How to dance like in the 80s

Best 80s Dance Moves | GIFs of Awesome Dances from the Eighties

I Love the '80sLists about things you love—or at least remember—about history's most bodacious decade.

Moonwalk your way through this list of the best '80s dance moves - you know you want to. This GIF collection of popular dance steps from the eighties will take you back to an era when wearing shoulder pads and acid wash jeans were totally cool. The decade also saw the rise of MTV because, believe it or not, the channel actually played music videos back in the day! Popular 1980s artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, and the Bangles released videos featuring moves that millions of fans all over the world attempted on the dance floor. Even though the majority of us failed, it was still fun to shake, shimmy, and slide to the beat. It's no surprise that several '80s dances on the list below remain popular to this day.

The 1980s brought memorable dance steps such as the Running Man, the Roger Rabbit, and the Cabbage Patch. These silly names were tame compared to what people actually looked like when they were doing the steps. Pantomime moves also became increasingly popular at dance clubs and parties, so it was completely acceptable and hilariously entertaining to watch children of all ages dancing the Sprinkler or the Lawnmower. The most iconic of these, however, came from the brilliant mind of the King of Pop, who glided across the stage with his Moonwalk.

Hollywood also helped bring various styles of dance into the mainstream in the eighties with films like Footloose and Flashdance. No one can forget the dance sequences in these movies, especially the famous lift in Dirty Dancing. Even street-inspired moves turned the breakdancing craze into a worldwide phenomenon, thanks to the 1984 movie Breakin' and its sequel Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.

What are your favorite 80's dance moves? Vote up for the hilarious GIFs below that you think should totally go to the top of the list and down vote any dances you think aren't so bitchin'. Take a trip down memory lane and check out these other awesome Ranker lists, including the greatest 80s teen stars and the most successful charity singles ever.

  • 1



    The Moonwalk



  • 2



    The Thriller Dance



  • 3






  • 4



    The Running Man



Popular 80's Dance Moves You Should Know

Dance Classes Hip Shake Fitness /

I was born in the 80’s so I might be a little biased about these dance moves. It was the time after disco and hip hop was starting to rule the radio and the television. These moves will make you so nostalgic so let’s get to it!

80’s Dance Moves Baby

In the 80’s movies like the Breakfast Club and Footloose ruled and you couldn’t get away from these dance moves! Even today, they’ve become iconic and a total crowd pleaser. Checkout now Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doing the popular 80’s dances from the Breakfast Club when she was in high school. Can you say #girlcrush!

The 80’s was a decade filled with teen movies, Madonna, new wave and so much mind blowing entertainment and the dance moves were no exception. My personal favorite is the robot and of course, wearing leg warmers while I dance. I remember seeing these dance moves on TV and I couldn’t wait to try it out. I wish I had these awesome resources to really learn how to do the dances when I was younger. I’d have to wait and keep watching MTV to see the same Madonna or MJ video just so I can mimic the dancing again. Now we have choreographers creating 80’s inspired dances or better yet, how to videos for classic 80’s dance moves. I’ve compiled some of my faves so let’s travel back in time and dance to these bombdiggity moves. What’s your favorite 80’s dance move? Share it on instagram with #hipshaker so we can give you some rad love.

Best 80’s Dance Moves

There are so many amazing dance moves that came from the 80’s. It’s a mix of disco from the 70’s and the edginess of the 80’s. I think one of the best 80’s dance move that’s slept on is the Shuffle. It’s made a come back in the 2000’s and I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. It works with so many genres and it’s a lot of fun. What do you think is the best 80’s dance move of all time?

1. Sunglasses At Night 80’s Barre Workout

Diane created an 80’s inspired barre choreography that will remind you of your own crushes back then! Corey Hart was her knight in shining armor, who was yours? You’ll be doing the grapevine, robot punches and so many more that will make you time travel back to the good ol’ days.

2. Shuffling Since The 80’s

Did you know that the shuffle started in the 80’s?? Yeah babe, we’ve been shuffling for decades! It started in Melbourne and made its way across the globe through raves. Honestly, shuffling is a great workout for your legs and even your core, so make sure you shuffle everyday!

3. The Cabbage Patch

Now we’re getting into the classics. This 80’s dance move was actually named after the Cabbage Patch Kids, but with the word cabbage used as a slang for money. You were definitely the cool kid when you used this dance move. The cabbage patch is still being used to this day in weddings and dances, but it’s not as cool as it once was.

4. Mr. Roboto

My favorite, the robot is such a legendary move, I don’t care if people think it’s dorky! When done properly, this illusionary dance move blows people’s minds.  Although it’s been around since the 20’s in the miming days, it didn’t go mainstream until the 80’s. I still use this move today and I will never stop!

More Dance Workouts Anytime, Anywhere

We’ve got a lot of moves from every decade like hip hop dance classes that you can access whenever and wherever you are! Try dance workouts on your schedule and your pace.

Try A FREE Tone N Twerk Workout NOW!

