A Complete Guide to the Dances of A Charlie Brown Christmas

Posted 13 years ago by Television

I wanted to write something about A Charlie Brown Christmas this year besides a review, something a little more academic. I thought long and hard about something deep and meaningful I could pull from the animated classic, and finally I settled on the awesome dance scene.

I’m sure everyone has imitated at least one of the dances from A Charlie Brown Christmas once in their lives, but I doubt few have mastered them all. Here is your chance.

The Zombie

The Zombie

Who: Shermy
What: A dance reminiscent of a zombie on a treadmill
Requirements: The ability to keep one’s arms aloft for long periods of time.

What Shermy lacked in popularity among the Peanuts clan, he more than made up for in his display of creative dance. He walks in place with arms outstretched and an ever-so-subtle head-bob.

Remember to keep your eyes open while performing The Zombie, because otherwise this dance could easily be confused with The Sleepwalker.

The Flower Child

The Flower Child

Who: 3 and 4 (The Twins)
What: An interesting combination of hippie jubilation and traditional Irish Step Dance
Requirements: Strong calves and an even stronger tolerance of dizziness

The twins in A Charlie Brown Christmas are named 3 and 4*, respectively. Along with their odd names they possess an odd style of dance. It looks like the torso of a hippie with the legs and feet of Michael Flatley from Riverdance. That aside, it is an easy enough accomplishment.

One must simply sway from side to side while kicking up the feet in a mesmerizing and headache inducing pattern.

* Source

The Thriller

Frieda's Thriller

Who: Frieda
What: A close-but-no-cigar attempt at the classic Michael Jackson move
Requirements: Noodle limbs, large grin, and a purple dress

Frieda is like the many party-goers we often see trying to pull off the iconic move from Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Her enthusiasm is her saving grace. The dance also brings to mind someone pouring water onto a fire from an invisible bucket.

The Marionette

The Marionette

Who: 5
What: A Marionette attempting the Charleston
Requirements: Flexible ankles, and being double jointed is a plus

5 is the big brother of 3 and 4. He also has the distinction of performing what a lot of people refer to as “The Charlie Brown”, a dance that is included in the wedding reception staple The Cha-Cha Slide.

Violet's Armpits

The Armpit

Who: Violet
What: A jerky , sad looking dance involving armpits
Requirements: Bangs

Violet’s dance in A Charlie Brown Christmas looks sad, almost like a unenthusiastic hip-hip-hooray. It also looks like she is checking to make sure she put on her deodorant that morning. Either way, the dance should be easy to pull off if you are too intimidated by the more challenging numbers in this guide. Besides, not everyone’s a natural like Shermy.

The Victory Dance

Who: Linus
What: Yesssss!
Requirements: A Blankie, unbridle enthusiasm, and speed

Linus is usually considered to be the intellectual one of the group, but he lets lose in this scene like he just found out he was getting something awesome for Christmas. I first discovered this dance when I was snooping through my mother’s closet and found the unwrapped box of the Mighty Max Skull Mountain playset.

The Rain Dance

Who: Sally
What: Traditional Native American rain dance
Requirements: Elbow/Knee coordination

Sally’s dance almost looks like a variation on Linus’ Victory Dance. I think, however, she is fascinated with rain dances, and wants to see if they will also work to bring snow (and snow days).

In a nutshell, those are the dances of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Now you can attend your Christmas parties armed with the know-how to burn up the dance floor, Peanuts style. You get bonus points if you wear a Peanuts t-shirt while you do it, just don’t forget to send the embarrassing pictures so I can post them in a follow up article.

  • Best post EVER! Can I re-post it at Toyriffic?

    I am going to learn all these moves and then I will be the greatest dancer ever!

  • Hilarious stuff. My wife and I are huge fans of “The Flower Child” and “The Marionette”. Someone should write their dissertation on these.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed this post! I am a master of the Linus Yesssss! Dance and the Sally Rain Dance. Many Thanks 🙂 I’ve been saving my viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas for Christmas Eve, it’s the best way to get things started!

  • Joe

    One of the finest half-hours of television ever produced!

  • TR

    What about Pig Pen and Snoopy? Did they not dance in this scene? I seem to remember them dancing in at least one of the Peanuts specials.

    • RTA

      Pig Pen and Snoopy were playing musical insturments !!!

    • bigg3469

      Snoopy was playing the guitar and Pig Pen was playing the upright bass.

  • Great post. Thanks!

  • Borra18

    I was looking for the name of “5” dance, thanks

    • Goku

      The dance for “5” is actually called The Ruby Slipper Vulture Shuffle

  • Lulu

    The best!

  • Rob McLean

    5 is actually the *younger* brother of 3 and 4, which explains why he has a higher number. The family’s last name is 95472 (accent on the 4), which was Charles Schulz’ zip code at the time.

    • Kelli Campbell

      No, 5 is older than 3&4. Obviously. He’s the big brother. Check the strips. He introduces himself to Charlie Brown and mentions his younger sisters 3&4. He is in charlie browns class. When the twins are introduced a couple weeks later they introduce themselves to Lucy and call her “big girl”. They are younger.

      • Rob McLean

        Without checking, I’m pretty sure that 5 refers to 3 and 4 as his “sisters”, not “younger sisters”. (Again, 5 has the highest number, and so would be the youngest.) Also, 3 and 4 (and 5) are probably a year or two younger than the rest of the Peanuts gang, which is why they call Lucy “big girl”.

        • badzeitgeist

          The numbers have no relationship to order in the family unit — 5 is short for his full first name, 555. (No idea if 3 and 4 are the twins’ full names or not; my impression is that they are.)

          • Rob McLean

            We’ve no way of knowing whether the numbers are related to family order or not — the strip doesn’t tell us. Naming the older girls 3 and 4 and the youngest boy 5 would seem to be the most logical arrangement — then again, a man who flips out and renames his family with all numbers probably isn’t thinking too logically. (And what does the wife, Mrs. 2 95472, have to say about all this?)

  • Steve Wilkins

    It is a crying shame that people are actually going to believe you were being serious about that names you have tied to each dance, thinking that these were that actual names of the dances. This is unfortunate, and untrue.

    I had a friend once who was a prolific dancer in her youth, and she knew (and pointed out) each and every dance in the video … by name. I recognized each of the names she mentioned but, since I was not really a dancer, then or now, I can’t tell you all f the names, or which ones are which. However, I seem to recall her mentioning the “Mashed Potato” and “The Pony” but am not really certain anymore. In fact, the reason why I am on this page now is because, every now and then, I get a wild hair and try, once again to track down the names of the dances so I can write them down.

    Anyway, there were a long list of fun/crazy dances in the late 50’s to early 60’s, which coincides with the timing of the actual cartoon. It makes sense that they would portray kids doing what kids in that day were doing, and dancing was 1 of the things they did a lot. Here are a list of popular dances on the time, to help refresh your memories and in hopes that someone can come forth with the correct answers/names:

    “The Stroll”, “The Pony” (or “Pony Time”), “The Wah-Watusi”, “The Monkey”, “The Swim”, “The Jerk”, “The Twist”, “The Madison Time”, “The Freddie” (Gomez Adams from “The Adams Family” did this one), “The Mashed Potato”, “The Monster Mash”, “The Dog”, The Frug (pronounced, “Froog”), etc.

  • David Harrison

    Frieda is actually doing the “Wafting Odor”.

  • Caps in OCMD

    Quality research!

  • Mansfield Irony

    Is Sally doing an early version of the Pinegrove Shuffle?