How to dance like a black person 2016

17 Songs that Launched the Blackest Dance Crazes

Dance and music have always been two of the most defining aspects of black culture.

As renowned poet laureate Andre Benjamin once said, “All the fresh styles always start off as a good little hood thing” – you know, before they hit Hollywood and get oversaturated to death.

It’s cool though, we know where they started. With us.

But before the viral fame and celebrities dancing offbeat on daytime talk shows, all dance crazes begin with two things – a super catchy song and entertaining moves.

Let’s look back at 17 songs that launched 17 dances that took over black culture – some briefly, others, eternally.

And before y’all throw tantrums in the comments, remember: To qualify for this list, the dances MUST have a specific song associated with it. So no goofy Flossin’ dancing here.

Honorable mention: Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache (Jump on It)”

17. Da Butt

The dance: Butts n’ black folk! Obviously, we’re gonna be here for this one. This classic from the School Daze film has lived on in butt-shaking infamy. This dance was SCANDALOUS back in 1988. Then Miley Cyrus went and invented twerking in 2013 and we just couldn’t keep up.

Level of difficulty: Can you bend over? Can you roll your booty in PG-13 fashion? Then you can do this dance.

The song that started it all: E.U., “Da Butt”

16. Hit the Quan

The dance: Y’all thought Rich Homie Quan’s biggest contribution to hip-hop was his actual music? Playa please. A random dance he did in his video caught fire, iLoveMemphis made a song about it and here we are.

Level of difficulty: This is an easy one. Squat down like you’re potty training, wave your arms around like a kid pretending to be an airplane, and there you go.

The song that started it all: iLove Memphis, “Hit the Quan”

15. Walk It Out

The dance: If you weren’t around in 2006, it’s kinda hard to understand how big this song was. Unk  even dragged Andre 3000 out of his underground bunker for the remix! That’s a modern miracle. The dance itself doesn’t have much to it – as long as you can bounce around like you’re stepping on hot coals, you’re gucci.

Level of difficulty: Not too bad. If you can walk on your tiptoes you can do this.

The song that started it all: DJ Unk, “Walk It Out”

14. JuJu on that Beat

The dance: You know you’re old when you start asking little kids to dance for your enjoyment. The song is ridiculous (“You ugly! You your daddy’s son!”) and the dance looks like a synchronized seizure but  laughing at children is the best part of being an adult. It beats paying bills.

Level of difficulty: Other than the Running Man part, I have no idea what’s going on here. So I’d say it’s pretty difficult.

The song that started it all: Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall, “JuJu on That Beat”


Stanky Legg

The dance: Remember in the 00s when grown men wore oversized T-shirts that hung down to their knees? Imagine getting tangled up in those bedsheets and fighting your way out. Boom, hit dance. Thanks, GS Boyz.

Level of difficulty: Easy. Pretend one leg has a mind of its own and you just freestyle up top.

The song that started it all: GS Boyz, “Stanky Legg”

12. The Nae Nae

The dance: Silentó’s song caught fire in 2015 – you know you’ve got something when Ellen is doing the dance on her talk show. That also means it got SUPER OLD SUPER QUICK. But hey, at least it was something to keep your nieces and nephews entertained at the cookouts for a summer or two.

Level of difficulty: Not too bad. It’s like a simpler version of The Quan. Look, if *I* can do it, with my knees sounding like Rice Krispie Treats the entire time, it’s got to be easy.

The song that started it all: Silentó, “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)”


Tootsie Roll


You KNOW you just said that in your head. The 69 Boyz had us tearing up the school dances with this one, which more or less was just a knockoff version of the Butterfly.

Level of difficulty: Move your knees in and out and suddenly that tootsie is rollin’. We kept things simple in the 90s.

The song that started it all: The 69 Boyz, “Toostie Roll”

10. Da Dip

The dance: Listen, this dance is absolutely stupid. Look at that gif – it’s like an ad for back pain medication. But the song is SO INCREDIBLY ADDICTIVE that it disguises how goofy the dance is. Freak Nasty, you are truly a musical genius.

