How to drake dance

How Drake harnessed TikTok to slide to number one

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Image source, Getty Images / TikTok

Image caption,

Drake's new song has triggered a dance challenge on social media

By Alex Taylor

BBC News

How is Drake coping with life in lockdown? Fighting boredom by dropping dance moves, if the video for his new single, Toosie Slide, is anything to go by.

Beyond showing the rapper taking isolation seriously, donning a face mask and gloves while staying home like so many of us (admittedly from his astronomically large Toronto pad) it also introduces the track's namesake dance routine.

"It goes right foot up, left foot slide / Left foot up, right foot slide," he sings, while demonstrating the moves in his lobby.

Seemingly harmless fun - but for Maddy Raven of digital music marketing agency Burstimo, it doubles as a "fantastic" social media marketing ploy.

Drake's simple, easily-copied choreography is perfect for the new wave of video-based social media platforms, in particular Tik Tok.

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The Chinese-owned social media app, in which users create 15-second clips, usually set to music, was second only to WhatsApp in global downloads last year.

With a billion users of its international version, it's increasingly established itself as a way for unknown artists to score a breakout hit - from Lil Nas X's Old Town Road, to Doja Cat's Say So and Arizona Zervas's Roxanne - in the same way that featuring in a television advert could supercharge an artist's sales in the pre-internet era.

"TikTok's an entirely new way of engaging, not only with your direct fanbase but anyone who wants to dance or show their creativity in short-form video," says Sammy Andrews, CEO of Deviate Digital, an advisory agency to the entertainment industry.

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Drake himself alluded to this in December's single, War, chastising rappers who "spend too much time on [Instagram] captions, not enough time on action. "

Shortly after he took his own advice, messaging internet-famous dancer Toosie a beat with some lyrics, and asking for help creating a routine. Four months on, the song has topped Billboard charts.

'Don't you want to dance with me?'

The star is no stranger to viral dance recognition. His awkward moves in the video for 2015's Hotline Bling spawned endless memes, while the track In My Feelings inadvertently sparked the 'Kiki challenge' of summer 2018. The Toosie slide, however, is noticeably more transparent about its ambitions.

Raven believes this is a dance partnership of self-interest, capitalising on Drake's dance pop-culture heritage, and taking new music directly to his young fanbase.

The majority of TikTok's users are aged between 16-24, firmly Gen Z - an audience with fragmented consumption habits, who rank Drake as one of their generation's most influential musicians.

Dance is also central to the platform's success - with routines like The Get Down, Renegade and Cannibal all going viral since parent company ByteDance absorbed lip-syncing app Musical. ly, (plus its huge database), in 2017.

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Add to this TikTok's unique layout, which prioritises content discovery over subscriber clout, using an algorithm that learns from viewing preferences and therefore rewards retention rather than simply pushing popular content - and it's a stage that even a megastar like Drake, now 33, can't ignore.

"This is a new frontier for music discovery and music interaction," says Andrews. "Unlike many other apps people are actively seeking music to engage with, in ways that most have not on other platforms".

Toosie Slide is a "perfect example" of writing specifically for the platform says Raven. "Its straightforward lyrics provide clear instructions for a potential dance trend, even if it isn't publicly stated".

And it's a tactic that appears to be paying off. Two days after the video's release, views of Tik Tok entries submitted under the #toosieslide hashtag had already hit 20 million. A fortnight later, the tag has been viewed 2.4 billion times (including three attempts by Justin Bieber). That's a lot of eyes and ears by anyone's standards.

"Make no mistake every record label in the world is now actively looking for ways to utilise TikTok as part of a marketing campaign for a track," says Andrews.

Snowball effect

The hungry marketing push is part of a broader picture, as TikTok traction can often be a springboard for further success on mainstream music streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.

Just last month The Weeknd's Blinding Lights started trending on TikTok and is "now chart-topping and one of his most streamed songs," explains Raven, helping him reach 64 million monthly listeners on Spotify for the first time in his career.

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One of the most famous examples of TikTok's potential snowball effect is Nas X's Old Town Road. Prior to becoming a global country-crossover smash with Billy Rae Cyrus, the rapper's original version broke out on TikTok, with creators playing it in their videos as they transformed themselves into cowboys and cowgirls.

Its continued success saw Nas X go from a college dropout sleeping on his sister's floor to instigating a major label bidding war, ultimately signing to Columbia Records.

"I should maybe be paying TikTok," Nas X told Time magazine last year. "They really boosted the song."

Image caption,

Lil Nas X rode his TikTok success all the way to the Grammys

Low-fi rapper Powfu has found similar viral success with his heartfelt, introspective track Death Bed (Coffee For Your Head), becoming a soundtrack to the lockdown.

It found popularity thanks to the Quarantine Cutie video series, which sees a man pull out all the stops to win over a girl he sees through the window while self-isolating, and has since spread across the internet.

After accumulating more than 100 million plays on various YouTube clips, the official video, released on 1 April, has already been viewed nine million times.

Tik, Tok, boom?

The bottom line of all this increased engagement is of course financial, with streaming now music's biggest money maker.

"We use TikTok as a means to first get the attention on the artist and ears on the music" explains Raven. TikTok's algorithm remains a closely-guarded secret, but a recent Rolling Stone investigation suggested royalties are paid per video upload containing the track - making a viral dance routine a standalone goldmine.

Further royalties then come "when the consumer is pushed to streaming platforms or the track gets enough traction to be played on radio rotation," she says.

