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The 40 best disco songs ever, ranked in order of dancefloor-filling greatness

The 40 best disco songs ever, ranked in order of dancefloor-filling greatness - Smooth

24 May 2022, 13:56

The best disco songs ever, ranked. Picture: Paramount/Epic/CBS/Polydor/YouTube

By Tom Eames

If there was one genre and era of music that got people on the dancefloor more than any other, it was disco of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Sure, some folks in the States ended up declaring that 'Disco Sucks', but over 40 years later disco music still makes us feel good and gets feet tapping.

  • The 101 greatest songs of the 1970s, ranked

From the Bee Gees to Gloria Gaynor to... The Rolling Stones?!... we've picked the very best disco anthems to make for a perfect party playlist.

  1. John Paul Young - 'Love is in the Air'

    Australian singer John Paul Young scored a massive hit in 1977 with this romantic disco banger.

    It was later used as the theme tune to Baz Luhrmann's 1992 movie Strictly Ballroom.

  2. The Hues Corporation - 'Rock the Boat'

    This 1973 track took a while to become the hit it deserved to be, but thanks to heavy plays in New York clubs, it became a disco favourite.

    The song featured Fleming Williams on lead vocals just before he quit the group.

  3. The Real Thing - 'You To Me Are Everything'

    British soul group The Real Thing found fame on Opportunity Knocks, and in 1976 they released this excellent disco tune.

    It was a big success, giving the group a UK number one single.

  4. Boney M - 'Rasputin'

    It's not often you get a dancefloor anthem that's also a mini-history lesson.

    • The Story of... 'Rasputin'

    Boney M's bonkers tale of "Russia's greatest love machine" made a resurgence when a remix reached the UK chart in 2021.

  5. Rod Stewart - 'Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?'

    Rod Stewart couldn't help but give disco a go for his 1978 album Blondes Have More Fun.

    Not everyone was a fan at the time, but you have to admit it's one of the most catchy songs from the 1970s.

  6. Baccara - 'Yes Sir, I Can Boogie'

    Baccara were Spanish flamenco dancers Mayte Mateos and Maria Mendiola, who were spotted on the island of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands by RCA Records executive Leon Deane.

    The duo soon recorded this track and it gave them a number one hit around the world, including the UK.

  7. Tavares - 'Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel'

    American band Tavares originally recorded this as a six-minute track in 1976.

    The romantic track with the cheesy chatup line was a big hit around the world, reaching number 4 in the UK.

  8. Andy Gibb - 'Shadow Dancing'

    With the Bee Gees taking over the charts following their Saturday Night Fever dominance, it wasn't long before their younger brother Andy Gibb joined them.

    For a while, he was arguably the biggest popstar on the planet, and this song was a massive number one for Andy in the US.

  9. Labelle - 'Lady Marmalade'

    "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?"

    Later a massive number one hit from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, this was the ultimate seductive disco dance anthem from Patti Labelle and her girls.

  10. Village People - 'YMCA'

    Sure, it was cheesy beyond belief - but 'YMCA' remains an excellent disco anthem all these years later.

    It is one of the few songs to sell over 10 million physical copies worldwide, and became a gay anthem.

  11. KC & the Sunshine Band - 'Get Down Tonight'

    "Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight!"

    A true dancefloor anthem from KC and the guys, this was the band's first of five US chart-toppers.

  12. George McCrae - 'Rock Your Baby'

    This was a massive international hit in 1974, and was arguably the first true disco hit around the world that introduced the genre to the mainstream.

    It sold over 10 million copies, and has been cited by ABBA's Benny and Bjorn as a big inspiration on 'Dancing Queen'.

  13. Boney M - 'Daddy Cool'

    This 1976 disco anthem was Boney M's first hit in the UK.

    Produced and co-written by the group's founder Frank Farian, he also provided the male voice parts on the record.

  14. The Weather Girls - 'It's Raining Men'

    Released in 1982, this was actually a bit late in the day for disco hits.

    It was originally intended for Donna Summer, and then offered to Diana Ross, Cher, and Barbra Streisand, all of whom declined it. In the end, it fell into the lap of the Weather Girls, and it became an iconic tune of the '80s.

  15. Earth, Wind & Fire - 'Boogie Wonderland'

    This disco-funk staple was Earth, Wind & Fire at the peak of their powers in 1979, with Maurice White going for it at the front.

    It's impossible not to get up on your feet with this one.

  16. McFadden & Whitehead - 'Ain't No Stopping Us Now'

    This track was widely thought to be about the experience of the African American community at the time, and after finding success, was even referred to as "the new black national anthem".

