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Twist eliminates inhibitions, becomes biggest fad of '60s at Loyola

This story is from January 12, 1962

On April 12, 2012

  • Top. A crowd of people attending a Martin Luther King Day march at the corner of Poland and St. Claude, respond to a group of anti-war protestors across the street. The march was held on the morning of MLK Day.

Come on everybody! Let's do the Twist-and it goes like this! Everybody's doin' it: from L.A. to Paris, tots to grandmas, beats to socialites, they're all getting into the act.

And do you blame them? Can you think of another way to shake off your worries and release all those pent up emotions! Inhibitions tweet away when that 4-4 beat peals through the air and hips start gyrating right to left, front to back.

Probably the biggest fad to hit the states since the hula hoop, the Twist has been increasing in momentum and surprisingly enough has reached New Orleans. Dances have come and gone but seldom have they reached the Crescent City. New Orleanians have rarely exerted themselves- that lazy southern way has always been prevalent here.

But all of a sudden! Zoom! The Twist mania struck our city before anyone was the wiser, and no one has been the same since.

Loyolans didn't waste any time in adopting the Twist as their favorite stomp and most are dropping their air of sophistication (if they have any) to indulge in the pulsating, energetic dance.

One of the reasons for the popularity of the dance is that it is relatively easy to do. The requirements are basically limberness, a mirror, practice and loads of linament!

Yes, those little bottles of medicine are definitely necessary for if it isn't done in degrees, if you just dive right on into the manic of the mania you could just twist something out of whack.

Loyolans are finding out that they have to take it easy if they want to continue twisting for several have had to be put "under a doctor's care." One sophomore boy reported that he was getting treatments in the Med Tech building because he hurt his back and muscles while doing the Twist with the Peppermint Lounge crew. Now some little wonder of the era treats him with electric and sound impulses which are supposed to put him in condition so he can Twist again!

Gung-ho is the word to describe the enthusiasm with which the dance is being done. Loyolans had this to say about the Twist: I have to give up smoking- it makes me so short winded I can't do the Twist (so obviously the cigarettes have got to go). . . Another student reported that he had trouble at first, but after a week of twisting in front of his mirror and watching bandstand (something he doesn't exactly make a habit of ) he learned.

Some have found another use for the Twist. Other than pure enjoyment, they have found that the Twist is definitely good for the waist line. A coed was explaining to me that she does the Twist 30 minutes each night and has lost five pounds! Another student can't decide if it was the Twist or the liquid diet he was on that decreased his weight over the Twistmas holidays.

How did it all start? When did this madness come into being? Teenagers were doing it in '59 but they soon dropped it for other dances. Then sometime this fall the Twist made its comeback- and what a comeback.

Oddly enough it wasn't due to the younger generation. No, the adults took up twisting in the Peppermint Lounge in Manhattan and since then the dance has soared upward and is probably the biggest dancing sensation since the Charleston.

It has become part of our heritage!

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