The dance was still new back then.
The twist really shook things up when it first was debuted in 1959. However, it wouldn’t be until the early 1960s that this dance really took off, much to the chagrin of the older generation who largely found the dance to be a sign of how society was falling apart. For many young people the dance was a cool, effortless shuffle that welcomed in a new era of singles dancing. Today everyone knows how to twist, but back then people had to be taught.
The Australian TV show, Bandstand, was modeled after American Bandstand, with dancing to pop music of the day for young people. In 1961 they had an American guest on the show, Mr. Cornish, who worked for the Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Mr. Cornish shows in 4 simple steps just exactly how to do the twist, and according to him it involves pretending to ski.
Mr. Cornish’s straightforward delivery might leave a little to be desired but afterwards, all the kids on set do the twist to Chubby Checker’s song of the same name. In 1961, a year after its release, the song was still making the top ten pop charts!
Have a look at this marvelous clip in the video below.