Can You Do the Kinkajou?

Los Angeles dance instructor Ernest E. Ryan has seen the future of dance, and it is the Kinkajou.

After attending the 1927 annual convention of the Dance Masters of America, Ryan told the Los Angeles Times that he expected a Kinkajou craze to overtake California by winter, and that he would be teaching the steps in his studio at 1500 S. Figueroa.

The Kinkajou was created by Edna Passpae, inspired by a song and dance number from the 1927 Ziegfield musical Rio Rita that included the lyrics, "When you do the Kinkajou, you dance before you think."  She debuted it at the DMA convention where it won first prize, beating out new steps like the Dixie Stomp and the Lindbergh Glide.

It was said that the Kinkajou would "be the dance to replace the Charleston and the Black Bottom."  Sadly, the Kinkajou’s moment in the sun was brief.  Rio Rita, however, went on to become an early talkie hit for RKO, starring Bebe Daniels and John Boles, and marking the film debut of comedy team Wheeler and Woolsey.

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