as the Mashed Potato with the addition of creepy, ghoulish arm movements and transitions. Start with feet pointed inward and knees slightly bent. Use the balls of your feet to twist feet simultaneously in a pivot-like motion, and lift each leg up a few inches off the ground periodically. You can play with the leg and feet movements as desired to the beat of the music while adding creepy movements with your arms. Look at how the zombies dance in Micheal Jackson's "Thriller" video should you need ghoulish dance move ideas.

Dance Step Variations

Dance step variations of the Monster Mash can include other '60s dance moves such as the Twist, which involves twisting your feet in time to the music while moving your arms up and down. The Watusi is another '60s dance that can easily be incorporated into a Monster Mash dance. Stand with feet about 12 inches apart and keep your knees bent. Shift your hips from side to side as you pretend to take a "golf swing" with your arms.

Photo Credits

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