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National Dance Like a Chicken Day: Get on your feet and do the Chicken Dance

OK, folks. It’s time to get off your seat, get on your feet and get your clap, slap and tweet on! May 14 is National Dance like a Chicken Day or National Chicken Dance Day. This annual “holiday” celebrates a very famous tune with some very famous moves.

National Dance Like a Chicken Day:  It's Time to do the Chicken Dance
Herbert T

Chicken Dance History

Back in the 1950s, Swiss accordion player Werner Thomas wrote Der Ententanz or The Duck Dance. When he was playing his song at the Davos restaurant, people got up and danced but their movements were a bit, well, unusual. The jerky movements kind of reminded him of ducks and chickens. A music publisher happened to be in the restaurant and the song spread through Europe and eventually across America.

While the name changed a few times over the years, the catchy melody eventually hit the party and wedding scene and the rest, as they say, is dancing history.

Chicken Dance Steps

You don’t have to be on Dancing with the Stars to learn the moves – they are pretty basic.

  • Tweet your fingers four times (the beak)
  • Flap your arms four times (the chicken wings)
  • Wiggle your tail feathers four times
  • Clap four times.
  • Repeat four times.
  • Promenade with fellow dancers.
  • Repeat (music gets faster and faster)

If you don’t know all the moves, just ask your kids. Chances are pretty good they’ve done the dance a few times!


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