    Released in 1979, it was a top 5 hit in the UK.

  17. Lipps Inc - 'Funky Town'

    One of the ultimate one-hit-wonders, and what a song to have a hit with.

    It was a huge number one success in the US, and number two in the UK, and was written while the band was living in Minneapolis with dreams of moving to New York.

  18. Bee Gees - 'You Should Be Dancing'

    The most uptempo of the Bee Gees disco anthems used in Saturday Night Fever, with John Travolta in peak dance mode.

    It was actually recorded a year before for their previous album Children of the World, and helped launch the band as disco kings.

  19. Candi Staton - 'Young Hearts, Run Free'

    According to Candi Station, this song came about after a conversation she had with producer David Crawford: "He was always asking me: 'What's happening in your life'...and I was with someone I shouldn't have been with and it was hard getting out of that... very abusive relationship.

    "I [noticed] that [Crawford] was taking notes, and he said, 'You know, I'm gonna write you a song. I'm gonna write you a song that's gonna last forever'".

    And he was right!

  20. Sister Sledge - 'We Are Family'

    Written and produced by Chic stars Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, this song became Sister Sledge's signature tunes and a disco staple.

    Bernard and Nile weren't yet comfortable approaching big name artists with their new songs, and so instead suggested the label's least established act. If they got a hit record, then they could take up the challenge of writing bigger stars. It goes without saying that this technique worked!

  21. Yvonne Elliman - 'If I Can't Have You'

    Originally, the Bee Gees were meant to record this disco track, and Yvonne Elliman was due to record the ballad 'How Deep is Your Love', for Saturday Night Fever.

    However, producer Robert Stigwood said that this should be reversed, and it turned out to be a stroke of genius. Though, the Bee Gees did record their own version for the 'Stayin' Alive' B-side.

  22. Chic - 'Good Times'

    A pure disco classic from Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, this ended up becoming one of the most-sampled songs in history.

    The lyrics include a reference to 'Happy Days Are Here Again', and lines based on lyrics featured in 'About a Quarter to Nine'. Nile Rodgers has said that these Great Depression-era lyrics were used as a hidden way to remark on the then-current economic issues in the United States.

  23. The Four Seasons - 'December '63 (Oh What a Night)'

    This saw the Four Seasons make a disco comeback in 1975. Though, it's not actually Frankie Valli on lead vocals! Frankie provided backing vocals while Gerry Polci took the lead.

    According to the co-writer Bob Gaudio, the song lyrics were originally set in 1933 with the title 'December 5th, 1933', and celebrated the repeal of Prohibition, but the lyrics were changed by Frankie Valli and lyricist Judy Parker to reposition the song as a nostalgic look back at a young man's first affair with a woman.

  24. Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes - 'Don't Leave Me this Way'

    With Teddy Pendergrass on lead vocals, this soul anthem wasn't a hit for a couple of years until the success of another great disco version by Thelma Houston in 1977.

    The Communards later scored an '80s dance cover hit with it a decade later.

  25. The Rolling Stones - 'Miss You'

    No one was too good for disco, not even the Rolling Stones.

    Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood have insisted that it wasn't conceived as a disco song, while Keith Richards said: "'Miss You' was a damn good disco record; it was calculated to be one."

    It became the Stones' eighth and final number one record in the States, in 1978.

  26. The Jacksons - 'Blame it on the Boogie'

    Originally a hit for Mick Jackson (no relation), the Jacksons turned it into an infectious disco tune with the vocals of Michael.

    It went on to become one of the Jacksons' signature songs, and a precursor to Michael becoming a pop icon.

  27. The O'Jays - 'Love Train'

    Released back in 1972 when disco wasn't even a thing, it can easily be argued that this was the song that kickstarted the whole genre.

    The positive track gave the O'Jays their only number one single in the States.

  28. The Trammps - 'Disco Inferno'

    Burn baby burn! When you think of disco, chances are this is one of the first songs that comes to mind.

    It surprisingly wasn't a hit at first, but once it was included on the soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever, it became forever associated with the genre.

  29. Barry White - 'You're the First, the Last, My Everything'

    Released in 1974, this song was originally written over 21 years previously by Peter Radcliffe as a country song, before Barry White totally reworked it and took it to number one in the UK.

    It took on a new lease of life in the 1990s, when Ally McBeal character John used it as his own personal theme song, leading to Barry appearing as himself on the TV show.

  30. Bee Gees - 'Stayin' Alive'

    The Bee Gees wrote this song over a few days after being contacted by producer Robert Stigwood. RSO Records wanted the song to be named ‘Saturday Night’ after the then-title of the film, but they added the ‘Fever’ to encompass the song title of ‘Night Fever’ instead.

