Dance is not only a form of self-expression, but also a reflection of pop culture. For decades, musical artists have created unique dance moves to pair with their songs to help them catch on and gain popularity. “Macarena” and “YMCA” were some of the first popular song and dance combos to pave the way in the entertainment industry. Today, thanks to the internet, there is no better time for artists to promote their songs along with an original dance.
If you think back to 2012, the song “Gangnam Style” was exploding on the charts. The K-pop single was played around the world for months on end and heard on every radio station. It wasn’t just the song that was popular, though. The dance that the artist, Psy, was sporting in his music video got just as much attention as the hit single. Kids, teens, and even parents alike were trying out the new move for themselves and even posting in on the internet for their friends to watch. Now, whenever Gangnam Style happens to play on a #ThrowbackThursday, listeners can’t help but pair the iconic dance with the song.
These few songs weren’t the only ones that went hand-in-hand with a viral dance. Below is a list of famous pop and hip-hop songs that are accompanied by their very own iconic dance moves that had everyone--not just the professionals--trying out to when the song came on:
Crank Dat- Soulja Boy
Chances are that if you were around in 2007, you know Soulja Boy’s hit single and dance from “Crank Dat”. Soulja Boy was one of the first in the hip-hop world to create a dance move to go along with a song, and in its time it was named “one of the biggest dance fads since the Macarena.” The song and dance together skyrocketed Soulja Boy’s career and even got him nominated for a Grammy.
In My Feelings- Drake
Drake has been on the top charts countless times and has grown a massive following over the years. When he came out with his single “In My Feelings”, a popular internet dance challenge, known as the #KiKiChallenge or the #InMyFeelingsChallenge, took over the internet. The challenge starts by the dancer opening the front door of a moving car and continuing to dance along to Drake’s hit “In My Feelings”. This challenge was all over the internet circa-mid 2018, and it got so popular that Drake decided to feature some of his favorite fan uploads of the challenge at the end of his music video.
Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)- Silento
The moves that “Watch Me” came along with quickly became an internet sensation. At only seventeen years old, Silento started a dance movement across the world that had everyone trying out the dances in his song. The most popular move by far is known as the “whip”. This move is so simple that anyone can do it--not only to “Watch Me”, but also to any other upbeat song that dancers want to express themselves to. Silento saw the impact that his dance moves had on pop culture, and decided to create his own official dance tutorial on YouTube that has millions of views to date.
Single Ladies- Beyonce
Beyonce is one of the biggest names in the music industry, so when she created the iconic hand twist move to her hit “Single Ladies” back in 2008, it was bound to catch on. Single or not, anyone can’t help but join in whenever this empowering song plays by rocking the simple dance Queen B created herself.
Cha Cha Slide- Mr. C The Slide Man
This song produced one of the most well-known group dance routines, making it a go-to song to play for any party. Released twenty years ago in 1999, it grew so much popularity that it broke the Billboard Hot 100 in 2001. The song itself gives listeners the instructions for the routine, making it easy to follow along with. Mixed with a contemporary and hip-hop feel, this song is still fun to dance along to in a group.