Level of difficulty: Put your hand up on my hip. When I dip, you dip, we dip. What else you need to know?

The song that started it all: Freak Nasty, “Da Dip”


Swag Surfin

The dance: Like Da Dip, this is more about Fast Life Yungstaz’s song than the actual dance, which is just a bunch of people rocking back and forth. But there’s something so oddly inspiring about it. You know how we used to lock arms at church when singing “We Shall Overcome?” This is hip-hop’s version of that.

Level of difficulty: The easiest dance in the history of dances. Rock side to side on beat and you’re clean like dish detergent.

The song that started it all: Fast Life Yungstaz, “Swag Surfin'”

8. Teach Me How to Dougie

The dance: My generation knows Doug E. Fresh as the Human Beat Box. But for this current generation, he’s the Dougie guy. As long as the checks keep clearing I’m sure Doug E. doesn’t care. The dance is actually pretty dope too.

Level of difficulty: It’s not as hard as it looks! It’s basically a two-step with unnecessary arm movements. In fact, video exists of me doing this dance paiiiinfully sloooooowly. But if you think I’m sharing it here, you crazy. I’m sure it will resurface during my 2020 presidential campaign when y’all look to derail my White House run. Haters.

The song that started it all: Cali Swag District, “Teach Me How to Dougie”

7. Cupid Shuffle

The dance: If you’ve EVER been to a black function in your life, you know this one. The second the beat drops, GET OUT OF THE WAY because the stampede of aunties in kitten heels might end your life. And there’s always one person who has to get extra cute on the “walk it by yourself” part. Stop overachieving!

Level of difficulty: A piece of cupid cake. Just listen to the instructions.  He’s literally telling you how to move! Mess that up and it’s your own fault.

The song that started it all: Cupid, “Cupid Shuffle”

6. Humpty Dance

The dance: The Humpty Dance was THE dance of my childhood but I could never figure it out for myself because I wasn’t sure what they were doing and there were no YouTube instructional videos back then. YEAH I’M OLD. But seriously, look at the dance – it’s like they’re trying not to get blown over by a gust of wind.

Level of difficulty: I’m gonna say SUPREME DIFFICULTY cuz it’s 2019 and I’m still not sure what Humpty n’ dem are doing. The code has not been cracked.

The song that started it all: Digital Underground, “Humpty Dance”

5. Crank Dat

The dance: Ugh, Soulja Boy. The godfather of all the garbage Internet rappers and patient zero for today’s mumble rap menace. He’s even out here selling knockoff Nintendos! His reign of terror started with this dance, which birthed 1,000 clones. Wasn’t there even a Crank Dat Lion King at one point? If Simba and Nala start cranking that in the new movie I’m writing a strongly worded email to Disney Pictures.

Level of difficulty: Can’t front, this dance is a lot harder than it looks and the steps aren’t that intuitive. Props for pulling off all those moves in jeans that baggy.

The song that started it all: Soulja Boy, “Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)”

4. Wobble

The dance: The tale of “Wobble” is so weird. I remember when VIC dropped the song circa 2008 or so and no one batted an eye. Y’all were too busy listening to Tha Carter III or something. But three or four years later, it suddenly became the premier black wedding line dance song. This “new” dance was older than the ring bearer!

Level of difficulty: Jump back and forth, wave your arms like you’re checking your armpits to see if you need deodorant. Step back and forth, wave your arms like you’re checking your armpits to see if you need deodorant. Easy. Unless you need deodorant.

The song that started it all: VIC, “Wobble”

3. The Percolator

The dance: If you aren’t familiar with the House dance scene, you probably have no idea what this is. What a poor, deprived childhood you had then. You missed out on flailing around like a maniac to the sounds of a bubbling coffee pot. No wonder our knees are so bad today.

Level of difficulty: I swear most of the songs on this list are just versions of the Butterfly. This is no different. But instead of the Butterfly, this is the drunkest, sweatiest moth you’ve ever seen.

