The mashed potato is a dance that became wildly
popular in 1962 when Dee Dee Sharp went from being a back-up
singer for Chubby Checker to spending four weeks at the top of the
Billboard music chart with "Mashed Potato Time". James Brown's band
also had two mashed potato related songs: "(Do the) Mashed Potatoes"
(1959) and "Mashed Potatoes U.S.A." (1962). (You may recall Dee Dee
and/or this song from the movie Hairspray).
In fact this song was so popular that it was referenced in numerous
other songs of the era, such as "Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)"
by the Contours, "V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N" by Connie Francis, "Let's Dance"
by Chris Montez, "Harry the Hairy Ape" by Ray Stevens and "Land of a
Thousand Dances" by Wilson Pickett.
This dance is easier done than said so if you find the following
instructions confusing, I recommend going to youtube for an
First stand with your feet shoulder length apart. Relax. Bend one
knee and then raise it so your foot comes off the ground, placing all
your weight on the other foot. Lean towards where your weight is. Turn
your foot on the floor slightly clockwise then counterclockwise.
Lower your raised foot down to the floor and turn it clockwise. Now
raise the other foot and lean in the opposite direction. Turn the foot
on the floor counterclockwise then clockwise.
Repeat until you can do this rhythmically. Experiment with arm or hip motions.
This is similar to—yet distinct from—The Twist & The Monster Mash.
Shoe removal may yield more fun. Don't be a wallflower—I hear the perks are overrated.
Shout-outs to Oolong
for helping me with this dance
. & Hazelnut
says: 'Also "The Toxic Waltz" by Exodus
. "You used to do the money, now it ain't cool / The twist and mashed potato no exception to the rule." (The titular toxic waltz is, of course, moshing.)'