LANE: I’m gonna get a soda, anybody want anything?
LORELAI: Yes, the night of my 14th birthday back so I can right the green-hot-pant-roller-disco outfit wrong.
A roller disco is a skating rink where the dancers wear roller skates to move to disco music (or any modern dance music). The concept originated in the 1970s and peaked around 1980, although they are still held now as retro entertainment.
Lorelai’s 14th birthday was in 1982, so she was already slightly behind the trends when she chose her roller disco outfit (it actually fits better with Amy Sherman-Palladino’s 14th birthday in 1980). It’s not clear whether her birthday was celebrated at a roller disco, or she just thought it would be a good outfit to wear to her party. Let’s hope the first one.
PARIS: I do like Mr. Medina.
RORY: Well I’d take some dance lessons ’cause the way you express yourself needs a little work.
Rory is referring to interpretive dance – a modern dance style which seeks to express human emotions through the medium of dance. The style was pioneered by Isadora Duncan around 1900.
SOOKIE: This is about the time you start doing your little getaway dance. Two months right on the nose – you’re good.
LORELAI: I do not do a dance.
SOOKIE: You’re cha-cha-cha-ing right now.
The cha-cha-cha (or the cha-cha) is a Latin American dance which originated in Cuba in the 1950s. Sookie may be thinking of this dance in particular as it begins with the woman stepping backwards as the man walks forwards, just as Lorelai is backing away from Max.
LORELAI: I don’t remember the country club organizing a Tae Bo class.
Tae Bo is a high-energy fitness workout combining aerobic exercise and dance moves, and incorporating elements of martial arts such as kicking and punching; the name is a portmanteau of taekwondo and boxing. Developed in the 1970s, it became highly popular in the 1990s.
RORY: You just wanna hold a grudge.
LORELAI: Yes, it burns more calories.
RORY: That’s not true.
LORELAI: Yes it is, how do you think your grandma got those legs of hers? She’s not exactly a StairMaster gal.
StairMaster is an American company which makes exercise equipment, founded in 1983. Their first piece of equipment was a stair climbing machine.
Kelly Bishop, who plays Emily, got “those legs” of hers training in ballet, and working as a chorus line dancer for many years. We learn in the next season that Emily does in fact follow an exercise regimen to stay in shape.
LORELAI (after putting hairspray in Rory’s hair): OK, that will be good for six slow dances, four medium ones, one lambada, but if you plan on doing any moshing I suggest another coat.
A lambada is a sensual dance from Brazil which became popularised in the 1980s and ’90s, sometimes called “the forbidden dance” because of its sexy nature.
Moshing or slamdancing is an energetic, aggressive hardcore punk dance where you push or slam into the other dancers. The place near the stage where moshing is performed is called the moshpit.
LORELAI: Not here, skanking to Rancid?
Skanking, as ably demonstrated by Lane in this scene, is a ska and ska punk dance style. It originated in the Jamaican dance halls of the 1950s, and was revived (and sped up considerably) in the 1970s during the punk movement.