The song that started it all: Cajmere, “Coffee Pot (It’s Time For The Percolator)”

2. Cha Cha Slide

The dance: The Ghetto Hokey Pokey!

Put your left foot in, take your left foot out. Put your right foot in, take your right foot out.




Level of difficulty: Like several of the dances on the list, the song is instructional. If you can’t get this one down, you’re just not paying attention. If you don’t know what to do when he says EVERY BODY CLAP YO HANDS, there is no hope for you.

The song that started it all: Mr. C The Slide Man, “Cha-Cha Slide”

1. Electric Slide

The dance: If you have an ounce of melanin in your pores you know this had to be No. 1. Outdated? Maybe. Needlessly complicated? I think so. Are the lyrics sneakily describing a sex toy? Lord, I hope not.

But is this song a black institution? DEFINITELY.

If your family function doesn’t have at least one round of the Electric Slide, your potato salad is probably loaded with raisins and your mac and cheese came out of a box and not the oven. ABORT.

Level of difficulty: Not gonna lie to y’all, I never figured out how to pull this off correctly. True story – at my wedding, the entire group (from the wedding party to the guests) participated in a mass Electric Slide. More than 100 people sliding in sync – truly a thing of beauty.

Except for me. I was sliding in the opposite direction. Pray for me.

The song that started it all: Marcia Griffiths, “Electric Boogie”

What are your favorite songs that spawned insanely popular dances? Let us know below.

Is Dance "Enough" to Meaningfully Address Something Like Black Lives Matter?

2016: I was asked to create a duet for RAWdance (Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein) in San Francisco at a time when my heart was caught in a perpetual state of reeling from the constant murders of African Americans by law enforcement, most recently the murder of Walter Scott, who was shot in the back in South Carolina after being stopped for a nonfunctioning brake light. I knew I had to address the killings, but I didn’t know how. I felt incompetent, my work felt inadequate. So after a career dedicated to the intersection of choreography and social activism, I created Enough?, a piece that asks whether dance can meaningfully address social movements like Black Lives Matter.

1991: I was finishing Urban Scenes/Creole Dreams, my first commission for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a work juxtaposing the early 1900s stories of my sharecropper Creole­ grandmother in the swamps of Louisiana with my own stories as a gay African American in New York City’s East Village at the apex of the AIDS pandemic. The work called out the sexism, racism and homophobia that extended from my grandmother’s era into my own. One night after rehearsal I participated in ACT UP’s (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) takeover of Grand Central Terminal at rush hour in order to bring that evening’s commute to its knees and force attention to America’s anemic response to the AIDS pandemic.

And take over we did. Being part of hundreds of screaming protesters taking up space in Grand Central turned an act of desperation into an act of empowerment. AIDS received the attention we demanded. What AIDS did not receive was empathy. We were hated by the understandably livid commuters; they spat at protesters, shouted AIDS-phobic slurs, and the event was one step from erupting into violence. Our protest was necessary and I was honored to be there. But I wondered what the impact might be if the commuters could deeply feel the enormity of the grief that propelled us into this takeover?

Creating this empathy was not the purpose of our takeover. But it became the purpose of my art-making. Without losing the political urgency of my work, I now wanted to create those bridges of empathy that would better transcend the boundaries of difference and allow the disenfranchised to shout tales of their personal and political histories while also allowing viewers to see themselves in the lives of these very disenfranchised. As a politics major at Princeton, I understood that a necessary first step in oppression of any kind is to dehumanize the oppressed. At that protest, my mission consciously became to “re-humanize.” Urban Scenes remained an urgent calling out of racism, sexism and homophobia, but the piece became less about those “isms” and more about the eternality of devastating loss due to those “isms.”

David Roussève performing in Stardust. Yi-Chun Yu, Courtesy Roussève.

1991–2016: I created a body of work with this new mission at its expressive core. These works often contained text that told the nonlinear narratives of marginalized BIPOC and LGBTQ people. But it was dance’s ability to speak deeply through an abstract metaphoric language that gave these works their emotional wallop and potential to jump the boundaries between us. I knew how to speak most accessibly through text, but I knew how to speak most deeply through dance. If the goal was to create bridges, then abstract kinetic languages were the stepping-stones to those bridges. And making work in this way was enough.

