The Bunny Hop
was a novelty dance created at Balboa High School in San Francisco in 1952. It is a social mixer dance, sometimes also referred to as a “party” or “dance party” dance.
The dance has been generally done to Ray Anthony’s big band recording of the song with this name. It was a vocal hit in 1952, and instrumentally re-recorded c. 1958. The song has been re-recorded by others, including musical updates of the style, for example, a Salsa version. Duke Ellington recorded “Bunny Hop Mambo” in 1954. Other popular music of the era is also used, such as “The Glow-Worm.”
Ray Anthony’s single release of the “Bunny Hop” featured another novelty dance classic, the “Hokey Pokey” on the B side.
The dance is a variation on a conga line. Participants dance in a line or a circle, holding on to the hips of the person in front of them. They tap the floor two times with their right foot, then with their left foot, then they hop forwards, backwards, and finally three hops forward to finish the sequence, which continues throughout the tune. The first person in the line or the open circle leads the group around the floor.