    • The Story of... 'Stayin' Alive'

    Barry Gibb said of the track: “People crying out for help. Desperate songs. Those are the ones that become giants. The minute you capture that on record, it’s gold.”

  31. KC and the Sunshine Band - 'That's the Way (I Like It)'

    This track's sexual overtones had to be toned by down for radio play, but that didn't stop it becoming a megahit for KC and the Sunshine Band in 1975.

    It became a disco staple for the rest of the decade, and gave the band a US number one hit.

  32. Blondie - 'Heart of Glass'

    This song saw Blondie truly hit the mainstream, reaching number one in the UK in 1979.

    Moving on from rock to a disco vibe, this song was written as a slower track titled 'Once I Had a Love' a few years earlier.

    Debbie Harry later said it "was one of the first songs Blondie wrote, but it was years before we recorded it properly. We'd tried it as a ballad, as reggae, but it never quite worked", and that "the lyrics weren't about anyone. They were just a plaintive moan about lost love."

  33. Earth, Wind & Fire - 'September'

    Disco kings Earth, Wind and Fire scored a big international hit with this upbeat song in 1978.

    Although many theories about the significance of the September 21st date have been suggested, songwriter Maurice White claimed he simply chose the 21st due to how it sounded when he sung it.

    His wife, Marilyn White claimed that September 21 was the due date of their son, Kahbran.

  34. Donna Summer - 'I Feel Love'

    There are few records which changed the music world as much as Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love'. The single arguably ushered in the electronica era, thanks to its lucious production from producer Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte.

    Released in 1977, it was years ahead of its time, and connected disco with synthpop and even house music.

    Moroder described Summer as "an incredibly talented singer, who could improvise but was also very disciplined".

  35. Sylvester - 'You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)'

    This song was originally recorded as a mid-tempo piano gospel song. However, after producer Patrick Cowley saw a rehearsal of the song at a San Francisco disco, he offered to remix it.

    The result was one of the most pioneering disco records, using early electronic instrumentation and effects, which would be a big influence on music across the next decade.

  36. Chic - 'Le Freak'

    Another disco masterpiece from Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, this was a massive club hit for the group in 1978.

    The lyrics of the party anthem reference New York City nightclub Studio 54, particularly its notoriously long customer queues, exclusive clientele, and unpleasant doormen.

  37. ABBA - 'Dancing Queen'

    ABBA managed to stay relevant and one of the greatest pop groups ever, by merging glam pop with disco by the end of the 1970s. Their creative peak was this stunning dancefloor filler.

    • The Story of... 'Dancing Queen'

    Perhaps ABBA's best-loved song, it is the perfect love letter to disco and dancing itself.

  38. Gloria Gaynor - 'I Will Survive'

    Despite being a B-side originally, this became one of the greatest disco anthems of all time.

    • The Story of... 'I Will Survive'

    The song is a female-empowerment anthem, and is about moving on after a bad relationship. It has since taken on other meanings for people who have overcome any difficult situation, but writer Dino Fekaris revealed it was about getting fired by Motown Records, where he was a staff writer.

    Gloria Gaynor herself once said: "I love the empowering effect, I love the encouraging effect. It's a timeless lyric that addresses a timeless concern."

  39. Michael Jackson - 'Don't Stop Til You Get Enough'

    For Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album, he took a step up in creativity, and recorded some of the 1970s' most luscious songs.

    One such song was this excellent track which was one of the last true great songs of the disco movement.

  40. Bee Gees - 'Night Fever'

    With everything that happened during the disco era, the absolute peak has to be the Bee Gees' surprisingly perfect soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever, providing the music for John Travolta taking it to its most mainstream moment.

    The Gibb brothers recorded several excellent songs during this period, but this was the ultimate disco song that summed up the period perfectly, and makes you want to grab your comb, your finest flares, and strut your funky stuff.

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18 Dance Workout Videos on YouTube to Shake Up Your At-Home Cardio


Shake up your at-home cardio with these picks from the pros.

MyMicrostock/Adobe Stock

If your at-home workout routine has gotten a little stale—and to be honest, many of ours have—trying some dance workout videos at home can help breathe a little new life into it. Not only is it just plain fun, but it can also provide a bit of a mental boost too.

“Dance is a form of full-body expression, which is why dance workouts are such a great way to relieve stress,” physical therapist Laurence Agénor, P.T., D.P.T., C.S.C.S, a barre, Pilates, and dance instructor in New York City, tells SELF. “A dance workout is rooted in the music. Music and coordinated movement are incredibly therapeutic. Dance allows you to get into your body and out of your head, all while expressing your creativity and grooving to the beat.”

