Where is it cool to let your whole body shake uncontrollably, hold onto the reigns of an invisible horse and gallop, or find a wall, bend over, and let your hips go insane?
The dance floor.
Not that it matters, but mountains of research show grooving to tunes is good for us, both mentally and physically. One of the more interesting ways that dancing can affect us is by lessening the susceptibility towards dizziness, which can in turn decrease a fear of falling (cool!). It can also improve the mind-body connection by increasing muscle memory.
That’s all well and good, but everyone knows the real reason we love to dance: tequila!
No, we kid, dancing is just plain fun–it’s a way to de-stress, lose yourself in the music, and generally not give a shit what other people think of you. That, perhaps, is the reason why the world of dance has popularized some pretty ridiculous moves throughout the ages.
The Mashed Potato? The Moonwalk? The Hokey-Pokey?! People legit do that, we’ve seen it happen, and while you can maybe blame your parents for the Electric Slide, Millennials and Gen Z’ers are not without their contributions to the madness.
BTR has culled from the dances popularized from the past decade the top five moves so that you can, in the immortal words of Young MC, “Bust a Move.”
Korean pop star Psy immortalized this move when he released the video to his 18th single, “Gangnam Style,” in July of 2012. You can see for yourself by watching the video above, but basically Psy combines riding an invisible horse with some sick foot shuffling, all while dressed in a powder blue suit befitting a night on stage with Bing Crosby.
Originally, the Harlem Shake was a dance move introduced in (you guessed it) Harlem circa 1981, by R&B artist and producer Al B. It looks sort of like a precursor to twerking (oh, we’ll get there) but with less twitch, more flow. It was then in 2013 that a video of some costumed kids dancing to house music that repeated the words “do the Harlem Shake” went viral on YouTube that the new Harlem Shake craze was born. To do it, stand in one spot and lose all control over every part of your body. If you can work in a Power Rangers body suit, even better.
A 2009 music video from Californian hip-hop duo Audio Push informed us all that “Jerkin’” is not, in fact, a rude person acting out or an involuntary muscle movement. It’s an apparently-super-popular-at-this-one-high-school dance move that involves simultaneously twisting your feet and arms in all sorts of crazy, often opposite, directions. Sound hard? Don’t worry, they’ll teach you how…
The Bernie Lean
Literally the least amount of effort you can put into a dance move and still look awesome. The move was popularized by a 2012 ATM & IMD (featuring BlazianProduction & Deshawn Raw) music video, but more importantly, inspired by the 1989 film Weekend At Bernie’s. The film’s story follows Richard and Larry, who are vacationing at their boss Bernie’s house. When he gets killed, Richard and Larry finish out their holiday anyways, pretending that Bernie is still alive by puppeteering his body. So for this dance, just pretend you are a dancing corpse.
At the top of the long list of things we can thank Miley Cyrus for (right after her quote “my dad would rather I’d have my tits out and be a good person than have my shirt on and be a bitch”) is making this infamous move mainstream. The twerk–which had been seen in the New Orleans bounce scene for years–was even added to the Oxford dictionary in 2013, as to “dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.”
Yup, that sums it up nicely. Apart from giving polite society the finger, twerking has also managed to spark worldwide debates centered around race and sexuality, and how they shouldn’t matter on the dance floor or anywhere else in life. Cheers.
Featured photo courtesy of Vladimir Pustovit.