The original (tap) Shim Sham, or “Goofers” as it was first named, was choreographed in 1926 by Leonard Reed and Willie Bryant for a Whitman Sisters’ show in Chicago. Its first New York outing was performed by the group The Three Little Words, and they performed in the Shim Sham club, hence the name New Yorkers gave to the dance. Lindy hoppers removed the tap steps but kept the general structure for the Savoy-style Shim Sham.

Dean Collins learned the Savoy version in New York and adapted it, and made it more complicated. He performed many versions of it in his California days, often dancing it with two other dancers flanking him. They were always men: Collins felt it was a man’s dance and would never teach a woman to do it. Collins was filmed dancing a version from beginning to end (the film was made by Andy Delarosa, and captured an exhibition performance at the Hollywood Palladium). The names of the moves post-date Dean Collins (who never named moves).

Shim Sham Step Right
Shim Sham Step Left
Shim Sham Dean Colins Half Break
Dean Colins Full Break

Push Push Cross Over Right
Push Push Cross Over Left
Push Push Dean Colins Half Break
Dean Colins Full Break

Tacky Annie
Tacky Annie
Tacky Annie Dean Colins Half Break
Dean Colins Full Break

Half Breaks x2
Dean Colins Full Break
Half Breaks x2
Triple Back Knee Lock

Susie Q Left
Susie Q Right
Susie Q Left Dean Colins Half Break
Dean Colins Full Break to (bumpd/slide) right

3 Steps Walk (bumpd/slide) Left
3 Steps Walk (bumpd/slide) Front
Triple Steps in Front
Hesitation Shorty George Right

Hesitation Shorty George SingleBreak
Tabby the Cat
Triples Behind (RLR LRL RLR LRL)
Dean Colins Full Break

Savoy Kick
Savoy Kick Dean Colins Half Break
Dean Colins Full Break

Savoy Kick
Savoy Kick
Triple Break

Round Savoy Kick
Savoy Kick
Walk out
Walk out