Smack the Waacker

Waacking is the improbably spelt name of a once-obscure disco dance style from the 1970s, which came back to prominence in 2011 when it was featured on the TV dance competition So You Think You Can Dance. Waacking has been described as Irish step-dancing in reverse: it’s all about keeping the lower half of your body under tight control whilst using your arms freely and expressively. ‘When a person waacks,’ says one practitioner, ‘you can see the music.’

The two Waackers who interest us today are Sarah Ling from Milan…

Sarah Ling 1

… and Ilaria Mini Desantis from Rieti in central Italy:


For their 2015 routine, they wore simple, color-contrasting Fifties-style skirts, which they use an extension of their waacking arms; in other words, they flap the skirts about a lot to show off their frilly Fifties-style panties. It’s an exuberant one-minute display that ends with Sarah lifting Ilaria’s skirt and planting a firm smack on her frilly bottom.

The camera angle isn’t ideal there, so here’s a photo of the performance at the Stockholm International Streetdance Festival that shows you exactly what’s going on:

Stockholm Streetstar 2015

‘If it has to come to bottom-smacking,’ said Sarah afterwards, ‘I do it with conviction.’ And it was a lot of people’s favorite moment!

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