Every Tone N Twerk workout starts with a toning routine that tightens your glutes. Then loosen up and learn a fun twerk dance that will surely make you feel sexy.  Join us for Beginner Twerk. A 20 minute Tone N Twerk Dance Workout. You will learn how to isolate those glute muscles and get more twerk moves that you can bring with you to the club or just at home. We start with the Shuffle Twerk, Up Down Twerk, Pop Back Twerk then end with more advanced moves like the Pushup Twerk. If it’s your first time, don’t worry Nicole Steen will offer modifications. You got this babe and we’re here for you! Unlock your FREE Tone N Twerk Dance Workout video today.

dance moves dance queen hip hop dance classes

TOP 15 Fashion Dances of the 80s (name + movements)

Thanks to the emergence of the music channel MTV (premiered on August 1, 1981), in the early eighties, Western pop culture experienced a real explosion of various genres of music, which were accompanied by the emergence of original dance moves. The production of clips has taken on a mass character, round-the-clock broadcast has promoted many unknown names, which has allowed even fairly average artists to break out into world stars.

The second result of large-scale clip-making was the active spread of pop music and pop dances - hip-hop, dance, electronica, Latino, which soon turned into the mainstream and formed a series of popular dances of the 80s. Many of the musical currents and dance movements continue to live and remain in the trends of the 21st century.

1. Moonwalk

Michael Jackson "Billie Jean".
The technique consists in the illusion of moving forward, although in reality the dancer is moving smoothly back.
After his death, Michael Jackson turned into a criminal and persona non grata for major studios and channels, but we are not prudes and fans of cancellation culture, so we will always respect the best songs of the disgraced king of pop music and admire the famous moonwalk that drove crowds of fans crazy .

Jackson is not the author of the “moonwalk dance”, because this technique was used by Marcel Marceau, Charlie Chaplin, Cab Calloway, Jean-Louis Barrault and other stars of the first half of the twentieth century. But it was Michael, performing the super hit "Billie Jean" at the Motown 25 concert in the spring of 1983rd, showed the world a movement that eventually became the hallmark of the artist. Breakdancing
The first breakdancers appeared in the States in Puerto Rican and African American communities populated by active youth. Young boys and girls wanted to dance to hip-hop, soul, funk and other currents of music where the percussion solo plays a key role. Breakdancers took to the streets in the early seventies, but breakdancing took shape in the next decade, peaking in popularity in the 1980s.

Now breakdancing is not just a part of street culture, but also a sporting event that will be included in the program of the Olympic Games from 2024 (yes, in Paris 2024, the best breakdancers will receive gold Olympic awards).

3. Mosh, Moshing (Mosh Pits)

"9 craziest moshings".
The most brutal, aggressive and evil dance of the 80s, whose arena was punk, hardcore, metalcore, deathcore concerts, where people pushed, jumped, stage-dived (when a person, a star or an ordinary frisky punk, jumps into the crowd, but does not fall to the floor, but floats, as if on waves, on outstretched arms) and went crazy in other frenzied collective movements. Another name for moshing is the term slam, although "slam" is rather a precursor to mosh.

4. Roger Rabbit

Bobby Brown "Every Little Step" after which Roger Rabbit got its name.

5 Robot , head and body to simulate a robot. How well the late king could do it since the Jackson 5's "Dancing Machine" album.

6. Running Man

Janet Jackson "Rhythm Nation".
Has nothing to do with the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie of the same name. The second name is “The Hungry Caterpillar” and the main popularizer of this African-American street dance in world culture was another representative of the Jackson clan, Janet, whose hit “Rhythm Nation” was released together in a video emblazoned with “Running Man”. After Janet, Bobby Brown, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice and other American rap and hip-hop artists of the 80s of the 20th century had fun in the rhythm of a hungry-running human caterpillar.

7. The Butt

E. U. "Da Butt".
A slightly indecent title hides a rather innocent and modest dance for today, consisting in a rhythmic energetic movement of the fifth point. Born in the eighties and present at every modern disco.

8. The Biz

Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock "It Takes Two"
Biz is quite simple and primitive, but in combination with other hip-hop dances it turns into a spectacular spectacular dance attraction , in which you want to participate in any outsider onlookers. As in the video clip of Rob Baze, whose “Biz” is easily joined by all honest people.

9. Thriller

Michael Jackson "Thriller"
Once again the great and terrible Michael, this time in the company of zombies dancing an exciting thriller dance in the street, on the roadway and right in the cemetery . Released on December 2, 1983, the pop hit "Thriller" quickly became a cultural phenomenon and an anthem for the American folk holiday Halloween, and also won a Grammy.

10. The Cabbage Patch

Miami-based music crew the Gucci Crew II used a baby doll as a source of creative inspiration and came up with the song "The Cabbage Patch", adorned with a characteristic cabbage dance. Details in the next video.

11. Sprinkler (The Sprinkler)

Dance-imitation of a garden hose, with which a person waters a lawn or vegetable garden. An unknown author guessed that a water spray, or sprinkler in English, is great for creating an incendiary dance. First aired on MTV at 19The 87th "sprinkler" quickly became fashionable and in the list of top dances of the 80s.

