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Streetswings Dance History Archives: Funky Butt
Funky Butt Idea Photo
The Funky Butt

            The Funky Butt was more of a style of movement than a dance. The idea was thus: A women would raise her skirt to show off her petticoat or what have you and suggestively move her hips. Coot Grant says: 'While she raised her skirt she would grind her rear end "like an Alligator crawling up a bank".

    The word funky was around in the 1920's to refer to an obnoxious smell, especially referring to a person who smelled bad. Anne Hegerty wrote “At least a hundred years ago there was a dance hall in New Orleans whose official name was Kinney’s Hall or McKenna’s Hall (sources differ) but which was known to local jazz and ragtime musicians and dancers as Funky Butt Hall (ie: Smelly Bottom Hall). Buddy Bolden

used to play there. Buddy Bolden became the first of many giants of jazz and was a powerful cornetist who played every type of music all over the city and was best known for his hot music at the Funky Butt Night Club. Bolden was the most famous musician in all New Orleans and best loved in Storyville ... the infamous red light district and his career ended there in 1906.

    The Funky Butt is still done in many dances today and as you could probably tell became very popular within the Burlesque community.

There is also a newer adaption called the Funky Booty Butt Dance that is basically the same idea but with a little more alternating, circular arm choreography.


Birth Place

Creation Date


Dance Type

The South 1890s n/a Risque

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Video Clips (pop-up)

Music Titles

n/a n/a Video Clip not avaiabe at this time Buddy Bolden's Blues - Jelly Roll Morton
            Video Clip not avaiabe at this time Come on Coot Do That Thing - Coot Grant
Video Cip pop Up Window
Funky Butt - Arnett Cobb
Video Cip pop Up Window
Funky Butt - The Delegates
            Video Clip not avaiabe at this time Funky Butt - Funky Butt Drum Club [MP3]
Video Cip pop Up Window
Funky Butt - Mezzrow-Bechet Quintet (1947)
Video Cip pop Up Window
Funky Butt - Mississippi John Hurt (vocals)
            Video Clip not avaiabe at this time Funky Butt - Muddy Waters [MP3]
            Video Clip not avaiabe at this time Funky Butt Blues - Buddy Bolden
Video Cip pop Up Window
Funky Butt Stomp (Bolden's) - Charlie Porter
Video Cip pop Up Window
Shake Your Funky Butt Community Effort
            Video Clip not avaiabe at this time She Shake's a Mean Ash Can - Coot Grant [MP3]
            Video Clip not avaiabe at this time St. Louis Tickle (1903)
            Video Clip not avaiabe at this time Thought I heard Buddy Bolden say - Bolden

Night Clubs



McKenna’s Hall (aka Funky Butt Hall) N. Orleans. n/a Congo Place Square
Union Sons Hall (aka Funky Butt Hall) N. Orleans       New Orleans, Louisiana

Films / Movies

Ballets / Stage

n/a n/a

Films / Movies



Other Related Dances of the time...

Apache Dance Foxtrot Maxixe Texas Tommy
Bunny Hug   Mooch, the Turkey Trot
Buzzard Lope Gaby Glide One Step Two Step
Camel Walk Gilda Glide Peabody Varsity Drag
Castle Walk Grind, the Quick Step Waltz
Cubanola Glide Grizzly Bear Shimmy Dude Walk
Eagle Rock Itch, the Squat, the  
Fish Tail Lame Duck Tango  

Dancers, Choreographers etc.


Coot Grant   n/a

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...



Date Published


$ Jazz Dance: The Story of American ... Stearns, Marshall 1994 Da Capo Press

Musicians / Bands


Poets / Writers

Buddy Bolden (9/6/1877-1931) Coot Grant n/a
Delegates, the      
Mezzrow-Bechet Quintet      
Mississippi John Hurt      

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

Booty Ass Rear end Tush
Posterior Rump Booty-Shakin' Arse