From the running man to the moonwalk, watch your friends’ jaws drop next time you hit the dance floor.
Many of us innately enjoy dancing, or at least the idea of dancing, but don’t quite have the dance vocabulary to back up our passion. But never fear, the Party Dances course is here.
So what is a Party Dance?
Many people reduce hip hop to some pre-choreographed routine seen on a pop music clip. In actuality, hip hop is an entire genre of music, dance and politically charged commentary. It’s a movement that began in the house parties and dance floors of New York in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
On these dance floors, people would come together creating communal dance moves that were often picked up and popularised in songs and on television.
Sometimes pop artists would create a dance move around their song and that dance move would bleed back onto the dance floor.
In this way, pop culture and dance floor culture has flowed back and forth, informing one and another for decades now. For a faaaaan-tastic example, look no further than this Beyonce dance interlude at 3:44 seconds exactly:
What is the significance of learning party dances?
Party dances represent the cultural and political context of a people at the time it was created. In that way, it gives us an incredible insight into the history and evolution of dance up until today.
Learning a party dance also downloads a certain groove in your system which allows you to evolve your muscle memory when executing more complex dance moves as you progress.
Who would have thought that street dance could be so nuanced right?
Some famous dance moves that you didn’t know the history of
Almost every dance move we learn today has a history from which it was born. The Charleston has roots tracing back to the flapper styles of dancing in the 20s. Before that, the footwork style is said to be created by African slaves who were brought to the actual place, Charleston, in America.
The moonwalk…before it was the moonwalk
Before Michael Jackson popularised the dance move which went on to become known as ‘The Moonwalk’, Jeffrey Daniels was rocking it as the back glide. It was on an episode of Soul Train, that MJ spotted Daniels and approached him for a few lessons.
Of course, there are dance history nerds who will tell you that the move existed for decades and decades before Daniels debuted it on TV. Dig deep and you’ll find footage dating back as early as the 20s. Too cool.
Take a look at Daniels rocking the back glide for yourself and get inspired:
The Gwara Gwara
Now there’s the Gwara Gwara, which started out as a move that South African DJ Bongz would rock. It was a vibe and low-key hilarious, so many party-goers would mock the motion. But then the internet made it viral and artists like Rihanna and Childish Gambino famously rocked it in their pop-culture content. And, because it’s 2019, this exploded into a controversy around cultural appropriation and ownership.
Moves like this belong to an ‘internet era’ of dance in which the creation and perpetuation of a move happens in real time, so the question of ‘cultural appropriation’ is a murky one, as the move itself didn’t exactly arise from a long standing cultural history.
In any case, you can check out this little Gwara Gwara break down by dancer Izzie Odigie.
So what’s in the Groove Therapy Party Dances course?
So in the quest to save our dance floors, we’ve made an online platform so you can learn how to party dance. From the Wave, to the running man, you’ll learn how to rock some solid crowd pleasers the next time you’re at your cousin’s wedding.
Want to know more? Check out our Party Dance online course here.