Until it was not.

2022: With the advantage of time, I look back at the creation of Enough?. I had entered the studio filled with both the despair of watching the slaughter of Black bodies and the hope of watching the response by millions that became BLM, as if life were a roller coaster plummeting between heaven and hell. That roller coaster became the core of Enough?.

The piece begins with the first in a series of projected tweet-like text passages: “I have been thinking a lot about what a dance can ‘do’.” We see the performers, Ryan and Wendy, in stillness as Aretha Franklin’s rendition of “A Change Is Gonna Come” begins, a recording that is lushly beautiful even as it calls for deep change. The dancers begin one long single phrase of sumptuous movement that matches the lushness of the music. As Aretha hits a gospel-inflected high note and bends it as only Aretha can, the text passages read “YUUUUUUMMM!!” “Did your heart jump like your toes were skipping ’cross the clouds?” The intersection of words, music and dance feels sublime. The dancers repeat the same exact phrase over and over, all the while dancing faster and faster; the swirling curves of lushness slowly transform into a jagged thrashing frenzy. At the apex of this superhuman speed the intersection of words, music and dance feels like a whirlwind of despair. Media coverage of Walter Scott being shot by law enforcement is projected into the work as the core of Enough? is revealed to be a searing indictment of the murder of African Americans. The text reads “A dance can show you how my heart feels when I see that video.” “Because that video makes my heart feel like Ryan and Wendy are dancing.” “Right now.” “A dance can tell you how quickly life moves from toes touching clouds to hearts mired in hell. ” Aretha’s voice ends. The only sound is the dancer’s gasping breath as Ryan and Wendy fall to the ground exhausted. The final passages of text read, “Yep, dance can do all that.” “But when I see that video, I am left to wonder…is it enough?”

Enough? altered again my choreographic tactics towards­ creating socially engaged choreography. The text asks whether­ we can act while its deeper undercurrents—the movement—insists that we must act. The “narrator” (assumedly­ the choreographer) is less someone to identify with than a neutral voice to propel the conversation forward. Questioning the adequacy of my own response invites you to question the adequacy of your response; our viewing the news footage “together” asks whether your heart also feels like Ryan and Wendy are dancing when you view an assault on Black bodies. Enough? does not seek empathy towards a character. It seeks empathy towards a political movement; it seeks to spur you into action not because you care about the narrator, but because you care about Walter Scott, because you care about humanity.

I went to protests. I made donations. But when I was truly lost I did the one thing I could rely on: I made a dance. Was that Enough? That is for the viewer to decide. But tapping into the immense power of performance to provoke, to prod, to move, to have heartfelt conversations in a seemingly heartless time—that felt like the most important thing I could do.

Choreographer/writer/director/filmmaker David Roussève has created 14 full evening works for his company David Roussève/REALITY.

Final concert-2016 | ISPU

On December 16, the final concert of the “Student Winter” was held within the walls of our university, which included the best numbers from the “film remakes” created by the most creative students of all faculties. Continuing the theme of cinema, the awards ceremony was held in the style of the Oscars.

The guys from IFF opened the concert. An incendiary, unusually staged dance is the debut choreographic work of Maxim Posylin (1-13) on the stage of the energy university. Maxim was awarded a diploma in the Choreography nomination.

Immediately behind the guys from the Faculty of Engineering and Physics, naughty girls from the dance group "Funny Dances" appeared on the stage. The head of the team is Ekaterina Lukyanova (4-7).

The most touching nomination "Best Love Story" could not leave the audience indifferent: Elizaveta Shpenkova (3-38) sang a song about her mother, and Nikita Filov (2-31) sang Y. Smelyakov's poem "The Good Girl Lida".

But, according to the laws of the film genre, emotional declarations of love were followed - in contrast - by a bright, daring, crazy dance "Suicide Squad". The dance team of the two faculties of IVTF and IFF rightfully became the winner in the Best Thriller nomination, and dance director Tatiana Koroleva (4-43) received a diploma in the Choreography nomination.

