Here's a quick and easy way to make an amusing dancing figure of yourself, or someone else. It's a simple-yet-funny movement that never fails to make people grin. Kids love it. Make one for your sweetie for Valentines Day, or for your kids to embarrass them with your antics.
In this Instructable I'll show you how to build one very quickly, with thick paper, scissors, a pencil, and a twist tie. But if you have access to other tools and materials, then by all means make it fancy! I made the clear acrylic version in the movie above at my local Tech Shop, using graphics software and a laser cutter. You can build it from any sheet material you like: cardboard, plywood, sheet metal, plastic, etc.
The simple trick here is to connect the head to the legs in a way that makes them stay parallel to each other, even as the torso tilts back and forth. A simple linkage does the trick.
Here are the steps:
1) Bust a dance move for the camera. (Est. time: 2 minutes to several weeks, depending on how picky you are.)
2) Print or trace 2 outlines of yourself onto stiff material.
3) Draw in the bits that connect the pieces, and cut out the pieces.
4) Assemble the parts.
Take a picture of yourself (or your victim) in a dance pose. I chose a sort of late 70s disco pose (as befits my age), but pick whatever pose you like. Experiment! It helps to take the picture against a contrasting background.
Since I was printing this onto thick paper with a monochrome printer, I also adjusted the image to look good when printed in black and white.