Hullabaloo Ska

In the mid-1960s, dances like the Frug, the Watusi, the Jerk, and the Swim were all the rage, sparked a few years earlier by the dance of all dances, the Twist. To capitalize on this trend, Eddie Seaga, then minister of culture, many years before he became prime minister, hired his school friend Ronnie Nasralla to study the people at the sound system dances where ska played. Nasralla, who would go on to become an advertising executive, created that now-famous pamphlet that taught the uptown crowds, tourists, and the world at the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York how to do the ska. It was a step-by-step featuring himself and Jannette Phillips.

I was surprised when Nasralla told me he had done a photo shoot with models for Mademoiselle magazine, teaching them to do the ska, and you can find that blog post early in the Foundation Ska archives; but I was also surprised to find this booklet of those popular dances–including the Ska! Here are scans from those pages, so get your dancing shoes on and get ready for a Hullabaloo Discotheque!

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