Friday, March 25, 2016
Vox presents the history and evolution of one of the most common novelty dances.
“The robot” is one of the world’s most recognizable novelty dances. Its distinctive popping and locking motions are simple enough concepts in themselves but the origins of the robot are little less straightforward. The word robot was first used in the 1921 play Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti (Rossum’s Universal Robots). There was a time the dance wasn’t set to music and it was part of a mime. Robert Shields included this robot mime his routine in the late 60s. This novelty act caught the eye of Charles Washington, many other performers, including the Jackson 5. From there, the robot solidified its mechanical but flexible movements in dancing history.