Please Help Me Bust A Move
September 6, 2019 9:45 AM   Subscribe

I want to learn some dance moves suitable for using when dancing alone to whatever range of dance music typically gets played these days at clubs, weddings and so forth. What moves should I learn and what freely available instructional videos should I use to learn them?
posted by orange swan to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
There's a huge range, from clubs to weddings, particularly depending on the club and the wedding, from country line dancing to EDM, hip-hop to swing. Are there any genres or songs that come to mind for dancing?

My suggestion is to just have fun. People are often impressed simply by someone's ability to have fun while dancing, because there's often weird societal pressure put on dancing in public, that when someone can just get out and enjoy themselves, it's impressive on its own.

Still, I get what you're asking for here, so if you could name a few styles or songs, that would help narrow the range of options. Also, are you looking to burn up the dancefloor, or do you feel like you need some moves so you feel comfortable enough to dance?
posted by filthy light thief at 11:27 AM on September 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Youtube has tons of these videos - you can search for "basic dance moves" "how to dance at a club" etc. In terms of specific moves, the electric slide, the macarena, maybe gangnam style (i have no idea if that's still played anymore) - these are very generic for weddings, etc. If you listen to hip hop, there are a ton of more relevant moves, so include "hip hop" as a search term.
posted by yawper at 11:43 AM on September 6, 2019

Go to some Zumba classes! It's fun, not intimidating and the moves are easily transferrable to most typical dance scenarios. Then, in practice, you can tone your moves up or down depending on music, venue and your coolness factor.
posted by shoesietart at 11:48 AM on September 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I stick with the White Guy Shuffle for all solo dancing
posted by cross_impact at 2:41 PM on September 6, 2019

For weddings, it's fairly common to play some line dancing/group dancing song-- stuff like the electric slide, macarena, etc. where the instructions are sorta in the music. I would learn a few of those from youtube (I just picked some of the top viewed videos, not necessarily the best). Depending on where you are located, what is most common may vary. In my area, Copperhead Road is standard. They're old now, but I still sometimes hear The Wobble or the Cha Cha Slide. This summer I heard The Git Up (don't know if it's being played at weddings).

For dancing in a club, I would watch what other people are doing, or the zumba suggestion above was good to give you some basic steps. There are tons of videos on youtube if you search basic or simple club dance moves, for example.
posted by kochenta at 3:12 PM on September 6, 2019

I wouldn't worry about specific moves. Just have fun and pretend you're Taylor Swift at the front row of an awards show.
posted by BeginAgain at 4:53 PM on September 6, 2019

Hit the woah
posted by halehale at 6:07 PM on September 6, 2019

There’s a ton of dances that have been spurned from specific songs but have absorbed into acceptable recognizable dance moves. I would not do any of the following for an entire song but sprinkles of the following, as appropriate, with general non specific dancing works well for me.
The dougie
Nae nae
Milly Rock
Stanky Legg
Hit the Qwan
Cat Daddy
Here’s a big ol list of a lot of the original songs those dances came from. You can watch the videos then YouTube “How to [insert name of dance here]”

Also I know it’s in the link but don’t do the Soulja Boy. It... does not look cool.
posted by Pretty Good Talker at 12:07 AM on September 7, 2019

I don't think most people are gonna care what you do as long as you don't accidentally whack folks on the dance floor a whole lot. Especially once you're out of high school. Most folks don't do specific dances (Electric Slide or whatever) while clubbing these days unless it's a line dancing club or somewhere that specializes.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:43 AM on September 7, 2019

Zumba for sure! It’ll help you get used to following the beat, and give you some basic footwork that you can use.
An in-person class is best but there are lots on YouTube. Search for a song you already like and try some different versions.

I think learning specific “moves” like the nae nae or whatever will make you look dorky unles you’re a little kid.
posted by exceptinsects at 5:40 PM on September 7, 2019

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