How do I do the Mashed Potato?
December 16, 2003 12:57 PM   Subscribe

How do I do the Mashed Potato?
posted by megnut to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total)
 
the search results so far: "[lift] 1 leg at a time with your knees together and then kind of twisting the foot left on the ground as if you were putting out a cig. butt..."

No word yet on the hands.
posted by o2b at 1:05 PM on December 16, 2003


Any photos? Or maybe some of those pictures of feet on the floor, telling you where to step?
posted by megnut at 1:08 PM on December 16, 2003


Isn't it Charleston-like (maybe even exactly like 20s Charleston)? If so heels go in when the toes hit the ground and arms would go opposite feet.
posted by turbodog at 1:25 PM on December 16, 2003


Nada. I found a reference to the Mashed Potato being a "free style" dance (opposed to the line dances of the '50s... the hand jive for example), a reference to "the Mashed Potato backstep" as part of another dance, and I found a video for sale (Everybody Dance!) that purports to teach you the Mashed Potato, but that's it.

Wait! I found a better description:

Right knee bends, right foot lifts off the floor, weight shifts to left foot, and pivot on left foot an eighth of a turn clockwise. Left foot pivots a quarter turn counterclockwise,. Right foot steps close to left foot, then right foot pivots a quarter turn clockwise, left knee bends and left foot lifts off the floor. Right foot pivots a quarter turn clockwise.

Left foot steps close to right foot, then left foot pivots quarter turn clockwise, right knee bends and right knee lifts off the floor. Left foot pivots quarter turn counterclockwise. Right foot steps close to left foot, then right foot pivots quarter turn clockwise, left knee bends and left foot lifts off the floor. Right foot pivots quarter turn counterclockwise. Repeat.
posted by o2b at 1:26 PM on December 16, 2003


*waits for someone to post ASCII artwork*
posted by Galvatron at 1:32 PM on December 16, 2003


I'm presuming, from the description, your arms are doing whatever they need to be doing to keep you from falling over.
posted by o2b at 1:34 PM on December 16, 2003


o2b, thanks! You should see me trying to follow those directions and actually do the dance here at my desk. It's not pretty.
posted by megnut at 1:39 PM on December 16, 2003


Video. What he does first is 20s Charleston.
posted by turbodog at 1:57 PM on December 16, 2003


It's like the Twist, but your feet go in opposite directions, both turning in at the same time and then out at the same time.
posted by timeistight at 3:23 PM on December 16, 2003


Man, I read that wrong and was going to post my Grandma's Recipe.
posted by Mick at 3:23 PM on December 16, 2003


Principal Skinner does the Mashed Potato when subjected to Bart's Go-Go Ray in the intro of the episode where Homer quits drinking after getting a DUI. I think it looked like the first few seconds (the tame part) of the first guy in the video that turbodog posted.
posted by planetkyoto at 4:58 PM on December 16, 2003


here's another description:
In the mashed potatoe you "ground" your foot (as if grindiing a cigarette butt to put it out) while pulling it backwards then stepping on to the opposite foot to do the same thing ... simulataneously walking in place while swivelling foot. (sic)
posted by amberglow at 5:44 PM on December 16, 2003


In the movie Hairspray they do it too ("Gimme gravy...on my mashed potatoes")
posted by amberglow at 5:45 PM on December 16, 2003


While we're shouting out movies that feature the dance, the whole time I was reading this thread I was hearing in my head the "Mashed Potato" line of "Shake Your Tailfeathers" by Ray Charles, as featured in the Blues Brothers with many dancers.

"What about the boogaloo?"
posted by hashashin at 5:55 PM on December 16, 2003


Can I add a supplementary question? What other song lyrics mention the Mashed Potato? Here's what I came up with:
  • Mashed Potato Time – Dee Dee Sharp
  • Land of a Thousand Dances – Chris Kenner
  • Do You Love Me – The Contours
  • Let's Dance – Chris Montez
I'm pretty sure it's in a James Brown song too – I think he invented the dance, after all – but I can't think of it.
posted by timeistight at 6:39 PM on December 16, 2003


gah! Amberglow beats me to the Hairspray reference! There's also the scene where Amber Von Tussle has to bang out all of the dance steps while her evil mother (Debbie Harry in an absurdly huge wig) claps faster and faster and barks out commands: "Pony! Mashed Potato!"

That whole movie is like an illustrated encyclopedia for the dances of the era. And it's funny, if'n yer into John Waters lite.
posted by whatnot at 6:57 PM on December 16, 2003


megnut maybe you should download and see (it's fab--especially that scene whatnot describes--and the zit!!!)
posted by amberglow at 7:10 PM on December 16, 2003


turbodog, that video is grand. Thanks!
posted by dobbs at 11:53 PM on December 16, 2003


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