The Temper Tantrum



The Temper Tantrum is a 1960s novelty dance in which the dancers imagine they're throwing a temper tantrum.

It was introduced in May of 1965 at The Forum, a Boston discotheque, and demonstrated on The Tonight Show and The Mike Douglas Show shortly thereafter [CB65].

The Dance

The dance is set to "The Temper Tantrum" by Joseph and Charlotte Holicker, recorded by The Warlocks [of Massachusetts].

The lyrics of the song describes a variety of actions that characterize a temper tantrum, which the dancers act out. Here are some of the lyrical instructions:

According to Dick Blake, the Holickers "subscribe to the theory that in dancing of this kind everyone can let off steam the way children do and the resulting relaxation helps to reduce accumulated tensions and pressures" [DB65].

The Music

"The Temper Tantrum" (1965) by The Warlocks.


© 2020 Nick Enge

For more dance descriptions, see our three books on dancing:
The Book of Mixers: 100 Easy-Teach Dances for Getting Acquainted (2022) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge,
Cross-Step Waltz: A Dancer's Guide (2019) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge, and
Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living (2013) by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.

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