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Buddy Bradley doing the Baltimore Buzz, circa:1927 Baltimore Buzz
      The Baltimore Buzz is called a "Lowdown Step" and was done in most clubs and stages through out the country in the 1920s. This was more of a dance step than an actual dance. The "Buzz" would be done along with other dances of the time. The dance gained its stardom in the 1921 All Negro Revue called 'Shuffle Along' when Florence Mills danced and sang the song.

   The step was done with stepping (walking) on one foot, and sliding the other foot up to it, then repeat other foot. This is done on the toes with the knees bent. The hips sway in the direction of the stepping foot. Arms held up and palms turned out (something like the Eagle Rock). The dance could be done as a couples dance as well by following the song lyrics. (The lyrics using dance instruction was popular at the time). Eventually this lead to the Shorty George or Boogie Walks.
   Buddy Bradley was a popular African-American New York Dance Instructor who taught many how to do the dance in its day. Other dances of the time that were popular along with this step was the "Ballin' The Jack, Black Bottom, Breakdown, Buzzard Lope, Camel Walk, Eagle Rock, Texas Tommy, Shake dance, Shimmy, Snake Hips, Turkey Trot,"etc.

Birth Place

Creation Date


Dance Type

?Mississippi? c.1920 n/a Ragtime Dance

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music Titles

n/a 1927 - Baltimore Baltimore Buzz (James P. Johnson) (Clip)
? 1909 - The Baltimore Bombashay?

Night Clubs



Savoy Ballroom n/a Mississippi
New Orleans
New York



Ballets / Stage

n/a Shuffle Along
Ziegfeld Follies



Other Related Dances of the time...

Apache Dance Buck Dance Fox-trot Ring Shout Suzy-Q
Ballin The Jack Bunny Hug Grizzly Bear Savoy Tap Dance
Big Apple Cakewalk Jitterbug Shag Texas Tommy
Black Bottom Charleston Lindy Hop Shimmy | Shake dance Toddle
Breakaway Collegiate Mess - Around Shim-Sham Truckin'
Breakdown The Eagle Rock? Peelin' The Peach Snake Hips Dance Turkey Trot

Dancers, Choreographers etc.


Buddy Bradley (See above Pic) Ulysses 'Slowkid' Thompson n/a
Florence Mills

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...



Date Published


Dance Magazine Elise Marcus 9/1927 Macfadden Publications
Spreadin Rhythm Around Jasen, David A. 1998 Shirmer Press




Poets / Writers

Eubie Blake's Shuffle Along Orchestra (HMV VICTOR Record - 18789 (Berliner Canada) n/a n/a n/a

Misc. Research Words that may be related ... to help your searches

High Ball Juke Joint Locomotive
Juke Field Hollers Work Songs

  • Lyrics to the Baltimore Buzz Song: There have been a thousand raggy-braggy prances
  • That were danced at every ball.
  • There have been a thousand raggy-braggy prancers
  • That have pranced at every hall!
  • But the bestest one that was,
  • Is called the Baltimore Buzz! Now, first, you take your babe and then you hold her,
  • Then, you lay your head upon her shoulder,
  • Next, you walk just like your legs are breaking,
  • Do a bangle like a jangle then you start to tip and a-tangle. Then, you do a raggy-braggy motion,
  • Just like any ship upon the ocean,
  • Glide! And then you hesitate,
  • Slide, oh, honey, ain't it great?
  • You will simply go in a trance with the Baltimore Buzzin' dance! Above Repeats... [Spoken at end of song] Look out! Get 'em! 'Atta boy.