6 Music Videos That Sparked Dance Crazes

Written by Telus on Friday March 20, 2015

If there is one thing that you don’t see enough of these days, it’s music videos that add moves to the general public’s dance repertoire. Having a music video go viral is one thing, but having your video spark a whole dance craze is on another level.

Directors and musicians, for your consideration we have compiled a list of videos that got people all over the world moving their feet. These videos prove that a music video can be more than just a simple narrative, they can also be a visual instruction manual on how to do a new dance. (HINT: If the song you’re doing a video for literally tells the listener how to do a dance - you may want to seriously consider doing a video like the following.)

Billy Ray Cyrus - “Achy Breaky Heart”

Before Billy Ray Cyrus, line-dancing was just a weird rhythmically confused cousin of square dancing that was only “down in the south.” With only a few quick shots in the video, line-dancing swept the globe. If you’re a little foggy on the moves please watch this video.

Mr. C The Slide Man - Cha Cha Slide

Not all dance crazes are as subtly laced in their music videos as “Achy Breaky Heart”, take the Cha Cha Slide for example: Not only do they pre-emptively tell the world the dance is sweeping the nation with a “news report” off the top but the song is literally by a guy with an advertisement for the dance in his name: Mr. C The Slide Man.

Los Del Rio - Macarena

Sure, your video will inspire dancers in every country in the world but it will also be played at weddings and bar mitzvahs for generations to come! Los Del Rio’s “Macerna” has been getting estranged relatives on dance floors in hotel ballrooms since 1994.

PSY - Gangnam Style

If you want a dance craze to take off, just do the dance you want to catch on over and over again in various locations.

Soulja Boy Tell’em - Crank That

Similarly to “Cha Cha Slide,” leading the viewer on by showing that the dance you’re trying to popularize is “already wildly successful” with “real clips of people doing the dance” is guaranteed to get you a couple hundred thousand views.

Twist - Chubby Checker

While Chubby never had the fortune of having an official music video in 1963, he did appear on American Bandstand and was able to bring “The Twist” into millions of households by simply showing them how it’s done. He proves that having one single dancer in front of a curtain doing the dance well can ignite a dance floor revolution (Hey it worked for Thom Yorke … oh wait, that dance never caught on.)

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