The Beeje

(1963)


Introduction

The Beeje is a 1960s novelty dance with a unique seven-count rhythm.

It was devised by Marie Cartmell "from the original jazz ballet by Jacqui Lyons" and set to "The Pied Piper" by Steve Race.


The Dance

For the most part, the Beeje is danced in concert with a partner, but without touching.

There are four basic steps to the Beeje:

Forward and Back Basic: Both shaded 45° to the right, the Lead steps diagonally forward/side toward partner with a forward, close, forward, close, forward (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), as the Follow steps diagonally back/side away from partner with a back, close, back, close, back (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Then both push hips forward and back (6, 7).*

* Cartmell notes that this hip swing can be replaced with a "kick-kick [backward with the free foot], twist-twist, shoulder shake, or finger snap." She also notes that the forward/back, close steps can be replaced by three skipping steps forward/back.

Side to Side Basic: Both step side, close, side, close, side (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and push hips side, side (6, 7). Leads travel to the left and push hips left, right, as Follows travel to the right and push hips right left. Then repeat opposite, Leads traveling right as Follows travel left (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

Walk Around: The Lead walks three slow steps to turn halfway to the left as the Follow takes three slow steps to turn halfway to the right (1, 3, 5), then both do the basic hip push (6, 7). Starting with the other foot, complete the turn in three steps (1, 3, 5), and end facing partner with a hip push (6, 7).

* Cartmell notes that the Walk Around can also be done holding hands with partner, doing a barrel roll under both hands to end up back-to-back and lightly push hips back into partner twice before completing the barrel roll.

The Figure Eight: This step is used to end the dance. Both partners dos-a-dos each other counterclockwise with seven slow steps (1, 3, 5, 7, 1, 3, 5), and end with a double cheek kiss, both partner's holding the top of their partner's shoulders (Follow's arms on the inside) and making a kissing action toward partner's right cheek (6), then left cheek (7).


The Music

"The Pied Piper" (1963) by Steve Race.


Sources


© 2020 Nick Enge


For more, see our two books on dancing:
Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living (2013) by Richard Powers and Nick Enge,
and Cross-Step Waltz: A Dancer's Guide (2019) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge.


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