How to dance like bruno mars finesse

How To Dance Like Bruno Mars

We believe Bruno Mars is one of the greatest entertainers of our generation. So, it's only fitting that we'd wanna break down one of his biggest assets: his dancing!

In this blog, we’ll dive into the 3 main ingredients that make Bruno Mars’ dancing so special:

  1. Not being afraid to imitate
  2. How he uses his hands
  3. His Sacramento swagger

Plus, we’ll leave you with some tips to help you dance more like Bruno as you move through your own dance journey.

Speaking of journeys…

Be sure to take a peek at STEEZY Studio for 1500+ classes that'll help you grow as a dancer, including some that'll teach you how to work out like a dancer.

Now let’s jump into it!

1. Don't be afraid to imitate

Bruno has always proudly imitated his heroes and honored them from the get go.

From being the world's youngest Elvis impersonator at 2 years old, to working as a Michael Jackson impersonator when he was only 15 in high school.  

He loved and mimicked these legends, as well as the “Godfather of Soul”, James Brown. 

But how the heck did he learn to dance like them? After all, YouTube didn't exist, and there wasn't a STEEZY Studio app to download.

Well, it was actually through video tapes! Bruno's dad would give him VHS tapes of his favorite artists, and he’d watch them, study them, and then do the choreography exactly like in the videos.

Check out the parallels below between Bruno and James Brown, for example:

You'll see further similarities when you watch videos of  Bruno and  Elvis!
Or Bruno and Michael Jackson!

If you’d ask me, I think it’s admirable that he didn’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, he saw an opportunity to continue what these legends already brought to the table, and ran with it.

Take-Away Tip:

It’s ok to try to imitate your favorite dancers (just be sure to give credit).

Whether you aspire to be a professional dancer or you've started learning the basics, imitation is a great way to discover what feels good to you.

When we look at Bruno Mars, none of those moves were original but he still manages to make us feel more engaged with his dancing because he’s not hiding the fact that he’s imitating these iconic performers.

So, set aside your fear of looking stupid, awkward, or "not as good as everyone else. "

Instead, copy with confidence!

For more confidence building, be sure to catch these 6 awesome tips! 

2. Use your hands

Every dancer has a few “go-to” moves or poses that serve as a foundation for their movement style. Then, they add facial performance, timing switches, little shoulder raises – all the things that give those foundations character. 

Bruno’s base foundational movements appear in almost every dance that he performs.

He loves hip sways and rolls, body rocks, bounces, and a groovy two step.

All moves and foundations that you can actually learn from the comfort of your own home with STEEZY Studio. ;)

But there is one subtle yet powerful tool Bruno uses that most of us may overlook: his hands.


He uses them in the most relaxed, confident way. No force, just good vibes. They are never tense or stiff. His hands express a relaxed confidence.

You can see it when he playfully signals and gestures at his crew on stage or in music videos.

Or when he is in full dance mode and uses his hands to accent different movements. 

Notice how he rarely makes a full, tight fist. He allows his fingers to hover, almost like he just got a fresh manicure.

This allows Bruno to tell a story without singing a word.

Take-Away Tip:

To start off, these hand movements are actually called gesticulation.

These are the movements we use while talking to better express or emphasize our words.

Although most musical artists do use this when they’re singing or talking to the audience, Bruno manages to even integrate playful gesticulation into full out choreographies!

To practice Bruno’s gesticulation style, try this:

1. Stand up straight with your arms and hands hanging down on each side of your body

2. Keep your fingers loose and let the space between them form naturally

3. Bring your hands to the side, lift them half way up with your elbows bent, or lift them above your head – all the while, keep the hands and fingers loose

4. With some fun music playing, practice making different poses with your body, while focusing on allowing the hands to stay loose and chill

Remember, Bruno literally looked like he had a fresh manicure so handle those babies with care.

3. Master Sacramento swagger 

Although Bruno wasn’t born and raised in Sacramento, he certainly did make his way to the top by including some of that Sacramento flavor into his performances. 

Until around 2014, Mars’ dance style had been mostly based on moves that were popularized by his predecessors.

That is, until the release of his hit song with Mark Ronson, "Uptown Funk." 

This was when dancer Phil Tayag, one of the original Jabbawockeez and creator of the Boogie Monsters in Sacramento, started dancing and choreographing for Bruno.

Phil “SB '' Tayag, the SB standing for Sac Boy, noticeably transformed Bruno’s movement as it became lighter with more of a delicate upwards groove.

Then, Phil’s original move, the Sacboy, became a staple in Mars’ new and improved dance vocabulary. 

Soon after, Bay Area moves like the Yike and even the Smeeze (created by Chonkie of the Turf Feinz) also made their way to his grand performances. 

Take-Away Tip:

Just like Bruno, spot the people who can support you in becoming a better dancer.

Having someone to coach you into finding your unique style can be a huge help.

And if you wanna dance just like Bruno, try learning from some Sacramento-based dancers!

Another great way to start your Bruno-based dance journey?

Learn how to dance like Bruno Mars by dancing to his songs! Check out these classes to get down to some Bruno beats on STEEZY Studio.

There’s a 7-day free trial so you don’t have to commit to anything, but we’d love it if you gave your dance skills a chance to thrive.

