Thursday, July 15, 2010

Go-Go Dancer, Your Life is Calling

It probably won't come as a shock to any of you by this point if I tell you that I've always wanted to be a go-go dancer. I don't mean a modern day go-go dancer who performs in sleazy stripclubs wearing next to nothing; I mean one of the dancers who regularly appeared on Shindig, Hullabaloo, Shivaree, or even the Ed Sullivan Show in its later years, shimmying next to my favorite bands. What a gig that had to be if you landed one on TV during the 60s - and what a fab total body workout!

I've tried studying video clips and emulating the moves during my workouts (in the privacy of my home, of course) but I know I'm not getting them all. What we all need is a go-go dance workout video!

There are some go-go dance DVDs available but again, they're kind of weird to watch as they're offshoots on the whole stripper workout trend, and they feature demonstrators wearing underwear. I think if someone could put together a fun, PG rated DVD that was inspired by the actual choreography of some of the music variety shows, it would be a hit! White boots would be optional. 


The name go-go came from the saying "go-go-go" which described a high-energy person. It was also influenced by the French expression à gogo, which means "in abundance, galore", which is in turn derived from the ancient French word "la gogue" meaning joy and happiness. Go-go dancing started to pop up in the early 60s. One of the most famous go-go dancers was a woman named Carol Doda. She got breast implants and began dancing topless in 1964 at the Condor club in San Francisco. Another notable was Lada Edmund Jr., who appeared as the caged dancer in the Hullabaloo A-Go-Go segment towards the closing of the show. West Hollywood's Whiskey A Go-Go club is believed to be the first place to have cages suspended from the ceiling, giving rise to the trend of cage dancing.

Needless to say, the topless factor is not for me; I just think it would be fun to do some 60s inspired dance moves, like in the video clips below. The ultimate form of free dance expression - without the sleaze!











17 comments:

Amanda By Night said...

If only you know how many times I picked up my phone and said "Jo Jo Dancer, You're Life is Calling," so it's funny to see the play on words here.

Once on Monster Vision (a TBS show that presented horror movies), Joe Bob Briggs said he remembered when "partying" meant girls in silver skirts dancing in cages, now it means two fat guys drinking beer and watching television.

Tis true.

I'd love a PG Go-Go workout myself. I think it would be fun. I do have a friend that takes a pole dancing class and she LOVES it, so maybe it's not so bad... but I'd rather hear about it than do it... I'm too modest.

Good luck on your new Go-Go dancing career! :)

Pam@GoRetro said...

Amanda - I actually would take a pole dancing class. I think it looks like fun! Go-go dancing in the 60s was way more innocent and sexy than the modern incarnation of it. If you read the comments on the old clips on YouTube, most men appreciate that the ladies were dressed appropriately on these shows and are not too skinny nor overweight, but are healthy looking.

Yeah, take me back to the those partying days...oh, I read another comment on YouTube where a guy said it was easier to approach girls and get dates in the 60s...as today everyone is so afraid to speak to a stranger. Tis true! ;)

Marlene said...

Go-Go dancing sounds like a lot more fun than most aerobic workouts!

Midcenturymadam said...

Yes. I love to go-go dance too. I was trying to teach my husband how to do the pony the other night. Now there is a work out! The jerk is good for a cool down. I remember getting my first pair of white go go boots in the 7th grade. I loved to dance. Great post.

Amy said...

oh man go go dancers! Try watching tommy james and the shondells - mony mony - so retro!

Tom said...

Thanx for those great vidéos. I discovered that the last video is "Harlem Shuffle" by a French singer, Vigon, that i had never heard of before.
Cool!

Pam@GoRetro said...

Tom, thanks for all of your comments and for stopping by my blog. I had no idea who the last singer was - thanks for letting me know!

Anonymous said...

Where is Lada Edmund, Jr.?
Go here:
http://www.ladastedmund.com

She's a professional body builder, now.

Anonymous said...

BEEN trying for years for local Dance Instructors to offer REAL go go dancing! I'm 60 now and still know all the dances but I doubt anyone would want me up there with my flabby arms flying around. haa! I'm in good shape for my age 130 lbs and I walk hills 2 times day but again. I've got flying flesh now. HA!
Anyway I'd love to be a consultant to a young dance teacher tho. and show her what the real moves were. It's a GREAT AEROBIC workout I dance every Friday night at a free form dance venue. FUN!!!

Suzette said...

BEEN trying for years for local Dance Instructors to offer REAL go go dancing! I'm 60 now and still know all the dances but I doubt anyone would want me up there with my flabby arms flying around. haa! I'm in good shape for my age 130 lbs and I walk hills 2 times day but again. I've got flying flesh now. HA!
Anyway I'd love to be a consultant to a young dance teacher tho. and show her what the real moves were. It's a GREAT AEROBIC workout I dance every Friday night at a free form dance venue. FUN!!!

Suzette said...

IF anyone is in the San Diego area and wants to join me at Go Go nights at the dance venue, just holler!
soozmusic50@gmail.com

Pam@GoRetro said...

Suzette - thanks for stopping by and for your comments! I would LOVE to take dance lessons from you, if I didn't live on the opposite coast.

BlessThisDress said...

Oh I'm so very glad I found this article. I'm a 60s gogo dancer and now run a gogo troupe (called The Beehives) after working for 4 years at a 60s club gogoing in a cage as one of 'Les Sataniques'. I also teach GoGo-Fit classes. It's so great to see this and I'd love if you have any other contacts or links you can put through to me! x Zoe, the beehives

fergy said...

I'm a contemporary 1960s style go go dancer. I've been trying to find people who want to take lessons! I live in the US but also travel to the Baltimore/DC area a lot. Get in touch if you're interested!

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to learn how to do retro style gogo.

Claudia said...

Hi Pam, i love the whirlwind moves of Sandy! After some research i found this blog entry about her, but what is more interesting are the comments. You should read them to the end... not much info, and i don't know, if its really her (or her daughter), but somehow it sounds true.

http://www.koolwritings.com/2011/06/ready-steady-go-what-ever-happened-to.html


Greetings from Germany

Pam@GoRetro said...

Thank you, Claudia! I will check it out.

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