When You Should Dance Like a Chicken

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Put on your dancing shoes because Monday, May 14, is National Dance Like a Chicken Day.

Before this morning, I truly thought the chicken dance looked like this:

Weeks ago, I was moderately confused when I watched an episode of FOX’s show “New Girl” feature what I thought was a weird/wrong version of the dance. But I just chalked it up to the quirkiness of Zooey Deschanel’s character. But it was I who had it all wrong. Go figure.

This morning I was fully prepared to perform my “wrong” version on air in honor of National Dance Like a Chicken Day. However, my colleague Jason Vaughn informed me if I did, I would be performing something along the lines of the “Funky Chicken,” which, if you ask me, sounds more fun anyway.

A quick Internet search set me straight and I became acquainted with the proper way to perform the decades-old boogie (thank you ZD). However, even though I rehearsed before debuting my new dancing skills in the 9 a.m. show, I managed to get off beat — but I’m told people are typically inebriated when doing said dance, so it didn’t really matter. Phew! (See the dancing disaster below.)

Now that we know what the Chicken Dance really is, did you know it was written by a Swiss accordion player who tended a flock of ducks? Ironic, right? Werner Thomas wrote the ditty in the late 1950s, naming it "The Duck Dance." Little was known about the song until the 1970s when a Belgian music publisher heard it and added words. But the words never really stuck.

A few years later it found its way to the U.S. via Stanly Mills, a New York publisher who acquired the U.S. publishing rights. The song underwent a name change: "Dance Little Bird," but it was informally known as the "Chicken Dance" at parties and weddings. Mills adopted the nickname and the rest is history.

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