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14 Famous Choreographers

How Bruno Mars And Cardi B's 'Finesse' Choreography Came Alive | News

By Charles Holmes

January 11, 2018 / 2:31 PM

Bruno Mars is a walking, talking, Hawaiian avatar of nostalgia. From the top of his pompadour to the bottom of his retro Reeboks, Bruno is a master of reinterpreting the past for a ravenous present. Recently, Bruno's "Finesse" music video featuring Cardi B took everything we love about the '90s — neon apparel, new jack swing, In Living Color — and mashed it into a viral moment.

Phil Tayag was one of the architects of this vision. Credited as the choreographer and creative consultant for "Finesse," Tayag, a founding member of the JabbaWocKeeZ dance crew, helped translate the iconic dancing of the Fly Girls from In Living Color for a new generation. MTV News spoke with him to discuss how "Finesse" came together, what it was like filming the music video, and meeting Cardi B for the first time.

The following interview has been edited for clarity and length.

MTV News: Who had the initial idea to make the "Finesse" video all about the '90s?

Phil Tayag: That was Bruno's idea. I mean, the record itself is demanding that it's definitely that early '90s era, this new jack era. The In Living Color whole theme seemed to be perfect.

We were bouncing around ideas, like, 'What about In Living Color?' It was perfect because they just provided the perfect setting for us to do drippin' finesse. This is from that era. So I mean, everything really worked out, and I'm really happy about it.

MTV News: Were you a fan of In Living Color and the Fly Girls growing up?

Tayag: For sure. I mean, I was a little bit younger, but I was definitely watching In Living Color. I mean, from Jamie Foxx to Jim Carrey to the Wayans brothers, of course, and you know, Tommy Davidson and [David] Alan Grier, all those guys. Then the dancers, Carrie Inaba, Jossie [Harris], [Jennifer Lopez], Rosie Perez, I mean, definitely was really a fan of that movement.

At the time, it was really like a culture shock to see just this whole thing with this almost sketch comedy thing to seeing the dancers and the live performances, the singers, the artists, the rappers, whatever. To see it all packaged into one, they were kind of like the blueprint. It was an honor to be able to be the ones to pay homage to that era.

MTV News: What I remember about the Fly Girls' dancing was it had this power to it. It was very sexual, very sensual. It was very iconic for them. How do you transform that into something that Bruno can dance to that is still very much honoring the dancing they were doing on In Living Color, but also fits his whole vibe?

Tayag: Right. I mean, you know, that's the trick, right? You're right on the money with that. How do you come to really pay homage in the right way to such iconic dances and such an iconic show and at the same time still be this drippy, swagged-out, sparkly, sprinkly Bruno Mars in the game? You know, how do we still convey that?

It's Bruno and company are going to just by default be that and have that energy. The thing is, even with Bruno, we all grew up watching that. This is a part of that. [The] '90s era is part of our DNA. So it was really funny, this kind of music, you know, and go from these big power moves. It could almost feel like aerobic. Like the running man that is, you know, inspired by a running man. It's very athletic and very big, and it's great because it was all about the group then, in the '90s, and fusing that with this more loose swag.

Ted Sun

Phil Tayag by Ted Sun (

Definitely, we have to be mindful of the ratio of this new drippy swag to this '90s hip-hop/new jack era. I mean, really, it was fun, and it's cool that you're even bringing this up, because obviously, that was a very huge focal point when it came to executing this whole project.

MTV News: What was it like the day you filmed the video?

Tayag: The day I filmed the video, it was just surreal. We're on the In Living Color stage like verbatim and the vibe, the gears, the clothes. This is just like a huge flashback and its almost like you're on this really high bridge and it's really great if you're kinda just looking at eye level, but you look down it's like, wow this is pretty high up.

What I mean by being pretty high up is like, this is actually some big shoes to fill when it comes to trying to replicate this whole In Living Color thing. But you know, I'm rocking with Bruno. Our chins were up and we knocked that thing out.

MTV News: Did you get a chance to meet Cardi B?

Tayag: Yeah, yeah. We worked with Cardi B, and she was the person that we probably all really feel like she is on social media — just this humble and this goofy, magnetic being. It was really, really dope to see somebody like that, you know, face to face.

I always love seeing good people. I love seeing good people make it. I love seeing good people just get what they deserve. I think we're all happy to see Cardi B make it. She's a good person. I think everyone feels like she's one of us and she made it. So big, big Cardi B advocate right here.

MTV News: Would you ever choreograph one of her music videos if she ever reached out?

Tayag: Yeah, I'm definitely open to that, I think. I think Cardi had fun being on the set like that and being around like dancers and that type of, you know, visual art, those visual artists. Like I say, yeah, I think she definitely was vibing. She can dance. So yeah, for sure.

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Fortnite characters can now dance Bruno Mars' signature dance |


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Bruno Mars taught James Corden how to dance sexy in Carpool Karaoke (VIDEO)

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12/14/2016 2:12

. ..but the leader's movements were more like a warm-up before training


Bruno Mars was the guest of Carpool Karaoke with James Corden yesterday. Perhaps this release can be called one of the most fun: it all started as usual - with a song by a guest star, but then James and Bruno broke up so much that they literally rocked the car with dancing. nine0003

The musician tried to teach Corden some dance moves, but James got a sports warm-up instead of a dance, so he stopped trying and started dancing his own way.

By the way, in this release you could also hear several versions of a cappella singing. Bruno Mars said that he loves rock and roll very much, and performed an excerpt from an Elvis Presley song, and later Uptown Funk, which he originally performed with Mark Ronson.

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