Step One: Bend Forward
Get that stiffness out of your spine, hang forward, but not too far, and get those arms and knees loose.
Step Two: Bend Knees and Elbows
Bend your elbows and clench your fists if you want to get that real rude attitude. Try to look more like you're getting ready to go sprinting rather than skiing.
Step Three: Claim Your Space
Get those feet shoulder-length apart, move one foot slightly forward, and take up as much of the dance floor as you can while you start your arms cranking back and forth. It might help if you pretend your shaking some maracas.
Step Four: Start Moving
Feel the beat. Get those arms swinging slightly and feel the bounce as you swing your hips. Move your weight from one foot to the other with each skank. Make sure you coordinate your arms and legs. If your right fist is moving forward, you should also be moving your right knee forward as you shift your weight. Then shift to the left.
Step Five: Skank to the Beat
Now start to vibe with some classic ska sounds. If you're doing a classic skank, your feet should not be moving too much. Rather, you should be bouncing with the upbeats and cranking those elbows. For added style, get a real cool expression and stare somewhere off in the upper corner of the room. Preferably with shades.
Now you've got the basic skank, the move that just came naturally to young Jamaicans. Of course, the form is completely open to personal styles and variations. Here's an ever-so-quick review of some of the added variations in ska's brief but great history:
Rocksteady: Steady Rock Easy
For the more mellow rocksteady era, you'll want more of a pose, less movement in the arms and legs ('cause it too HOT!) and most of your expression coming from your hips.
When you're ready to strap on your braces and Doc Martens, you can add more of a snarl and a bit more machoism and testosterone (yes, even you skinhead gals) to the classic skank. The stomp comes in when you really lift those boots off the ground and start thomping with the more uptempo rhythms of early reggae.
Two Tone: Kick-starting the 80s Skank
Here's the classic "rudeboy" skank that most young ska fans today know. As ska mixes with the tempo of punk, you'll be adding a kick forward with every beat. You'll have more of a skip and a hop in there as you emulate your favorite British ska idols.
Ska-core: Slam and Mosh
When the skank hits the States, the more hardcore fans take more from the punk/metal moshpit then they do from Kingston style. This is where you really start to see some dance culture clashes on the club floors.
Third Wave: That "Running in Place" Thing
Ah, the great mystery of the 90s. Little skasters jogging in place as fast as they can. Somewhere in there, there is still some slight evidence of the skank, and therefore, some hope.