There were two winners in the Best Mystery Story nomination. Pavel Dratsky (2-31) captivated the audience with an unexpected interpretation of S. Yesenin's poem "The Black Man", he was also noted in the "Artistic Word" nomination. Elizaveta Syrtseva (3-3) and Irina Kotaeva (3-3) performed the Black Swan dance.

The EEF pleased not only with the amusing alternative dubbing of the scene from the film “Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession”, which brought the faculty a victory in the “Best Movie Trailer” nomination, but also with the performance of Alina Makarycheva (1-24), who combined fiction reading and plastic etude in her issue . Alina's lyrical composition was replaced by a playful stylization of the "Yablochko" dance, also performed by EEF students.

The applause did not stop, but everything died down when Amon Amon Ug Michel (2-24), a FIS student, appeared on the stage. He read A. Pushkin's poem "I loved you." Rufino Bernando (2-35), Nyamba Yves Roland (2-10) and Tchivala Laurivaldo Fernandes (2-29) sincerely and soulfully performed the song "Hallelujah", and it brought the guys a victory in the "Vocal" nomination, which they shared with wonderful singers Nigora Raufova (2-3) and Olga Smirnova (3-2). Olya went up to the stage following the dynamic and incendiary dance of charming girls with EMF.

An international team from the Faculty for the Training of Foreign Specialists completed the concert program with a potpourri dance, which included the best performances of the "Student Winter" - the brightest, most interesting, creative of the seven "film remakes" presented by all faculties. And now the time has come for the awarding of teams of faculties.

Diploma in the nomination "Best Soundtrack" was received by the Faculty of Heat and Power Engineering. The Faculty of Economics and Management was awarded a diploma in the nomination "The best melodrama that creates a good mood." The faculty for the training of foreign specialists was awarded a diploma for the "Best Original Screenplay". The jury recognized the film remake of the electromechanical faculty as the "Best Strange Film". The award for the best short film went to the Faculty of Informatics and Computer Engineering, and the Faculty of Electrical Power received a diploma in the nomination "Best Feature Film". The Faculty of Engineering and Physics was awarded in the nomination "Best Style". The award for Best Supporting Actor went to Mikhail Gamagin (1-11). A rock group from the Faculty of IFF was awarded in the nomination "Best Instrumental Performance".

Daria Zarubina, Vasily Chernov (3-3a)

Seize the moment photo club

Published: Jan 17, 2017 - 4:50 pm

"Black Dance" by Lula Washington - ISRAELI CULTURE

Ensemble dancers are high-level professionals trained at all levels, from classical ballet to modern dance. They perform numerous productions by Lula Washington herself, legendary choreographer Donald McKale, hip-hop choreographer Renny Harris and others.

This dance theater - LWDT - was created by dancer and choreographer Lula Washington and her husband Erwin Washington in 1980. The couple wanted to provide a stage for minorities, unknown dancers from poor areas. Today, the ensemble has become super-famous (and not at all poor) and gives concerts and tours throughout the United States and around the world. The Ensemble has already traveled to more than 150 cities in the USA alone, and also visited Germany, Spain, Kosovo, Mexico, Canada, China and Russia with performances.

Lula Washington discovered modern dance while studying at Harbor College in Los Angeles. There she met the work of the famous African-American choreographer Alvin Ailey and was so influenced by him that she decided to become a professional ballerina. She was already 22 years old, she had a small child, but she applied for admission to the University of Los Angeles in the ballet department. Her request was denied due to the fact that at 22 it was already too late to start studying ballet. But Lula filed an appeal and got the decision reviewed. The rector of the university decided that a determined, emotional and strong young woman should get her chance, and Lula was accepted into the ballet department. At 19At 76, she received a bachelor's degree in dance, and in 1984 a master's degree in dance. In 1980, Lula Washington creates her own theater.

