1) Why is limbo popular?
ANSWER: It can be a very fun and incredibly popular party game for all ages and genders (which requires no real dance skills as such) suitable for any event- whether it’s a tropical or beach-themed one or not. Our professional limbo dancers heighten the fun by demonstrating how to do it properly and showing the audience how to go really low, before leading and supervising people safely doing it themselves and making a bit of a competition out of it for which prizes can be awarded!
2) What are the rules of limbo?
ANSWER: All contestants must go under the bar- without dislodging it- with their backs facing toward the floor- leading with their knees and finishing with the tops of their heads- and with only their feet allowed to touch the ground. Whoever knocks the bar off or falls over is eliminated.
3) What is the world record for limbo?
ANSWER: The Trinidad-born Shemika Charles is a two-time Guinness World Record holder for limbo dancing. Last year she set the record for limboing the longest distance — a little more than 10 feet — under 12 inches and has gone as low as 8.5 inches. We have limbo dancers who go very low- if not quite that low- but limbo as a performance is best done by people who are entertaining- and should not be judged as purely an athletic exercise!
4) What equipment is needed for limbo?
ANSWER: A limbo stick that is at least 5 feet long and upright poles that can support it at the various heights required. A professional limbo dancer will provide all these and any other props they like to use for their act.
5) What is fire limbo?
ANSWER: Most limbo performers offer a fire element to their act whereby they light the limbo bar before limboing under it. Though this is spectacular and works very well for the climax of any limbo performance, due to modern-day health and safety regulations it is often an option that is declined by clients.
6) From where does limbo originate?
ANSWER: Mid-19th century Trinidad (in the Caribbean) from people of African heritage. In modern-day Trinidad & Tobago it takes place at wakes. The term ‘limbo’ may come from the English word ‘limber’ denoting the need to bend and move easily to be able to do it. There again a state of limbo is understood in theology as being one where a spirit inhabits a space between this world and the afterworld- which may also explain this particular dance’s name.
However, more disturbingly, its origins may lie in the slave trade with the limbo bar being a pole on the ships to hold the slaves in chains with their heir backs touched the ground.
7) What is limbo music?
ANSWER: Any authentic music should be played using African-style drumming or a Trinidadian steel band as a modern alternative. Limbo was a very popular dance craze in America and in Britain in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Pop artists were quick to cash-in on this and released a lot of songs with a Limbo theme. The most popular of these was Chubby Checker who had a top ten hit with ‘Limbo Rock’ in 1962. But here are some others:-
Limbo Part 1 & Part 2 – Little Anthony & The Imperials (1960)
Limber – Bo Diddley (1960)
The Kookie Limbo – Kookie Joe (1961)
Limbo – Nina & Frederik (1961)
Limbo Dance – The Champs (1962)
Limbo Rock – Duane Eddy (1962)
La La Limbo – Chubby Checker (1962)
Oo-La-La-Limbo – Danny & The Juniors (1962)
Doin’ The Limbo – James Brown And His Famous Flames (1962)
Limbo Rock – Chubby Checker (1962)
Limbo Jazz – Duke Ellington (1962)
Do The Limbo With Me – Gary U.S. Bonds (1962)
How Low Can You Go? – Chubby Checker (1963)
Loop De Loop Limbo – The Olympics (1963)
Let’s Limbo Some More – Chubby Checker (1963)
(Let’s Do) The Limbo – Chris Montez (1963)
Soul Shout Limbo – Sammy Ambrose (1963)
A Lotta Limbo – Chubby Checker (1963)
Limbo Italiano – Lou Monte (1963)
Many UK-based steel bands like Solid Steel play Booker T & The MGs ‘Soul Limbo’ when they back a limbo performance as this tune is also widely recognised as the timeless Caribbean-themed signature tune for BBC’s coverage of Test match cricket.
However, if you haven’t also booked a band from us, most limbo dancers have their own recorded backing music with them that they can use with your sound system.
8) Can you provide both male and female limbo dancers?
ANSWER: Yes, but there is a real shortage of good limbo dancers available of any gender, sadly. As a result we can’t always accommodate a client who specifies a gender preference. But we will always try!
9) Can you provide a group of limbo dancers?
ANSWER: Because limbo dancers are so rare in the UK most perform as solo acts, but we have often provided beautiful Carnival dancers and acrobats to make the limbo dancer’s act an even bigger spectacle
10) Can limbo dancers perform several sets at my event?
ANSWER: Yes, but if the audience is going to be the same for each show, we really don’t advise it as part of the appeal of the act is its novelty which is lost after its initial performance- even with our excellent limbo dancers!