And while you may not be able to catch your favorite dance class in-studio right now, there are still tons of options for you online. Yep, you still can get in a great cardio workout without going to the gym or studio, even if you don’t want to run, walk, or bike outside, or do HIIT workouts in your living room.

“The convenience of being able to get up from your desk and sweat it out without leaving your home is unparalleled,” says Agénor. “A dance workout is a fun and effective way to break up your day when working from home and boost your endorphins to the rhythm of the beat.”

If you’re new to dance workouts or aren’t tied to a particular workout app, YouTube can come in clutch for tons of dance workout videos—whether you’re looking for quick, one-song routines or a full dance workout.

“YouTube has a variety of dance-inspired workouts that you can choose from depending on your mood and time restrictions,” says Agénor. “The best part is, they’re all free!” Huge win.

Here are 19 dance workouts you can try to boost your mood and get you sweating.

1. 30-Minute Island Vibes Cardio Dance Workout With Raquel “Rocky” Horsford

Length: 30 minutes

What to expect: A high-energy Caribbean-inspired dance workout.

“As a physical therapist, I have many clients who have gotten injured from doing workout videos at home. As a result, I look for instructors that provide a proper warm-up and cool-down to reduce the risk of injury. I’m also originally from the Caribbean, so any island-inspired workout really boosts my energy! This Island Vibes Cardio Dance workout by instructor Raquel Horsford is great for beginners, encompasses feel-good energy with attention to form, and will leave you feeling uplifted and accomplished when you’re done.” —Agénor

Try the workout.

2. 40-Minute Reebok x Les Mills BodyJam Workout

Length: 40 minutes

What to expect: A higher-intensity choreographed dance workout with actress Nina Dobrev.

“You’ll learn choreography from not just one, but three different instructors. This workout is more for the advanced beginner. However, each choreographed section repeats itself many times before blending together into a seamless dance routine. Actress Nina Dobrev is dancing with you the entire time, adding to the novelty of having a celebrity work out with you!” —Agénor

Try the workout.

3. Afrifitness No-Equipment African Dance Workout

Length: 20 minutes

What to expect: An African-inspired dance workout to get you sweating and your heart rate up.

“Afrobeat lovers, check out Afro dance fitness instructor Rachael Okesola, creator of Afrifitness. Her movement and music selection are always on point, and the moves are easy to follow and will help you work up a sweat in under 30 minutes—you can look forward to a full-body workout. You’ll also want to download her playlist to keep you pumped up throughout the day.” —Agénor

Try the workout.

4. TikTok Dance Party Workout

Length: 14 minutes

What to expect: A quick dance cardio workout to four super-fun songs: “Savage Remix” by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé, “Level Up” by Ciara, “Yummy” by Justin Bieber, and “Cool Off” by Missy Elliott.

“Kerrington Johnson brings you heart-pumping moves to Top 40 tracks. The dance moves are simple and straightforward. Guaranteed good vibes for the day!” —Agénor

Try the workout.

5. 30-Minute Hip-Hop Glutes and Core Workout With Mike Peele

Length: 30 minutes

What to expect: A choreography-based hip-hop class with core and glute exercises.

“Hip-hop dance lovers, look no further: Mike Peele is motivating and energetic, and he actually uses current music for his workouts. This choreography-based dance workout is best for individuals with at least a bit of experience with dance or dance fitness. The last eight minutes are dedicated to strength training moves like squats and planks, in addition to a cool-down to really round out your workout.” —Agénor

Try the workout.

6. Afrobeat “Don’t Rush” Challenge Workout With Cacao Culture

Length: 4 minutes

What to expect: A choreographed Afrobeat dance to “Don't Rush” featuring Headie One by Young T & Bugsey.

“This dance workout is fun and simple. Every dance tells a story—it’s not just an exercise, but an opportunity to learn about other cultures if this isn’t your own. This is engaging, upbeat, and great for anyone trying to learn more about Afrobeat dance.” —Melody Afkami, CEO and founder of Melody DanceFit in Austin, Texas

Try the workout.

7. Zumba “Booty Wurk” Workout With Mallory HotMess

Length: 4 minutes

What to expect: A choreographed Zumba dance to T-Pain’s “Booty Wurk.”

“This video is one of the first dance fitness dances I ever did, before I started my own company. It is best for people who love dancing to hip-hop but are beginners. It’s an old video, but this choreography is so simple and fun. You can’t help but smile and laugh while doing this one!” —Afkami

Try the workout.

