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Streetswings Dance History Archives: Eccentric Dance
Monte and Nina doing their eccentric dance routine
Eccentric dance history archives origins title    Eccentric dancing was basically anything weird, grotesque or out of the ordinary type of dancing or routine. Earl "Snakehips" Tucker was a very famous eccentric dancer, many people copied his style of moving his hips. Jigsaw Jackson was a contortionist who would dance excellently while doing contortions with his body, he had no imitators.

    Eccentric dancers would do things such as the Snake Hips Dance, The Shimmy, dancing on a ball, balancing something in their mouth while dancing, Juggle, dancing on their head, Legomania (aka Rubberlegs), using Whips, doing contortionist movements, dance in a handstand, balancing acts, and some acrobatic dance acts etc.

    Sometimes when new or unknown dance was being created or introduced, the reporters / Critics would list it as an eccentric or Jig dance for lack of a proper name. Todays modern "Hip Hop, The Robot and Vogue" type dancers would

be considered eccentric back then as many movements in Hip-Hop actually came from this time and style of dance. As an example in 1923, Foots Robinson (Green and Robinson) did a dance where he would drop to the ground while dancing, spin on his back to the music and end in a pose. Usually these dances would be performed in Medicine shows, Gille's, Circus, Vaudeville and Burlesque acts on the stage or maybe a theme dance for the show.

    Many dancers would be labeled as Eccentric dancers at sometime during their career. Dancers like George M. Cohan, Leon Errol, George White, Joe Frisco, Harland Dixon, Ray Bolger, James Barton, Hal Leroy, Buddy Ebsen, Charlie Chapin and many more would carry this label, but most of them were so much more.

Later the category Eccentric dance name would change to Cabaret dance.


Birth Place

Creation Date


Dance Type

n/a 1860's n/a Eccentric / Various Styles

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music Titles

n/a 1927 - Eccentric Dance Darktown Eccentrics
            That Eccentric Rag (1923)

Night Clubs etc



n/a 1961 - Hippodrome (Brighton, London) Everywhere



Ballets / Stage

1930 - Going Places [Vitaphone] n/a 1923 - Go-Go (Granville)


            11/1927 - Dance Magazine

Related Dances ... and dances of the time

Acrobatic Fan Dance Lindy Hop Strut, the
Adagio Frisco, the Pedestal Dance Tap Dance
Bubble Dance Grind, the Statue Dance  
Cakewalk, the *Hip-Hop / Break Dance Robot, the  
Comedy Dance Legomania (Rubberlegs) Rubberlegs (Legomania)  

Dancers, Choreographers etc.


Bernard Granville Hal LeRoy n/a
Bob Williams Harland Dixon  
Brady "Jigsaw" Jackson James Barton  
Buddy Ebsen Jimmy Wright  
Buzzin' Burton (used the Buzz Dance) Joe Frisco  
Cab Calloway Josephine Baker  
Clarence "Dancing" Dotson Leon Errol  
Danzi Goodell (married to Dave Apollon) Marjorie Millsap  
Dave Reed (1870s) Monte & Nina (pictured)  
Drina Beach (Acrob) Moris and Moris (Balancing)  
'Dynamite' Hooker Mr. Creo  
Earl "Snakehips" Tucker Naomi Winter (Acrobatic)   
Foots Robinson Ray Bolger  
George M. Cohan Shaw & Lee  
George White Three Ghezzi's (Hippodrome 1961)  
Greenlee and Drayton Warren Coleman  

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...



Date Published


$ Jazz Dance Marshall and Jean Sterns 1964 DaCapo Press

Musicians, Bands etc.


Poets / Writers

Golden & Hughes n/a n/a
James P. Johnson      
Robert Hood Bowers        

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

Acrobatics Snakehips n/a -


Basic Step: Any weird or unusual movements with music. Kinda like a "Misc / Other/ or not yet defined category" in Dance or unuasual use of a prop during a dance.