Vocal talent often plays a secondary role on stage at Eurovision. What’s far more important is whether or not you've got the moves!
Genevieve Dwyer

4 May 2016 - 11:09 AM  UPDATED 4 May 2016 - 4:05 PM

Here are some quintessentially Eurovision moves that have stood out over the past 60 years of the contest!

1. The “Look mum, I’m an airplane!” arm extension

“Up in the air, I fly…zoom, zoom a zoom a zoom zoom…” Is it Eurovision? Or it Playschool? Who can really say? Either way, this classic dance move from UK act Scooch is one the whole family can enjoy at home. Take care when practicing at your local nightclub or bar. These 'Flying the Flag (For You)' moves might cause some drink spillage if you're not careful! 


2. The “Not really dancing, but gently bopping” bounce

This exceptional group of nannas from Russia, known as Buranovskiye Babushki, are a diplomatic bunch. After all, their 2012 tune was called 'Party for Everybody'. Clearly the inclusiveness extends to those without much talent in the choreography department. When in doubt, follow their lead and bop up and down on the spot! This dance move also applies to revelers in the "Too cool to properly dance" department and, obviously, old(er) people.


3. The “Don’t tell mum we got into the red cordial” jumping act

No-one could accuse Ireland’s high-haired, repeat-entry twin act Jedward of being short of energy. In fact, they do slightly resemble that way-too-enthusiastic fitness fanatic from your boot camp class. *Shiver*

We don't recommend trying these high jumps from their 2011 track 'Lipstick' at home. You may break something or, worse still, rip your skin-tight leather pants. 


4. The “Watch my flares go swish!” two-step

Everyone remembers ABBA in shiny satin flares and platform shoes during their 1974 performance of 'Waterloo'. The Swedish pop group claimed Eurovision victory and sartorial notoriety, but interestingly, Belgium’s Nicole and Hugo sported very similar outfits the previous year. With matching jumpsuits, rhinestones, supersized flares and, of course, coordinated dance moves for the song 'Baby Baby', the duo flared to maximum effect.


5. The “Cliff Richard” knee wobble 

Clearly 1973 was a big year for flares, and for dance moves that showed them off! Here we have the UK's entrant, Cliff Richard singing 'Power to all our friends'. While the turkey-wobble-knee-bobble was, at the time, a popular move on the D-Floor, this jig is now usually restricted to weddings and RSLs.


6. The “Who's your Daddy?” headshake

Take a look at any contemporary rap/hip hop/R'n'B song and your likely to see a bling-ed up man surrounded by saucy ladies. We think Finland's 1976 entrant Fredi was clearly a strong influence on today's hip-hop stars. With his big moustache, sequin-collared costume and jumpsuit-wearing, hip-swivelling "Friends", this Eurovision performance was obviously ahead of its time. 


7. The “Look! I’m a kangaroo puppet!” pop and lock

As spectacular as these dance moves are, the lyrics to Schmetterlinge 1977's song 'Boom Boom Boomerang' make it even better! Clearly Austria has a fondness for Australia – perhaps because our names are so similar, perhaps because our native animals are so cute. Is it a coincidence that Austria invited us to participate in the 60th anniversary and paid a tribute to the land Down Under with lyrics such as “Kangaroo, boogaloo, didgeridoo, ding-dong sing the song!”? We think not. 


8. The “Choo Choo! I’m a train!” conga alternative 

Sometimes it seems like most of 1970s Eurovision was actually just Playschool in dress-up mode. And why not? The competition is fun for the whole family. Challenge the kids to replicate Pascalis, Marianna, Robert & Bessy's dance moves at home! While you're at it, you should take some fashion advice from this four piece. We're loving the lavender and heaps-high equestrian pants with suspenders look.


9. The “Dschinghis Khan twirl and thrust”  

Where does one begin to describe just how spectacular Germany's 1979 act Dschinghis Khan is? The gold sheen lurex, the disco-style music, the moustaches, the cape, the extravagant dance moves... this performance is everything we love about the 70s and so much more! The real Ghengis Khan may have founded an Empire, but could he captivate a continent with his dance moves? Unlikely. 

Clearly we in Australia had a strong affinity with this fabulous 70s pop group, propelling another of their tunes, 'Moskau', to number one in the charts, where it stayed for six weeks. But seriously, is the lead singer fierce or what? Work it Dschinghis!


10. The “Jiggling Robot” Jedward signature

These Irish twins deserve a second mention as they did come back a second time, bringing one of the dance anthology's finest moves - the robot. In this performance it was further accentuated by their fantastically futuristic Tin Man costumes for the 2012 track 'Waterline'. 


11. The “Persian bend and grind"

Affectionately known as the Persian Prince of Norway due to his Iranian heritage, 2012 entrant Tooji brought his sleek dance styles and devastating good looks to the contest. His tune 'Stay' was infused with Persian embellishments and a sexy on the belly dance.


12. The “We’re not even pretending we can play instruments” Dad dance

InCulto’s energy was infectious at the 2010 song contest, and their miming with giant oversized instruments only added to the performance. Of course, Lithuania's song 'Eastern European Funk' went next level with a surpise move at the end of the song... Oh my, those hotpants!

The Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast on SBS’s Eurovision Weekend - Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Grand Final Sunday 15 May, 7.30pm on SBS, with LIVE early morning broadcasts from 5am on Wednesday 11, Friday 13 and Sunday 15 May.
For all the Eurovision behind the scenes action in Stockholm make sure to follow SBSAustralia on Snapchat.

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