The Eight Greatest Dance Moments of All-Time and How You Can Do Them Too


With Mayfest‘s Dance Marathon imminent, Sammy Jones picks her fave dance moments from near and far and shows you how to recreate them at home.

Why is ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ on its thirteenth series? Why are there five ‘Step Up’ films? And why is that lift in ‘Dirty Dancing’ still so flippin’ mesmerising? Like it or not, we’re obsessed by dance on our screens.

Whether you’re a total novice or a fully-fledged dance pro, the allure of the dance routine is undeniable. From relaunching John Travolta’s career to creating the most watched internet video of all time, there’s just something about a dance hit that you can’t tear your eyes away from. What’s that I hear you cry? You want a slice of the dance action? Oh go on then, here’s how – we’ll be seeing you on the next series of Strictly.

Hand Jive

The prom part is easily the best bit of ‘Grease’ apart from all the bits with Rizzo singing in them (obviously). If you don’t know the film, the prom scene features all the ‘teen’ characters jammed together in a big sweaty mess of tuxedo jackets, nerves, and inappropriate touching. While there’s a million classic dance moves in ‘Grease’, the hand jive has to be the most iconic of them all. Check out this scene where Sandy is almost fitting with the fizz of it all then learn how to hand jive yourself:

‘Uptown Funk’

‘So hot, hot damn, make a dragon wanna retire, man,’ croons the snake-hipped dance-master himself, Bruno Mars. I suppose being supported by Mark Ronson in a questionable shirt and his merry gang of slick upstarts gives you the confidence to commit lyrical murder if you’re that way inclined. Anyway, never mind the lyrics, you’re here to dance, so if you want to get as funked up as they are, here’s how:


Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ is the ultimate music video that single-handedly tipped the 80s into full-throttle MTV mania. Flash mobs LOVE this one, and there’s a good reason for it. Get spooked with MJ and his ghoulish gang:

‘Napoleon Dynamite’

The crowning glory of 2004’s quirkfest, ‘Napoleon Dynamite’, has to be Napoleon’s throw-down of some of the strongest moves known to man. Witness the fitness. ‘What are you gonna do today Napoleon?’ ‘Whatever I wanna do, gosh.’ Same, Napoleon, same.

‘Gangnam Style’

Who remembers the club thumping internet dance craze that was ‘Gangnam Style’? The K-pop sensation managed to drum up literally billions of views with it’s nonsensical hi-tempo ear-worming. It was even called ‘a force for world peace’. Want a lick of the same success? Learn the dance and see if anyone joins in (and don’t worry about the lyrics, unless you’re a massive overachiever and fancy learning Korean):

‘Pulp Fiction’

Smouldering goddess Mia Wallace and cool cat Vincent Vega are thrown together in unlikely circumstances and an unwitting Vince is soon cutting a rug at Jack Rabbit Slim’s Twist Contest at Mia’s bidding. Of course, they slam dunk it. In a strange turn of events, director Tarantino shows us first-hand what your twisting should look like while on the Graham Norton show, be you a Vince or a Mia:

‘Single Ladies’

BEY IS ICONIC. As if her pipes weren’t enough to lust after, Bey slams out one of the most iconic dance routines of the noughties in this video for ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It’). She dances, she sings, she runs up the wall in high heels. She is an angel not meant for this earth:

‘Jai Ho’

If you get to the end of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ without crying your eyes out at least twice, I’m sorry to have to break this to you, but you were born without a heart. Thank goodness, then, for this dance cracker at the end of it all, just when you thought there was nothing left to live for. ‘Jai Ho’ is a catchy number on it’s own, but give it a dance routine this good, and you’ve got a stone-cold classic on your hands:

As you can see, dancing doesn’t have to be hard (unless it’s that ‘Singles Ladies’ routine, by god), so if this has put you in the mood to tap your toes, Mayfest have some dance slammers set up for this Spring. You can shimmy on down for three hours straight at the Dance Marathon if you think you’re tough enough, or watch the experts get whipped into a frenzy by a live band with ‘Of Riders and Running Horses’. However you get your dance fix, surely it’s high time to practice those stretches and hook up that glitterball.

See you on the dancefloor.

Related Links:

‘Mayfest Official Website’

‘Step, Ball – Change?: Project O’s Dance Activism’ by Sammy Jones

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