The Chicken Dance
Listen to the Chicken Dance
According to the folks at Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati, the Chicken Dance song was composed by Werner Thomas in the 1970s in Davos, Switzerland. It was originally entitled Der Ententanz, which means The Duck Dance, but became known as the Vogeltanz, Chicken Dance, and also as Dance Little Bird.
Children Chicken Dance in Tulsa|
There were many versions of this that became hit songs, but the song and dance have had the greatest longevity in the U.S., where it has become a popular German heritage song.
The dance is multi-ethnic now, and particularly popular at weddings. It's also an Oktoberfest staple. Some bands will urge festivalgoers to do the dance almost every hour and the dance floor can get quite crowded. The best way to participate is to just jump in. There are many variations and you'll have to follow the version the band plays, but here are the basics:
- Begin in a circle with everybody facing one another.
- When the music starts, shape your hands like the beak of a chicken and open and close them for four counts.
- Make your arms like the wings of a chicken and act like you are trying to fly for four counts.
- Place your arms and hands like the tail feathers of a chicken and wiggle down for four counts.
- Clap four times.
- Repeat this process four times.
- After the fourth time you grab your neighbors' hands and move in a circle.
- Switch directions on the band leader's command.
Then the whole process starts all over.