The Bend

(1966)


Introduction

The Bend is a 1960s novelty dance set to "Bend It!" by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.

The dance was created by Patrick Kerr, a dancer on the British music television show Ready Steady Go!


The Dance

The Bend is danced solo, with a group of people who are also Bending.

Here's the basic step of the Bend, as illustrated in this video:



Step forward left, bending the knees and lowering the left shoulder (1). With knees still bent, step forward right, lowering the right shoulder (2). Step back left, beginning to straighten up, pulling the right shoulder back (3). Step back right, fully straightening up, pulling the left shoulder back (4). This can be varied by doing a quarter to the left over the course of the step.

Here's another variation of the Bend:



Step side left (1), close right to left (2), bend the knees, perhaps twisting them either CW (like the lady on the left above) or CCW (like the lady on the right above) (3), and straighten up (4). Then repeat to the other side (1, 2, 3, 4). (The second half isn't shown in the gif because the camera cuts away to the band in the middle of the step.) The written description says that a half turn can be done on this second variation, but doesn't specify how.

A third variation of the Bend, described in writing but not shown on the film, is to bend at the knees with feet apart and simply sway from right to left and left to right.

A fourth variation of the Bend, also described in writing but not shown on the film, is to step forward left, bending the knees and lowering the left shoulder, and simply sway forward and back from left foot in front to right foot behind.


The Music

"Bend It!" by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.

Part of the fun of dancing the Bend is keeping in time with the constant tempo changes in the music.


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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