As the years speed by, dance crazes go in and out of fashion faster than a Zara collection. However, some dance movements have become iconic and will be seen at many weddings, camping sites and birthdays for years to come. To celebrate International Dance Day here are some of the decade’s most memorable dance movements:
Early OOs – Krump
Krumping is a street dance which became popular in the early naughties and is defined as a free and exaggerated form of self expression. David LaChapelle’s documentary “Rize” covered the clown and krumping subculture in LA. Many who krump(ed) confirmed that the dance was a way for them to escape gang life and express themselves in a non-violent way. The dance movement was popularized in Chemical Brother’s incredible video galvanize and even featured in Madonna’s video “Hung Up”.
2007 – Crank That
American rapper Soulja Boy launched his debut single and video “Crank That” when YouTube was barely 2 years old and it took the world by storm. The single is accompanied by the ‘Soulja Boy’ dance which launched one of the biggest dance crazes since the Macarena. It also inspired the internet generation to start uploading dance videos on/to Youtube.
2008- Beyonce – Single Ladies
Although this is not a dance move per se, Beyoncé’s perfect moves became legendary (hardly surprising coming from one of the world’s greatest performers). She empowered women (and men) from around the globe and “Single Ladies” has since become an anthem for all the ladies doing their own thing in the club and in life generally. “Single Ladies” also put Justin Timberlake in a leotard and heels, so thank you Queen B.
2010 – The Dougie
The Dougie is a mixture of shimmy style and passing a hand near one’s own head.
The dance itself started in Dallas Texas taking its name from similar moves performed by 1980s rapper Doug E.Fresh, but entered mainstream culture when Cali Swag District recorded the song “Teach Me How To Dougie” in 2009. Their video went viral and everyone from France to Australia was teaching themselves how to Dougie. It’s still a party favorite up to this day.
2009 – 2015 The Stanky Leg/ Nae Nae
This multi-step dance involves the movement of the dancer’s leg in a circular motion. The Stanky Leg’s popularity reached its peak in 2015 when Silento dropped his track “Watch Me”. The video turned into a viral hit, mixing whipping nae-naeing, superman and the bop.
2012 – Psy – Gangnam Style
“Gangnam Style” went beyond viral and turned into a worldwide craze. Psy’s video became the first video to surpass a billion views. His horse-riding moves have been used for questionable “flash mobs” at pretty much every wedding, sweet sixteen and Bar Mitzvah around the globe. Although Psy became internationally famous for his hit, it was actually the Korean singer’s 18th K-Pop release. The phrase “Gangnam Style” refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam district of Seoul.
2012 – The Melbourne Shuffle
The Melbourne Shuffle is a rave and club dance which, although originating from the 1980s underground rave scene, came back with a vengeance in 2012. Also referred to as “Shape Cutting”, it has gained popularity in the UK, the Netherlands and the US. Today there are thousands of videos of millennials shuffling around in their parent’s garages and basements in LED-clad pumps.
2015 – The Dab
Born in Atlanta and just like the nae nae, artists and sports players drove the dance move to mainstream culture by featuring it in their music videos. The trend is thought to have been initiated by Migos with his track “Look At My Dab” and popularized by American football player Cam Newton, although some argue that it was actually the artist Skippa da Flippa who started the dance.
Although it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact year when twerking began, it’s thought that this sexually suggestive booty shake originated in New Orleans. Twerking became highly controversial in 2013 when Miley Cyrus dropped her booty to the ground in her video “We Can’t Stop”. Despite accusations of cultural appropriation like many white artists who use elements of hip-hop culture without an authentic narrative, Miley Cyrus continued to jiggle the junk, even twerking against Robin Thicke’s groin at the 2013 MTV VMA Awards.
So shoot us, this dance move may have come from the 90s, but Carlton’s moves are timeless. The snooty cousin from Bel-Air gave awkward dad-dancers worldwide the official right to set fire to the dancefloor. Imma let you finish, but this is the best dance of all time.