8. 15-Minute Kukuwa African Dance Workout

Length: 15 minutes

What to expect: A quick, high-energy African dance workout that combines music and dance moves from all over Africa, including Malawi, Mali, and Zimbabwe.

“I love Kukuwa because it always gets my heart rate up, the music is infectious, and the bottom line is, it's fun, fun, fun. If you like high-energy dance workouts where you will move your body nonstop and sweat, you will love Kukuwa.” —Krista Martins, founder of Wukkout! Caribbean Dance Fitness in Brooklyn

Most Popular

Try the workout.

9. Afrifitness Afro Dance Workout With Rachael Okesola

Length: 18 minutes

What to expect: An African-inspired dance workout with high-energy music and moves.

“I love dance fitness. This video is a full-body workout, leaving no muscle behind. It's high energy and the moves are so unique! I love Afrobeats!” —Chasi Jernigan, a plus-size fitness instructor in Wetumpka, Alabama

Try the workout.

10. 30-Minute Dancehall-Inspired Workout With Fit by Ashley

Length: 30 minutes

What to expect: A Jamaican dancehall-inspired dance workout.

“You do not realize you are working out in this video. You can do the bare minimum and will be dripping sweat! The moves are for dancers and non-dancers. If you are a dancehall or Soca lover, you will love it.” —Jernigan

Try the workout.

11. 40-Minute Dance + Boxing Workout With Deja Riley

Length: 40 minutes

What to expect: A combination of dance and shadow boxing for a high-energy rhythmic workout.

"Deja Riley has created an incredible hybrid of dancing and boxing, so it really appeals to all fitness interests and levels. It’s a total-body workout, yet is so much fun! Deja's energy is magnetic, and she cues really well so that her students can follow her perfectly. The moves are doable for just about anyone. One minute you're throwing a hook, and the next minute you're doing a body roll or a two-step. She also includes an abs section, which is so important. A strong core leads to long days of dancing!" —Stacey Beaman, cofounder and instructor of PlyoJam Dance Fitness in Los Angeles

Try the workout.

12. 40-Minute Hip-Hop Fit Workout With Mike Peele

Length: 40 minutes

What to expect: A total-body hip-hop workout that will get you sweating and grooving.

"Mike Peele teaches killer hip-hop combos and really breaks them down so that his students can learn and follow along. Mike adds one 8-count at a time so that you build on the previous combo. You will be breaking a massive sweat, but having fun the entire time. Mike is fun and personable, which makes it even better, and his backup dancers show us how it's done. He uses great music, which is super motivating. You'll want to take some of these moves to the club!" —Beaman

Try the workout.

13. Socanomics Caribbean Dance Workout

Length: 48 minutes

What to expect: A high-energy Caribbean dance workout to Soca music.

“This Caribbean dance workout is freeing and fun! This is for anyone who craves good music, uplifting movement, along with a sneaky sweat. Be ready for the ultimate cardio party filled with simple choreography. The best part is you can add your own personality, flavor, and flair to make it your own.” —Amanda Robinson, professional dancer, fitness trainer, and health coach in Hoboken, New Jersey

Try the workout.

14. “Tusa” Choreography With Deja Riley

Length: 10 minutes

Most Popular

What to expect: A short and sweaty choreographed workout to “Tusa” by Karol G featuring Nicki Minaj.

“This fire workout program combines dance and shadow boxing technique. I love it because it's high-energy, super groovy, and certainly makes you smile while you sweat. Be ready to jam out with Deja's infectious, exhilarating energy.” —Robinson

Try the workout.

15. 7-Minute Easy Dance Choreography With Nikki Pebbles

Length: 7 minutes

What to expect: A simple choreographed dance for beginners to work up a midday sweat.

“Sometimes I need a quick workout that will lift my spirits and get my body buzzing. Nikki's workouts are always great and offer anywhere from 7-minute dance workouts to 45-minute strength classes. This is a quick workout that is fun and will make ya sweat!” —Jessie Diaz-Herrera, body-positive dance instructor in the Bronx, New York

Try the workout.

16. Kukuwa African Dance and Sculpt Workout

Length: 45 minutes

What to expect: A combination workout with 30 minutes of African dance and 15 minutes of bodyweight strength-training exercises like crunches, planks, and more.

“I love these dance videos because they are good for all levels, and it brings me so much joy doing them. These videos also take you on a journey through Africa without your passport. I enjoy learning about different countries and their various dance moves. I'm literally smiling the entire time! These ladies make you feel comfortable dancing, and stress that it doesn't matter how you look; it's more about how you feel after, which is amazing!” —Laci Chisholm, founder and dance instructor of Fit4Dance in Brooklyn

Try the workout.

