How did people dance in the 90s

10 '90s Dances That Got Every Party Started

Dance has played a major role in every genre of music. A new dance that's featured in a hip-hop song nowadays can become more popular than the rapper who created it.

Before the Chicken Noodle Soup, the Schmoney dance, the Harlem Shake, or the Milly Rock were ever thought about, there were certain dances that you had to have down pact in order for you to get your cool points on the dance floor in the 90s.

Knowing the latest dance moves in the 90s were just as important as rocking the latest kicks and knowing all the lyrics to a new song before anyone else did.

That said, check out ten dance moves that had everyone hitting the dance floor in the 90s.

  • The House Party Kick

    Who can forget the famous kick that Kid 'n Play does during the dance-off at the house party  Kid snuck into? In 1990 when the film made its debut on the big screen, people everywhere got a chance to see hip-hop and the culture it created.

    The famous dance kick has been imitated at just about every 90s-themed party. You know you almost broke your neck trying to do this dance with your friends at least once.

  • The Running Man

    One of the most popular dances in hip-hop is the Running Man. It has been done in films and was made popular by MC Hammer. Even if you didn't know how to dance, you knew how to do the Running Man.

  • The Cabbage Patch

    This move saved anyone in the 90s who didn't know how to dance. The Cabbage Patch dance was popular due to its simplicity. All anyone had to do was listen out for the perfect song and stick their arms out and roll them in a circular motion to the beat.

  • The Butterfly

    Who remembers watching one of Patra's music videos and trying hard to imitate her while she did the Butterfly?

    Reggae and Dancehall had a big impact on pop culture in the 90s. The Butterfly not only became popular within those genres, it crossed over and many hip-hop and R&B artists incorporated the dance into their performances.

  • The Bogle

    Before Ciara was doing the matrix dance, it was The Bogle that made people bend as far back as they could go. While the actual dance is easy, it was always how far one could bend back that garnered the cheers from a crowd.

  • The Heel Toe

    This is a dance that you need some coordination to execute properly otherwise you could find yourself on the floor. The Heel Toe was a dance that was done to hip-hop and reggae songs.

  • The Tootsee Roll

    "Cotton candy, sweet and low, let me see that tootsie roll." It was in 1994 that 69 boyz publicly declared that the Butterfly dance was now old and the new dance was the Tootsee roll. There wasn't a block party, barbecue, or house party that didn't drop this song when it was hot.

  • The Roger Rabbit

    When New Jack Swing music took over in the early 90s, the Roger Rabbit became super popular. The high energy dance move almost always followed the Running Man when it was performed. MC Hammer, Bobby Brown, Vanilla Ice, Kid n' Play and other artists made the dance move popular.

  • The Cry Baby

    When Kanye West released the music video for "Fade" fans everywhere went crazy as they watched Teyana Taylor effortlessly dance throughout the entire video. It was the old school dance move–The Crybaby that had fans trying to recreate Taylor's magic on social media.

    The Crybaby was popular in the 90s and it was also a dance that you couldn't perform in front of your parents. The moves are sensual and require a lot of dry humping to execute properly.

  • The Diddy Bop

    "But she like the way I diddy bop, you peeped that?" Sean Combs aka Diddy is known for many things and dancing is one of them. Before he became the mogul he is today, Diddy danced in music videos.

    The Diddy bop was made famous by Diddy himself. While the dance isn't hard, if you don't have the rhythm in your shoulders you will not look as cool as Diddy doing it.

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15 Essential 90s Dance Moves (And How to Pull Them Off)

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Last Updated on August 1, 2022

The 90s was undoubtedly a joyous time for dancing. Dance moves sprouted everywhere and became popular fast, conquering teenagers’ hearts and feet by the minute. The only way to dance, if you were cool, was to know these 15+ dance moves. 

Read on to find out if you were part of the “in crowd”, king or queen of the dance floor, or if your dancing prowess was only approved for the quiet, obscure corners!


  • #1. Vogue
  • #2. The Running Man
  • #3. The Sprinkler
  • #4. Kid ‘n play
  • #5. Macarena
  • #6. Hammer Time
  • #7. Chacha Slide
  • #8. Roger Rabbit
  • #9. Cabbage Patch
  • #10. The Prep
  • #11. The Humpty Dance
  • #12. The Bogle
  • #13. The Heel Toe
  • #14. The Tootsee Roll
  • #15. Chicken Wing

#1. Vogue

Voguing might have come from the Harlem streets in the 1960s, but it only went mainstream thanks to Madonna when she featured it in her music video “Vogue” in 1990. Some people say that the name originated from the close resemblance to the models’ poses for fashion campaigns all over the glossy pages of Vogue magazine. 