Lula Washington Dance Theatre. Scene from the play. Photo courtesy of tour organizers

Even during her studies, she performed at the Oscars along with such famous singers as Cher and Al Green. Lula Washington starred as a dancer in Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand, in Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with the Bee Gees, in the legendary film King Kong. Today, Lula Washington is a consultant choreographer for renowned Hollywood film studios. Prior to that, she created a black dance association at the University of Los Angeles and brought many African-American artists to the campus. And in parallel, she continued to dance in various dance ensembles of the California metropolis. Lulu assisted director James Cameroon on his film Avatar. For two years she accompanied the project, staging movement and scenes of ceremonies, dances and military operations. She created the choreography for the Disney animated film The Little Mermaid. The song "Underwater", for which Lula choreographed, became an Oscar winner. And, speaking of the Oscars, the song and dance that the dancers performed at the ceremony was also directed by Lula.

Several films and television programs have been dedicated to her work. She received a huge number of prizes and became the first woman to receive the Minerva Award in California from the wife of the governor, Maria Schreiber, the ex-wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A scene from the ballet “Random Thoughts”. Photo: Jason Skinner

In the end, Lula fulfilled her dream: the Los Angeles Contemporary Ballet Ensemble she founded performed dances she choreographed, along with performances by legendary African-American choreographers. Later, the ensemble became known as the Lula Washington Dance Theater - LWDT. Since its inception, the ensemble has performed works by such brilliant choreographers as Donald McKale, Catherine Dorhan, Renny Harris, Raymond Johnson and many others. Washington's work combines jazz ballet and classical dance, pantomime and vocals, African-American motifs and various styles of modern ballet. The musical material for Lula is the works of Taj Mahal and BB King, Vivaldi, Bach and Chopin, John Coltrane and Bob Marley.

Duet from the ballet “Random Thoughts”. Photo: Jack Hatin

In 1983, a dance school was founded at LWDT, working in parallel with the ensemble. This school allowed children from disadvantaged areas to learn dance for free through a program called "I'm in dance, not drugs." The LWDT studio was deliberately opened in one of the poorest areas of Los Angeles and since its inception, more than 45,000 students have been trained in the studio school.

Lula is extremely hardworking and is considered to be an excellent teacher, dancer and choreographer. Halls applaud her, critics shower her with compliments. She is a creative person who boldly expresses her political and social views, identifying herself as an African American and not forgetting her roots. In addition to her creativity, Lula pays great attention to volunteer work in various areas and various organizations, including her work as a volunteer in the Red Cross. She leads the ensemble with her husband Erwin Washington, a journalist and screenwriter by education. The Washington couple's middle daughter, Tamika Washington-Miller, works as a troupe director, choreographer and ensemble dancer. Tamika's husband, musician Marcus El Miller, is the musical director of the ensemble, and also organizes tours and accompanies the troupe at all performances.

The Lula Washington Dance Theater will present a program in Israel that includes works by Lula Washington herself and other choreographers. In Tel Aviv, the ensemble will present six numbers, including:

" Search for Humanism ", staged by Lula Washington in 2015 to music performed by Marcus El Miller.

"Spontaneous Combustion " - choreography by Lula Washington, 2007

" We Wore the Mask " - Choreography by Lula Washington, 2006

" Random Thoughts " - Choreography by Lula Washington, 2013

" Reign " is a 2009 work in the hip-hop style of the famous choreographer Renny Harris. The previous work of this choreographer was shown in Israel by the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and received excellent reviews.

" Angelitos Negros "- the work of Donald McKeil. Donald McKale is one of the preeminent contemporary African-American choreographers who is about to celebrate his 80th birthday. McKale created seven different numbers for the Israeli ensemble Bat Sheva. One of his most famous works is a solo to the song "Black Angels", performed by the famous Roberta Flack.

Lula Washington Dance Theater -

Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 20:00

Thursday, June 2, 2016 at 20:00

Friday, June 3, 2016 at 13:00

At the end of Saturday 4 June 9002 90 at 21:00

Order tickets at the Bravo box office or on the website of the Israeli Opera - Center for Performing Arts

Text prepared by Masha Khinich.

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