17. 30-Minute Hip-Hop Fit Dance Workout and Abs With Mike Peele 

Length: 30 minutes

What to expect: A full workout in half an hour, plus ab exercises at the end.

“I love learning these dance routines! Great choreography, and it's easy to follow along. It makes you feel like you are performing. I love his style and his energy. If I'm in the mood to listen to hip-hop music, learn choreography, and want to get a good workout, then this is my go-to!” —Chisholm

Try the workout.

18. 15-Minute PlyoJam Dance Workout With Aminah Jackson

Length: 15 minutes

What to expect: A quick full-body cardio dance workout with songs from Shakira, BTS, Justin Bieber, and more.

“I love taking and teaching PlyoJam. It’s a cardio dance mixed with jump training, but it’s really your pop star moment. Meaning, you're dancing like a pop star, but training like an athlete on your own level. Dance like Beyoncé, and train like Serena, while you’re dancing to your favorite songs from the radio and the club. You feel good, you feel sexy. And Aminah Jackson is amazing.” —Christine Hernandez, master choreographer and PlyoJam instructor in Los Angeles

Try the workout.

Quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.


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SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

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More from Self90,000 12 life hacks, to quickly learn how to dance from Mamita Dance


Author: Pavel Gather
Psychologist, Lecturer Salsa and Tango


Author: Pavel Pavel
Psychologist, Lecturer Salsa

on At the start, you always want to get a quick result. When it doesn't happen, the hypothesis arises that everything takes time. After a conditionally acceptable time, humility comes to mastering pair dances, which, perhaps, is not given, and I will just do what I learned somehow.

This is the most common story of those who believe that the mere act of attending a pair dance class is enough to learn how to dance.
Absolutely not. If you want to really dance well, you have to make an effort outside of the dance class. A good teacher will definitely be needed, but the initiative should be on your side.

1. Listen to music

The most common and accessible advice that is given already in the first lessons. And it definitely works. Music creates a certain atmosphere of the dance and intuitively you want to move to it. It doesn't matter where you listen to music - in the car, on headphones while walking or doing household chores.

An addition that will help you dance better is your active participation in the music. Sing along, dance or simply beat musical accents with any free parts of the body. In the subway, for example, it is enough to tap out bright moments with your fingers, in the car to sing along with sounds, and at home you can jump for pleasure.

2. Watch videos of good dancers

It's complicated, but also obvious. It’s more difficult, because without recommendations from more experienced dancers, unfortunately, it’s not so easy to find a good quality video on the net (I mean not the resolution quality, but the content itself).

Meaningful video viewing is about building an understanding of HOW dancers make a particular impression on a partner or viewer. Technology is at the heart of everything. Understanding how the pros do it is a big step forward.

It is important to distinguish a show from a disco dance, a staged performance from an improvisation, a stylized dance from an authentic one, etc. Ask for recommendations and dance teachers will always throw off a couple of videos of worthy landmarks.

Tango Z. Showreel.

Online modern tango courses

Tango nuevo is the most advanced version of tango. We can quickly learn to dance from zero to a steep level.

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3. Dance in salsatecas/milongas/discotheques

A very delicate moment when it is worth coming to the first party. From a technical point of view, most students in 1-3 months have a sufficient set of figures and techniques to come and dance calmly. Psychologically, the same moment can be stretched out for an indefinite time. After all, it is imperative to “not lose face”, “learn more figures” and be sure what to do in case “there is an unfamiliar movement”.

In fact, the partygoers don't really care (except for a small layer of non-professional teachers who want to help inexperienced dancers by treating them as customers in the future). It is important to come and try dancing after a month of classes. You can only with friends or guys from your group. This will be enough to feel the adrenaline and inspiration from the dance.

4. Dance with partners or partners not of your level

The conventional wisdom that you need to practice in groups of your level does not withstand the test of experience. Perhaps now your eyes widened in surprise, and you want to meaningfully read the phrase again. Yes, you saw everything correctly: when you dance with a partner of your level, you don’t grow anywhere.

It's important to understand that not only does it work one way and you have to dance with cooler dancers, but it works even more effectively the other way. It is no coincidence that teaching pair dances dramatically raises the level of the teacher himself. You have an endless stream of very beginner dancers.

How it works. A more experienced partner needs to be "stretched". It's easy and obvious. With beginners, you need to take more initiative on yourself, see the general pattern of the dance more widely, turn on and insure more, try to be an example and be more careful. The quality of interaction begins to grow significantly. And wonderful partners too.

