To find out what dance moves are the most popular these days, all you need to do is go to a wedding with a D.J. It is pretty much guaranteed that some new song will play, and everyone who is even mildly up on trends will hit the dance floor and show off the latest moves. Back in the ’80s, you couldn’t go to a wedding without running into the chicken dance or “YMCA” (ok, you’ll still find these at weddings today, unfortunately). And if you aren’t off on the sidelines—biting your lower lip and sadly swaying from one foot to the other to the beat of the music—then chances are you try to get right in there and dance along with everyone else.
Here is a look at some of the biggest dance moves to hit over the years. Some are great, others not so much. Some will be around a long time, and others we’re hoping will be gone by week’s end.
8. Gangnam Style
This particular one is sticking around for a bit longer than anyone had hoped. It all started when Korean rapper Psy released his hit song “Gangnam Style” and the world went bonkers. The video that accompanied it featured Psy doing some relatively ridiculous dance moves in several odd places and in strange situations. Suddenly everyone was copying him. Now you practically can’t hear the song without involuntarily doing one of the dances yourself.
7. Electric Slide
The song “The Electric Slide” is so unbearably dated that you might have a harder time running into this one. Nonetheless, it rears its catchy head every so often, and before you know it you’re in a line dance. The question is, do you do it the tame, antiseptic way, or do you put a little boogie in it and tear up that dance floor with your bad self?
6. Hand Jive
This is possibly the laziest dance that we have on our list but it still is pretty fun. You probably haven’t caught anyone doing the hand jive in a couple dozen years, unless, of course, the soundtrack for Grease happens to be playing. Nonetheless, this was a big one and for good reason.
It’s unclear if anyone has ever truly been able to do this dance as well as Michael Jackson did. Of course that hasn’t stopped people from trying, especially right after that fateful performance of “Billie Jean” when he moonwalked across the stage. Epic in so many ways, and still one of the coolest dances around (if you can do it).
4. Running Man
I still catch myself caught up in this dance if some popular ’90s hits make their way to my playlist. MC Hammer? C+C Music Factory? Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch? (Even the New Kids on the Block. Fine, I admit it.) You know the drill: one foot in front of the other and pull back. It’s so bad it’s good.
3. Break Dancing
Best not to attempt break dancing unless you actually know how to break dance. No one wants to fracture their spine, right? But when you encounter someone who has serious skills (skillz, I mean), then it really is a wonder to behold. I just have a hard time believing that it doesn’t hurt… maybe that means I’m doing it wrong.
Salsa is one of those dances that anyone can do, but in the hands of the talented, it looks pretty incredible. Just pop some salsa music on the radio, and watch an entire room light up and start moving their hips. It’s absolutely a dance that unites people and is so much fun to do.
1. Swing Dancing
Obviously swing dancing first emerged in the Roaring Twenties and was the dance of the jazz age. There are actually countless types of swing dances, but the most popular that have lasted throughout the years include the Lindy Hop and the Charleston. We can’t forget, though, that swing made a huge comeback not too long ago when the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies came on the scene in the ’90s. It’s a dance for the ages, and it’s pretty incredible.