12. Lambada (Lambada)

Kaoma «Lambada»
A pair dance attraction from Latin America, which flew around the planet like a swift hurricane thanks to the song of the same name by the French band “Kaomi” and consolidated its fame with two funny and captivating films – Lambada” and “Forbidden Dance”, which in turn give lambada the right to be among the popular dances of the 90s.

13. Harlem Shake

A modest resident of Harlem named Al B first called the future dance hit "Harlem Shake" by his own name - "AlBee", but when the novelty of the Harlem artist spilled out of the area and overgrown with fans, then another title appeared, which the author recognized as the main and only one. Although it wasn't until 2001 that rapper Travell Gerald Coleman, or simply G.Dep, danced the "Harlem Shake" in the "Let's Get It" video, making it an international mainstream.

14. The Worm (The Worm)

The Worm will obviously not be able to dance for everyone, but only for a trained sports guy or girl. Initially, the worm was danced at punk and rock concerts of the eighties, but a little later, a caterpillar or a dolphin, as the worm is also called, logically began to be used by break dancers, the main feature of which is sharp and very traumatic jumps on the floor.

15. Dirty Dancing

A scene from the movie "Dirty Dancing" 1987.
We complete the catalog with an imperishable classic, inextricably linked with the figure and face of Patrick Swayze. The film actor and ballet dancer ideally combined two professions in his work and created a wonderful image of a poor young man who makes his way through life with the help of dance art. Screenwriter Eleanor Bergsteen and choreographer Kenny Ortega co-created the edgy forbidden "dirty" forbidden fruit, but it took Swayze's talent to make "Dirty Dancing" a worldwide sensation and one of the best films of the 80s.

Popular dances on the dance floors of the USSR in different years - video selection

There were no "dance floors" in the USSR, but the Soviet people loved to dance.

Probably even more than now.

In any case, the number of different types of everyday dances (those that were danced by ordinary people, not professionals) was much greater than now.

Do you remember the dance floors in the city parks of culture and recreation? And dance evenings in factory clubs - in the 50-70s?

In the 1980s, discos appeared, which were held in the same clubs, and in any, more or less spacious premises, even in the basement.

And in the late 80s and 90s, young guys mastered new types of dances - right on the sidewalks, writing unthinkable pirouettes called "break".

Only in different years the dances were different - depending on fashion trends.

Yes, yes! And there is a fashion for dancing too.

Let's remember.


Immediately after the revolution, the state did not welcome and condemned the youth for dancing.

Thus, the II All-Russian Conference of the Komsomol in May 1922 called dances "one of the channels of penetration into the youth environment of petty-bourgeois influence"

- said in one of the state documents adopted in July 1929,

However, the Soviet youth, going to parties, continued to dance.

The most popular dances at that time were waltz, polka, tango and two-step.

Do you remember "two-step " performed in the comedy "Wedding in Malinovka" by Gorpina Dormidontovna and Yashka the gunner?

True, the characters of the film pronounce the name of the dance as "to that steppe".

In general, the two-step dance performed in the USSR in everyday life looked something like this:

1930s - 1940s

In the 1930s, the state also considered "dancing" to be bourgeois entertainment with erotic overtones.

And in the late 1930s, in the midst of the struggle against "enemies of the people" and "foreign henchmen", the dance floors were generally called "spy slots".

Even the term for unreliable youth appeared - "foxtrot" - from the dance foxtrot that came into fashion in those years.

Nevertheless, the state was powerless in the face of the desire of the people, especially young people, to dance in their free time.

Boys and girls crowded in the evenings to dance in clubs and dance floors.

Foxtrot, Krakowiak, Padespanne, Quadrille, Polka Troika joined the fashionable, still tango.

This is how the padespan dance looked like. Unfortunately, there were no worthy examples in the Slavic household performance. But the guys 👇 show a wonderful version of the everyday dance!

And this is what a household foxtrot looked like, however, professionals show it:

The authorities contemptuously and suspiciously called such young people "foxtrot players"


The influence of the West on Soviet youth increased.

So, in the USSR, a whole subculture appeared, called "dudes".

To a greater extent, dudes lived in large cities and were children from wealthy families.

This is what Wikipedia says: there is an increased interest in music and dance from abroad ".

At the same time, new dances appeared: boogie-woogie, charleston, casa-nova, ter-ri-con.

Officially, boogie-woogie, charleston and twist dances were sharply condemned and considered "obscene"

" His partner danced completely obscenely. From time to time she kicked convulsively and twitched to the beat of the music. This monkey "pa", imported from some overseas taverns, attracted the attention of others and caused frank chuckles " (Lanskoy, Rest 1956:266).

But look at the boogie-woogie dance performed in the 60s, however, in a children's performance, but the meaning is clear: lipsy.

Here is charleston :


In the late 60s and 70s, Western and American dances completely replaced domestic dances.

So the youth began to dance rock and roll and twist.

True, rock-n-roll did not take root at the level of everyday dances, because its performance requires good physical preparation - the movements in it are almost acrobatic.

Learn more