Dancing with partners of your level doesn't make you grow. Dance with both beginners and more advanced dancers

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5. Learn to dance for a partner and for a partner

Turks and Argentines are one of the best partners in the world. In Russia, partners are highly valued. Why? The answer is simple. In Argentina and Turkey, it is not questionable for men to ask another man to lead in one piece or another and give feedback on the quality of the lead. For them, it will be a great shame to hear moralizing from a partner, or even more so to be known in the community as an insecure partner.

In Russia, due to the constant, often far-fetched, opinion that there are more women in pair dances, partners calmly get up and study their partner's part. Such partners then grow into very cool dancers and teachers. In no case do this at parties, only in class. Here we are talking only about the learning strategy. At parties, be yourself.

6. Do not memorize the links

Always try to look deeper and understand the through principle and idea of ​​movement. Understanding what and how is done will make it possible to independently generate any sequences and chips.

Human memory is limited and there will always be a moment when something will escape and your repertoire will be limited by the size of RAM.

In Argentine tango, for example, there are seven levels of movement construction that, when mastered, will allow you to make millions of combinations. And how many dance sequences can you really remember? In rueda, more than 150 figures dance in a rare circle. It's hard to keep more in mind.

7. Develop your body

Many years of experience in teaching couple dance shows that as soon as everyone pairs up in a class, any progress in individual style ends. But it is the individual style that distinguishes everyone at the disco: partners change, and style is always with you.

The body as the main instrument of dance must be very plastic, responsive and emotional. Surprisingly, not all pair dance schools have a general physical warm-up. It is vital to tune the body and understand how it works.

You can always train extra and concentrate more on the basic steps, as their true value is as body work. The sequence of steps is, in fact, the simplest thing that can be in pair dancing. The quality of individual performance determines the craftsmanship.

8. Try on the images of inspiring dancers

A psychological life hack for those who have already mastered the steps, but still feel that there is not enough brightness and drive. Most are terribly afraid of being someone else's "clone". Here the action is the same as under the influence of hypnosis - the more you resist, the more you plunge into an altered state of consciousness.

With a high degree of probability, you are already dancing like someone else's "clone". A meaningful fitting of someone else's image is that you mentally take the image of the one who inspires you (inspiration is critical in this case) and "put on" yourself. Then you start dancing and trying to feel in general how it is to be able, for example, to be the best partner or the sexiest partner in a disco. This is much more difficult than it seems. But it works extremely efficiently.

9. Dance to offbeat music

Habitual rhythms keep you tight. Tango salon or speedy timba leave little room for experimentation and fantasy. Pattern dancing is always noticeable and is reserved for beginners.

The truly new is born outside of the usual. Look for places to experiment. If there is no place, organize self-training. The main thing is not to get carried away, because music determines the style. We bring something new to pair dances, rather than trying to change them.

Search, improvise, don’t be afraid to go beyond, develop in different directions, be inspired by music atypical for the style

10. Try your hand at basic dance directions

dances exist according to their own non-choreographic laws.

This is the deepest delusion, which has turned into a ceiling for the qualitative development of partner dances. After all, all professional dancers, for example, in salsa or bachata, build their ideas on the basic choreographic principles.

Do not think that choreography is only applicable on stage. Any meaningful movement of the body can be choreographic. In general, try classical or modern choreography. Basically, hip-hop can work too.

11. Look for battle sensations

Pair dances return us to an active position of manifestation of our body. As in the days of our ancient ancestors, we impress the members of the opposite sex by how dexterous, hardy, sexy, etc. we are. Modern laws of the jungle in the entourage of large cities.

If you look around the dance floor, it becomes clear that the majority are clearly herbivores (not in the sense of vegetarians, but in relation to those around them). I am sure that predators are always more interesting in terms of the attractiveness of the image - try to find a counterbalance among herbivores, for example, a cat woman or a lion man.

The conversation is about an internal position, not about aggressiveness. Lability and lack of control are inherent in adolescents, and not in adult self-sufficient people.

Accordingly, even a training or friendly battle gives, on the one hand, practical skills - to make a bright sequence of movements, bring an idea to a climax, show a spectacular feature, on the other hand, develops the psychological basis of the dance - self-confidence, resistance to extraneous attention, self-control and self-control in complex elements.

12. Communicate with professionals

The environment shapes the internal position. Basically, real passionaries of the dance community are ready to openly talk, discuss and support the development of dance in every possible way. Universal principles and the ideas they articulate have a much longer and more practical perspective than meets the eye.

Accept that, for example, behind the words "listen to your partner" is not only a beautiful metaphor, but also a practical skill to literally listen to your partner. At the same time, always treat every thought, even the most respected teacher, as a private opinion.

