The Pony is a 1960s novelty dance in which the dancers imagine they are riding a pony.
It was described in Dick Blake's Discothèque Dances in 1965.
The Pony is simply a prancing triple step on alternating feet, mostly in place, or maybe slightly forward. (For vintage dancers and English sequence dancers, it's a bit like doing a quick pas de basque in place, without crossing the feet.)
Blake's version of the Pony does one slightly advancing triple on the right foot, one on the left, and then takes two slow prancing steps forward, right, left. In Blake's version, the hands are held straight out in front as if you're holding the reins of a pony.
Chubby Checker's version is based primarily on the prancing singles, with the prancing triples added as a variation by some dancers. Checker also incorporates a turn to the left (quickly paddling around with the left foot) when he says "hee," and a turn to the right (quickly paddling around with the right foot) when he says "haw," as instructed by the song. The hands are held closer to the chest in Checker's version, whipping one rein-holding hand over the other.
Blake notes that the Pony can be used to travel around the room to change partners during other 1960s dances, as in the Shampoo.
The dance was originally set to "Pony Time," originally recorded by the Goodtimers in 1960, and popularized by Chubby Checker in 1961.
© 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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