How to:

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#2. The Running Man

The Running Man is an iconic hip-hop dance that is arguably one of the most popular dances of the 90s. It was originally made popular by MC Hammer but as the story goes, it might have originated in Africa. However, one of its most famous performances was in one of the Fresh Prince’s episodes when Will Smith did a wonderful rendition. After that, even kids that couldn’t dance for their lives knew how to do the Running man. 

How to:

#3. The Sprinkler

Not all popular dance moves of the era were cool. Speaking of which, the sprinkler was beyond dorky and has seen been used in many movies as a signature awkward nerd move on the dance floor. The move seems to have been inspired by the very mundane movement of the sprinkler gardening tool and if rumors are to be believed it came to be in Australia as early as 1970, but only rose to fame in the 1990 movie House Party with Martin Lawrence. 

How to:

#4. Kid ‘n play

We owe House Party many a dance move but who can forget the famous kick that Kid and Play do during the dance-off at the house party Kid snuck into? When the film debuted on the big screen, teens everywhere jumped on the hip-hop dance wagon. The kick went on to become a staple in all 90s-themed parties but it is actually not so easy to do!

How to:

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#5. Macarena

When a song became an overnight hit and it went on to sound absolutely everywhere, there was a huge chance that it popularized a dance move from its music video. Such was the case of the Macarena line dance that became impossible to avoid when the Macarena song became a hit and stayed at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for over 14 weeks. It was literally everywhere.

You either grew to love it or hated it with your whole soul. It was originally featured in the 1993 Los del Río music video, and it went on to be featured everywhere, even on a One Direction video two decades later. Even today, it is usually one of those party starters that many people love at weddings and birthday parties.

How to:

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#6. Hammer Time

MC Hammer was all in when it came to hip-hop dancing. His signature “U can’t touch this” song from 1990 (that managed to be number one for over 21 weeks in the US), gave birth to one of the most easily recognized dances of the decade that became known as the Hammer Time. Try watching the video and not dancing to this classic! I double dare you!

How to:

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#7. Chacha Slide

A similar case to the Macarena, this dance hit went on to become a party starter that never fails. However its origin is quite unique, DJ Casper originally wrote “The Cha-Cha Slide” as a step aerobics routine for his nephew, who was working at the time as a personal trainer at a fitness club.

I mean what could be more 90s, right? The time of aerobic fitness and leotards! Afterward, Perry wrote and recorded his performance of the original version of the song, titled “Casper Slide Part 1” in January 1998. And as they say, the rest is history. 

How to:

#8. Roger Rabbit

This dance move is named after the famous movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. Basically, your arms and legs flop around like a cartoon character to imitate Roger Rabbit himself. It became popular during the early 90s when the new jack swing was popular. It is a high-energy dance move that can rival the running man for its workout quality. 90s dancing was certainly not for the faint of heart or the unfit! 

How to:

#9. Cabbage Patch

Speaking of easy 90s dance moves, the cabbage patch could save you from embarrassment on the dance floor. Even the lousiest of dancers could manage it since it was so simple. All you had to do was stick your arms out and roll them circularly, following the beat. Easy peasy! 

How to:

#10. The Prep

This old-school dance move uses the beat as a base to move the hands to each corner with the music. I wouldn’t say this one is one of the best, but really, looking back can you honestly say most of these dance moves aren’t dorky?

How to:

#11. The Humpty Dance

The Humpty Dance became known after Shock G, the frontman for the hip-hop group Digital Underground, popularized the song and it quickly became a hit. Again, give me a super hit song and I’ll show you a super hit dance move!

How to:

#12. The Bogle

The Bogle resembles closely a Matrix stunt, making people bend as far back as they could to do this funny dance move. The dance is easy, but bending sufficiently far back is the real challenge. Those that could go real far usually garnered cheers from surrounding dancers!

How to:

#13. The Heel Toe

The heel-toe is a classic dance move that requires a bit of coordination. Shoes that slide also make it quite easier to achieve this sleek trick!

How to:

#14. The Tootsee Roll

As the song goes… “Cotton candy, sweet and low, let me see that tootsie roll.” When 69 boyz announced publicly that the Butterfly dance was done for and it was now the time of the Tootsee, no one would have guessed how popular it was going to become! 

