Encyclopedia of Dance: Disco


Disco is a bright holiday that plunges you into a state of sweet love. A dance that gives a feeling of freedom and breaks away from everyday routine

The dance and music style of disco is perhaps the most popular trend in pop culture of the last century. The history of this genre begins around the mid-70s simultaneously in the US and Europe. The American disco style has absorbed the traditions and sound of funk and soul. The European direction of disco inherited the characteristic tendencies of traditional pop music and intertwined with new trends in pop music.

The history of disco

The year of birth of the new clockwork dance is considered to be 1974. This significant event happened in the clubs of New York, and a few years later the whole of America was covered by a real disco boom. Almost simultaneously, disco, moving across the ocean, conquered Europe, and later the Soviet Union. In the USSR, a new dance penetrated from two sides at once — from the west from America and from the east from India, where the film «Disco Dancer» was filmed, which gained extraordinary popularity in the Soviet Union.

In 1977, the film «Saturday Night Fever» with John Travolta in the title role was released in the United States. This picture clearly shows the life of a real disco fan, who on the dance floor forgot about all life’s troubles and hardships.

At the origins of the European disco style were the Abba and Boni M groups, which had perhaps the greatest fame in the history of pop music. Producers and composers contributed to the spread and popularization of the new style.

The heyday of the style falls on the eighties of the last century. He has not lost relevance even now. Every year in Russia, the Disco 80s festival is held, to which domestic and foreign stars are invited.


What is disco?

The roots of the disco style can be traced back to the funk and soul movements that absorbed the Negro music and dance culture. The main features of disco are «live» and electronic processing of music and a fast pace, from 120 beats per minute, which is twice the human heart rate.

The enchanting popularity of disco lies in the simplicity of basic movements, the absence of strict rules and requirements, and the possibility of improvisation. In disco, you can show your individuality, demonstrate your own original movements, show your skills. The dance is performed in discos in large companies.

Characteristic features of the discos of the eighties were flickering effects, mirrored walls and mirrored spinning balls, flashing lights, strobe lights. All this environment contributed to the growth of the popularity of disco and its entry into fashion.

Types of disco

The most popular types of disco are:

  • Mellow disco — slow, lyrical disco, at a pace of 95-110 beats per minute.
  • Hustle is an American form of disco. This is a pair dance that can be danced in discos with any partner, to any music, in any, even the smallest, space. Over time, the hustle absorbed movements from many Latin American dances and stood out as an independent style.
  • Eurodisco is a disco style common in Europe and the USSR. In turn, eurodisco is divided into subspecies, the most popular of which are Hi-NRG and ItaloDisco. C.Catch, Samantha Fox, Kylie Minogue, Sabrina, Sandra, Modern Talking, Pet Shop Boys, Bad Boys Blue and others were prominent representatives of Eurodisco that gained worldwide popularity.

The disco style is popular and loved even now. Not only representatives of the older generation, who «lit up» at the discos in the eighties, during the peak of the popularity of disco, but also young people listen and dance disco with pleasure.

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