Wednesday May 14, is National Dance Like a Chicken Day, also known as National Chicken Dance Day according to an UP TV Buzz news report on May 14. This outrageously silly and fun dance has become a tradition at weddings, discos, family events, and Oktoberfests world-wide. We may hate to admit it, but there just seems to be something contagious about this little dance that magically gets people of all ages up off their feet and dancing!
This easy to do dance requires no lessons and began back in the late 1950’s, when a Swiss accordion player named Werner Thomas wrote the melodic tune for the Chicken Dance Song, originally titled “Der Ententanz” (The Duck Dance). In 1963 Thomas began to play his song at his Davos resort restaurant, when to his great surprise, people actually started to dance to it, using what he could only describe as “sporadic movements” that reminded him of ducks and chickens.
The Chicken Dance arrived a little late to the party here in America, making its debut in the 1970’s, and by that time, the dance moves had been pretty much choreographed using the repetitive beak, wing and tail motions, and the name had officially been changed to “The Chicken Dance.”
Research up to this point has yet to credit anyone for this unofficially, official holiday, but we did uncover a few Chicken Dance Day fun facts:
November 13, 2009 - CIHT-FM, in support of Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, played “The Chicken Dance” continuously for over three hours straight, until 389 tickets were purchased at $100 each.
July 4, 2010 – A new world record was set in Mandan, North Dakota for the longest Chicken Dance line, covering twenty-four city blocks and was 1.627 miles long.
So just for today, kick off your shoes, turn up the music, and dance like a chicken! If you are one of the very few people who have actually never enjoyed the fun of the Chicken Dance, here are the easy four steps to get you moving:
1. Raise your arms out in front of you and open and close them, four times, imitating a chicken’s beak.
2. Place your thumbs in your armpits and flap your arms four times, like a chicken’s wings.
3. Place your arms and hands behind you and wiggle, wiggle, your backside (tail feathers) to the rhythm of the music.
4. Stand up tall and clap four times.
That’s all there is to it. Continue repeating steps 1-4, and get ready... because the music is going to speed up, testing your ability to keep up! For more crazy, zany, and little known "holidays" click here.