How to:

Time to reminisce: 30 Sweets of the 90s that we Loved to Share During Breaks

#15. Chicken Wing

Last but not least, the chicken wing should not be confused with the chicken dance, which is basically a silly funky chicken imitation. Sadly there was no cool how-to for this one, but you pull your arm up in the shape of a wing and fold it over your shoulder imitating a wing on the flight. Simple as that!

Which dance moves did you pull off? Please let us know in the comments.

10 popular dances of the 90s (movements + clips)

Historian » Best in History » 10 popular dances of the 90s (movements + clips)

TOP Collections


  • Macarena (Macarena)
  • Vogue
  • The Train
  • Lambada
  • Rump Shaker
  • Running Man
  • Line dancing
  • Cowboy Dance (Cotton Eye Joe)
  • Tootsee Roll
  • Cha-cha (Cha-Cha Slide)


A dynamic almanac of dance moves and music videos illustrating the nostalgic 1990s, which gave popular culture a huge amount of perky bright melodies and original dances that flew around the planet.
Dance music is experiencing another renaissance at the beginning of the 21st century, because the power of Youtube can make any amateur a world star. A similar story happened to the now famous “backpack kid”, who came up with an original dance movement and received an invitation from superstar Katy Perry to participate in the video and live performances.

Each decade is famous for its own unique dance hit, which has become a real hallmark of the whole decade. For example, the 80s is the era of the moonwalk, in the 70s people massively moved to the motives of the Village People song “Y.M.C.A.” popular dances of the 90s.


1996 | Los del Rio - Macarena
The technique is quite complicated, because the dance hit of the Spanish duo Los del Rio contains 16 steps that must be repeated over and over again. True, literally after the first time, even an inexperienced dancer turns into a skilled Macarena specialist, which can be turned on for any reason and without it.


1990 | Madonna "Vogue"
Madonna started her brilliant career as a New York dancer, so it's no wonder that the list of the most fashionable foreign dance moves includes the personal invention of the nee Louise Ciccone - the composition "Vogue", accompanied by a cute clip, where the singer and her choreographic troupe are very interestingly move their hands around their heads. In short, you need to look here and immediately rush into the dance to the sounds of incendiary music.

The Train

1996 | Quad City DJ's - C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)
A mandatory condition of the "locomotive" dance is its mass character, because the real disco fun will begin only when all the cars are full.


1989 | Kaoma - Lambada
A stylish disco is impossible without the participation of Latin American motifs, so meet the Brazilian lambada - super hit 1980s, who conquered the planet after the release of the film of the same name in 1990, as well as the painting "Forbidden Lambada Dance".

Rump Shaker

1992 | Wreckx-N-Effect "Rump Shaker"
Millennials have crossed all possible boundaries and hit the twerking, provocatively shaking their lush asses. The dashing 90s looked more modest and the booty dance of the nineties, called the rump shaker, looked quite elegant and did not go at all.

Running Man

1990 | MC Hammer "U Can't Touch This"
The average amateur is able to master the typical running-man dance moves at home in front of a mirror, after which they can go to the nearest disco and amaze the audience with American hip-hop choreography.

Line dancing

1992 | Billy Ray Cyrus "Achy Breaky Heart"
In the expanses of the former great and mighty country music, only notorious unique ones listen, but across the ocean, country musicians often become superstars, earn millions and regularly ignite the characteristic "line dancing" at concerts, which also enjoys crazy popularity in the provincial discos for the older generation. People have line danced before, but it has gained a special significance thanks to the song of the actor and musician Billy Ray Cyrus "Achy Breaky Heart" 1992nd.

Cotton Eye Joe

1994 | Rednex - Cotton Eye Joe
Among other things, cowboys are famous for their spectacular way around horses. It is these movements that are the key element of the cowboy dance, which does not have to be danced in a barn on a straw floor, as in the video of the Swedish country-pop band Rednex.

Tootsee Roll

1994 | 69 Boyz "Tootsee Roll"
Another dance novelty from US hip-hop musicians who always accompany their performances with original dance moves. In the hot summer of 1994, the Florida band 69 Boyz wrote and danced the song "Tootsee Roll", creating a local sensation and inspiring modern twerk among other things.

Cha-Cha Slide

2000 | Mr C The Slide Man - Cha-Cha Slide
The final song and dance hit from the nineties, because the cha-cha slide flash mob came out right on the border of 1990s and 2000s thanks to the fantasy of Illinois artist DJ Casper.