Your skill will lie in finding the scope of the idea even in conflicting opinions. Most often, the contradiction is speculative and the truth lies in the angle of perception or situationality.

Your dancing growth will stop sooner or later. This can happen at the level of three basic steps or years of experience in teaching and show performances. Regardless of your level, the suggested 12 life hacks can get you off the ground and greatly accelerate your dance growth. There is no way here without your motivation and activity. Take your dance development into your own hands. 9Ol000 Dangerous sexuality

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Couple dancing as a source of strength.

Self-destruction of the couple dance community

The Salsa series as a mirror of the community

Mamita Fridays: salsa, bachata

Destroying the myths about leading pair dances

Does dancing make us better?

The seven deadly sins of teachers

Why we will never dance bachata like the Dominicans

Why tango?

Dispute over musicality

Selection of dances according to alcohol preferences

Where to find inspiration for dancing?

Terrible tango nuevo

Distribution of roles in a salsa party

Argentinean tango through the eyes of a salsa dancer

Is there a predisposition to dancing?

Which is more effective: individual or group lessons?

Sexual overtones in couple dances

Fall in love with modern dance right now: 5 rare productions on YouTube

Modern dance can be scary, repulsive and alarming. Especially for readers of the magazine about art Dot ART Olga Ugarova — journalist and author of the popular Telegram channel about ballet "VeryBallet" has collected five energetically charged productions from YouTube for safe immersion in the choreography of the 21st century — some of them were posted only due to quarantine circumstances and thanks to industry fans. All performances can be reviewed without worrying about online broadcast deadlines.

Ohad Naharin. Batsheva Dance Company. Deca Dance (2016)

Deca Dance ©

Master, teacher, Mr. Gaga, a role model, the ageless Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin is known to many, including the fact that he invented his own language of improvisational continuous movement - GaGa (emphasis on the first syllable). The main beauty of GaGa is its accessibility. To appreciate and feel it, even sitting in the hall, you do not need a special context or refined knowledge of conventions - just tune in to the perception of a miracle, and the Batsheva Dance Company ensemble will certainly manifest it. Deca Dance is a composite performance of the best numbers, created by Naarin in different years. One of them is the famous episode where dancers in black suits, hats and white shirts dance (and themselves sing) the Passover song of the Israeli people.

Hofesh Schechter. The Art of not Looking Back (2018)

The Art of not Looking Back Dee Conway © Opéra National de Paris

The choreographer, who left Israel at the age of 21, has become one of the strongest phenomena on the European scene in recent years. After the final chord is heard in his productions, I want to jump out of my chair and give a standing ovation, which was what the Petersburgers did in December last year at the Context festival. Diana Vishneva - then Schechter brought his work Grand Finale, nominated for the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award. The Art of Not Looking Back is a ballet staged only for dancers and discusses the importance of the past (the voice of the choreographer himself periodically sounds from the speakers, who tries to find an answer to his very personal questions through dance). First staged in 2009year, and then re-edited for the Paris Opera in 2018, but retaining Schechter's traditional powerful visuals, techno rhythm and full rock and roll. If you don’t figure out what is there and how in the choreography, then you will catch the drive for sure.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Puzzle (2012)

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui ©

Believe me, you will remember the hard-to-pronounce name of this modern dance shaman (Cherkaoui is a Belgian of Moroccan origin) right after the first performance. His choreographic designs, a mix of 21st century techniques and folk dances from all over the world, the artists’ catlike plasticity, a musical sequence with live vocals and oriental harmonies fascinate right in the first minutes of viewing. The rest (despite the timing of two hours) looks like under hypnosis, which leaves a magical aftertaste.

Russell Malifant. Push (2005). Sylvie Guillem

Push © youtube. com

A half-hour ballet for the cult Frenchwoman Sylvie Guillem, the muse of Rudolf Nureyev, Maurice Béjart, William Forsyth and the entire dance world of recent decades, was staged by the British choreographer Russell Malifant, who was originally her partner in this essay. The viscous compositions, solos followed by duets, the weightlessness of seemingly disembodied dancers introduce the viewer into complete meditation, and now it can have more than a therapeutic effect.

Mats Ek. Place (2007)

Place ©

It's not new in the last few years, but the recording posted a month ago is good. The film work of the main philosopher of modern dance, one of the most important choreographers of the 20th century, the subtle and smartest Mats Ek, was staged on two greats: the muse Ana Laguna and Mikhail Baryshnikov. The story of love and tenderness Place shows that dance is a territory for everyone, where you can talk about any topic and at any age.

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