The year was 1800. John Adams was in the middle of his term as the 2nd president of the new United States, and the burgeoning nation was in an uproar over the newest dance craze: The Johnny A. Yes, that you read that right, our 2nd president was a highly spirited dancer. The fascinating note however is that descriptions of the Johnny A indicate so many similarities to the Dougie dance that historians believe the Adams' version to have slowly changed over the years as it waned and then resurged in popularity, ultimately becoming a hip-hop sensation in 2011. Originally, "Johnny A" himself was known to perform his version at parties, congressional meetings, public addresses, and even once while posing for a portrait that we have reprinted below.
Of further interest is the fact that the Dougie is actually far from being the only popular number originated in some fashion by John "the dancing fiend" Adams. Others in the numerous list include:
The Electric Slide
The Stanky Leg
The Chicken Noodle Soup
The Chicken Dance
The Hokey Pokey
The Crip Walk
The Cupid Shuffle
The Puppet Master & His Marionette
The NSync "Bye Bye Bye" dance
The "Walk it Out"
The Train Dance
So next time you find yourself "out on the floor," remember to pour one out for the original homie, John Adams (1735 - 1826).
"Bring it back to the front then shake it off like this." - John Adams, "How to Johnny A," 1801.