By Marti Resteghini
Humans have been dancing since the advent of music, and we’ve been choreographing moves ages before the term officially made it into the lexicon in the 1950s. We’ve been line dancing and couples dancing for centuries. Still, the last hundred years has seen an explosion in dance styles. Perhaps it’s because of technology or perhaps it’s because of a more relaxed social code, but specific “moves” today seem to emerge on a daily basis. When examining a scene from a series like A3 Nightlife, it is evident that today’s music scene is made up of a multitude of dance trends and styles, be they elaborate or subdued.
Of all the moves out there still practiced, there are some that are handy to learn in case you’re in need of warming up a dance floor or entertaining a date. Here are some signature moves that will make you look good when the times comes.
A3 Nightlife – LMFAO, Live in Las Vegas
Electric Slide: Grapevine right, (clap), grapevine left, (clap), walk back (clap), ¼ turn, repeat.
The electric slide is an event staple – no sweet sixteen, wedding, or prom is complete without it. The original four-wall line dance was choreographed by Ric Silver in 1986 for Marcia Griffiths’ Electric Boogie. It has survived several changes in music and dance trends. In fact, it’s been practiced by so many different cultures that it has spawned several similar moves that have themselves become popular, like the Cupid Shuffle.
Soulja Boy: Hop, putting your right foot forward, and then bring it back. Then lift your left behind your right calf, touch it with your right hand and bring it back down with a stomp. Now snap as you swivel four times, then stomp. Tap your right foot twice, then lift and slap your knee. Step with your right foot and lean your chest out like Superman. Then hop to the left while cranking with your hands. Repeat, while hopping to the right.
The Soulja Boy was made popular by Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em’s 2007 single Crank That (Soulja Boy). The single was self-published online in March 2007 along with a video demonstrating how to do the dance. By that fall, the song reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and was featured on HBO’s Entourage. The dance and the song made Soulja Boy an Internet sensation and landed him the #18 spot on Forbes’ list of Hop-Hop Cash Kings of 2010.
Time Warp: It’s a jump to the left, and then a step right. Put your hands on your hips. With your knee touching, thrust your pelvis back and forth. Now rotate your pelvis in a circle.
The Time Warp was made popular by the 1973 musical cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which still plays in theaters thirty-eight years after its premiere. Along with this dance-a-long, audiences interact with many other moments in the film, screaming out responses and call-outs. Many international personalities have performed the Time Warp including: Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Spanish band Timbiriche, Italian band Elio e le Storie Tese, and most recently, the cast of Glee.
Dougie: Keep your legs and knees loose as you move side to side while passing your arms through the air near the side of your head.
Based on signature moves by 1980s rapper Doug E. Fresh, made official by Lil’ Wil’s My Dougie in 2007, and then made viral by Cali Swag District’s Teach Me How To Dougie in 2009, the Dougie is a simple dance that can be interpreted in many ways to fit one’s own style. First Lady Michelle Obama, TV Journalist Barbara Walters, and CNN pundit Wolf Blitzer have all been seen doing the Dougie.
Cat Daddy/The Ricky Bobby: Cross your arms in front of you, then behind you in a wheel chair motion while going down low.
The most recent version of this dance, made popular by the Rej3ctz, has been performed by everyone from Justin Bieber to Ellen DeGeneres. However, it is not a new dance but a version of The Ricky Bobby made popular by B-Hamp’s Do The Ricky Bobby, part of the soundtrack for 2006’s film Talladega Nights.
Anything Michael Jackson: See Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson, the late King of Pop, created so many signature moves that it’s hard to pick the best one. His style and moves are timeless. He impressed audiences so many times over during his career that the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes him as The Most Successful Entertainer of All Time. From Justin Timberlake to Usher, modern-day entertainers continue to dance in the image of the pop sensation. Whether you’re doing the Moonwalk, Thriller, or the Circle Slide/Spin, performing just one of his moves well is a guaranteed party pleaser.
Pop and Lock: Dance abruptly, then stop.
The Pop and Lock is a broad dance term that describes a multitude of moves that came out of 60s and 70s funk. It carried over into electronic and rap in the 80s and has become a mainstay of current hip-hop rhythms. Styles that have originated from the Pop and Lock include: The Robot, Ticking, Strobing, Krumping, The Wave, Dime Stopping, Liquid Dancing, and Tutting.
Salsa: Step back with your right leg, bring it back to the original position. Step forward with your left leg, bring it back to the original position. (Usually performed with a partner who executes a mirrored combination.)
Salsa, like the Pop and Lock, comes from a simple move that is adorned to form a multitude of sister styles. The dance derives its moves from Son, a Cuban sound that fuses African rhythms and Spanish guitars. Son gave way to Rumba, Mambo, and the international favorite, Salsa. Like its own roots, it has inspired several other classics like Cumbia and some forms of country line dancing. Developing and perfecting your own style of Salsa can give you a sexy move that is adaptable to all kinds of music around the world.
A3 Nightlife – Kaskade, Live in Miami
A3 Nightlife – Charleene Rena, Live at Mynt
Marti Resteghini is the Editor-in-Chief of The Sixth Wall. Formerly, she was the VP of Network Programming and Acquisitions at KoldCast TV. Prior to joining KoldCast, Marti served as vice president of development and production at Warner Bros.-based production company, HDFilms, where she oversaw the development, production and distribution of feature films, television and new media content across multiple platforms. In this post, Marti produced many high-profile original series including “Chadam,” “Creepshow: Raw,” based on the 1980s cult classic feature film, and Crackle’s “The Jace Hall Show.”