The decade is over and the top ten most popular dances of the 90s have come to an end, although in reality there were many more. Offhand, let's recall the famous dance movements "Roger Rabbit", "Children's Toys", "Reebok", "Hummer", "Slam Dancing", "Bart Simpson", "Hose" and "Funny Chicken". Google if you want to know the new cool dance-movement and immediately go to the movement!


Articles on the topic

What was embarrassing to dance in the 90s, but now they are super hits

Photo: globallookpress. com

Not a single disco in the metropolis or in the village of Nizhnie Kotly could do without these hits. And what dances were performed under them! In Russia, nostalgia continues for the dashing time - the 90s. Basically, representatives of generation Y, the so-called millennials, for whom that time was a carefree childhood or youth, indulge in it.

It is for them that these numerous discos of the 90s are held, where the same artists sing the same songs. Let's remember these stars.

Early 90s: Hip-Hop and Breakdancing

The 90s is still a whole decade, so it's hard to say that any particular artist was an idol for everyone. There were several. For example, at the very beginning of the 90s, everyone died according to Bogdan Titomir . The ex-member of the Kar-man group, famous for the hit London Goodbye, shot solo with the track Do as I do. This song became the manifesto, the motto of the generation. "Hey buddy, look at me. Do like me!" - Bogdan sang and the stadiums repeated after him.

Everyone wanted a jacket like Bogdan, sunglasses like Bogdan and dance like Bogdan. Titomir was one of the first to give Russian listeners hip-hop culture. It was after his appearance that street dance breakdance became trendy. Despite the fact that the song became a super hit, the author of the words "Do as I do" was not particularly happy with such success. According to Hermann Witke, he put social overtones into it. Surprised? We, too.

This is the line the poet was talking about: “There are no strangers here, only our own. There are no freaks that are to blame. There are also no those who brought everyone. From love and dreams to a shovel. However, only that line remained in history. By the way, almost 30 years have passed, and Titomir is still singing his only hit. He recently did it on Superstar. Return".

Mid 90s: boy bands and girl bands

An important moment. Bogdan was not ashamed to listen to either girls or boys. With our next heroes, the situation was different. Mid 90s. Boyband time. The group "Na-Na" is already popular, in 1995 the first video was released for "Ivanushki" , two years later - for "Hands Up!" . Millions of girls across the country went crazy for the soloists. Among them were gruppis - flocks (in the literal sense of the word) of schoolgirls who were on duty at the entrances, followed the guys on tour, made their way to hotels. The cries and tears of such fans went down in history thanks to the video "Believe me, I'm also very sorry." All the characters here are real. When editing the Ivanushki video, they used a tour chronicle.

It was the time of fierce pop and fashion for school discos. A holiday for some and a nightmare for others. Fortunately, the fashion for acid leggings and Carloson bangs, which was once introduced by the Combination group, has already departed. For some time, denim overalls, baggy sweatshirts with images of artists became a hit. If the girls, for example, chose the Spice Girls group as a print, then the boys chose Metallica, Prodigy, Nirvana. The unisex was "Scooter".

Let's go back to school discos. They almost always followed the same scenario. The girls tore the dance floor, the boys propped up the walls. Cool guys immediately understood who they would invite to the slow-motion. Quiet people were shaking, afraid to be rejected. Here is a prime example. Medlyak under "Ivanushki".

By the way, if this is not a slow dance during which you can touch the female half, then the guys considered it shameful to dance to “Hands Up!” and other "Ivanushki". And now to love the same "Hands Up!" among millennial men it is no longer considered shameful, but vice versa. Sergey Zhukov is gathering stadiums around the country (this was the case before the pandemic) and there are almost more men at his show than women.

— Why are there so many bald heads in the hall, guys, what are you forgetting here? - the frontman of “Hands Up!” jokes every time. And the peasants in response yelled imperishable lines in a crowd of thousands: “The wind is not loud, the leaves rustle in response. A girl is walking slowly, a girl of 16 years old ... ".

The end of the 90s: Computer music

The end of the 90s brought us the fashion for computer music, which evil tongues called lohodance. Groups similar to each other performed similar songs on the same topics. "Demo", "Virus", "Paints" (this is already the 2000s, but still) and further down the list. Each had compositions about mom-dad, spring-summer, school (holidays, exams). "Cool", schoolchildren loved these songs, but were ashamed to admit it. And now, when the mother of many children Sasha Zvereva sings “The Sun”, her sworn friend Olya Lucky - “Handles”, and Oksana Kovalevskaya, whose sons are already taller than her, “He doesn’t know anything” - I just want to close my eyes and return for 20 years back to that school disco.

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