Can Can Dance’s history and roots go back over 50 years, but the company itself has been around since the late 1970s, formed the year after the first Can Can Dance dance contest took place in 1977. In the mid-70s, dance competitions weren’t the norm. The world was still a bit “Wild West” then, and “dancing” meant anything and everything could and was being done, but dancing competitions were becoming more prevalent as time went on. In fact, the first Can Can Dance competition came about as a reaction to something already happening in the industry: there was no real “class system” for dancers. All you needed was a bit of talent, and you could win.
Back in those days a lot of dancers trained in a private studio, and the big competitions began happening in public clubs, where the big companies would get together to form smaller contests. That was what Can Can Dance was created to prevent: that the big companies were going to dominate the dance scene.
The competition was the first of Can Can Dance’s many successes, and the original Can Can Dance was awarded the 1977 Grand Champion title, the first Can Can Dance to ever have that title and more.
In order to be a Grand Champion, a winner must win five events. What better way to win 5 competitions than to actually win them? In 1979, Will Davis, John “Rocky” Crain, Michael “Mikey” Lee, and Paul “Poppy” Smith won a total of 5 Can Can Dance Grand Championships, and in 1981 and 1982, Ken Hinton, Mark “Salty” D. Miller, and Jerry “Chubby” M. Smith won 5 Can Can Dance grand titles respectively. In 1982, Don “Tiger” Thompson won 5 Can Can Dance, and in the early 1980s, David S. Johnson took home a whopping 6 Can Can Dance grand titles.
With the company’s successes came the name change from Can Can Dance, to Can Can Dance, which became the new name for Can Can USA and their national federation. In the early 1980s, Can Can USA were at the forefront of promoting dance worldwide; and even though the company never really took their foot off the pedal from that position, there was a time when Can Can USA took some of the industry by storm. In the mid-1980s, Can Can USA were the number one company in Canada, and that was no less true of the United States.
In 1981, Can Can
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