Andrews is even aware of "some artists and labels changing the name of their tracks post-release if they've sparked mass fan uploads and dances on TikTok under other names to make them easily identifiable on streaming services".

There is, however, a looming concern that this could create a tsunami of commercial content - ultimately clawing the community's power away from organic creators and saturating the platform with big names and major corporations trying to go viral.

So where does Toosie Slide leave Drake? As a cultural behemoth of the last decade, is it a sign of the rapper adapting to new trends, or a superstar selling out his musical integrity to stay relevant?

Potentially both suggests Thomas Hobbs, a freelance music writer for Pitchfork and NME among others.

"Rappers can't ignore the boom of TikTok and I believe this single was designed to tap into that, more than quarantine. That was just a nice coincidence," he says.

"Like his idol Jay-Z, Drake knows how to tap into trends from younger artists to stay relevant."

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Drake is the most-successful male solo artist in US chart history

But, just like the 1960s artists who rushed out songs about The Twist, The Mashed Potato and The Loco-Motion to capitalise on then-contemporary dance crazes, Hobbs warns that Drake and other established stars need to be careful that they're "adding something vibrant to these trends and not just recycling them".

"If Drake once again follows a big commercial single with a lukewarm album that doesn't live up to the hype, then a lot of his fans could turn against him."

One such self-professed fan, Tobi Rachel, a culture writer and host of Yellow Cup podcast, suggests that while Drake can "get away with" the Toosie slide routine amongst the TikTok generation, she was left rolling her eyes as a long-term listener "from his mixtape days".

"I did chuckle at the fact he appeared bored in self-isolation like so many of us, but I believe it's the first and last time he should ever be so blatant because he won't get a pass again."

A clear warning that Drake's played his Joker card. But when better to bend the rules than during a global pandemic? Maybe we can let this one (Toosie) slide.

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Honestly, It’s Okay to Admit That Drake Put You Onto Dance Music

“It’s all good if you don’t get it yet. It’s all good. That’s what we do. We wait for you to catch up.” Drake’s response to his dance album Honestly, Nevermind’s mixed reception could be written off as another Drake-ism – the superstar slighted by negative Twitter reviews, the great experimenter defending his segue into dance music. Or, the artist unwittingly capturing the moment the genre finds itself in.

Drizzy only gave us a few hours before he released his seventh studio LP. Nine months after the legacy-attempting Certified Loverboy where he flexed his rap and R&B muscles, no one expected this. Honestly, Nevermind is categorized under “dance” on Apple Music, and throughout, Drake commits to crooning over lush, clubby beats, leaning fully into the chill-dance-pop-music he briefly slipped into with his 2017 hit “Passionfruit.” From Afrobeats to grime, in the last few years, Drake has managed to consistently affiliate with rising genres that have crossed over globally. For the Canadian superstar to dedicate a whole album to dance music holds weight. Sure, Drake’s version of house is a little too grounded in R&B and pop melodies and his at times lackluster vocals might distract from what he’s actually attempting. Because it’s this easy familiarity that offers audiences who aren’t privy to dance music a way in.

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If Honestly, Nevermind was a conversation starter, Beyoncé dropping a surprise house-inspired track four days later, verified what we were already suspecting (and hoping for): house music is on the brink of a pop revival. Where Drake flirts with Afrohouse and late-2000s, early-2010s dance music, Bey’s “Break My Soul” is an unrestrained homage to ’90s house; an attempt legitimized by a feature from New Orleans bounce legend Big Freedia and a sample of “Show Me Love” by Robin S. – the hit song that defined the sound of house music in the early ‘90s. Each in their own way, Drake and Beyoncé seemed to be summoning audiences to get up and leave their worries on the floor of the discotheque. But are the people ready? A brief look at Twitter in the aftermath of the Drake album suggests: Not really.

When Drake and Beyoncé sent fans into a frenzy last week with their house endeavors, my first reactions was, Honestly, what’s the big deal? Dance music has been bubbling up recently – purists will say it never went away, and depending on where you go, that’s also true. This type of experimentation has always been there, hip-hop especially has been teasing a dance music comeback for a while. Producers like KAYTRANADA and Channel Tres have anchored this gradual shift, meanwhile the list of rap artists trying their hands on house-inflected beats has also been growing longer. Santigold, Doechii, M.I.A., GoldLink, Solange, Azealia Banks, IDK, are just a few names that come to mind – IDK’s 2022 album Simple., in my opinion, set the standard on how to make a house project as a rapper. In the UK, many rappers have lent their flows to the country’s dance-tinged garage subgenre – which would have seemed like the more obvious route for Drake to take. Then in Africa, the popularity of South Africa’s Amapiano sound, which borrows heavily from the local house scene, is also signaling a cultural shift towards dance music. Globally, audiences seem primed for a revival, but internet debates by Drake fans – and as the world’s most streamed artist, that means “almost everybody” – bewildered by his latest offering show house music still hasn’t registered in mass consciousness.

Drake said it’s H&M music or NOTHING #honestlynevermind #drake

— Cel Targaryen™️ (@6ixGodCel) June 17, 2022

A lot of rap fans shared bad reviews and memes on social media in response to Honestly, Nevermind, displeased with what they regarded as a competitive rapper dropping the ball. Many people interpreted this new direction as a move towards the electronic “oontz, oontz” and EDM-affected pop music of the early 2010s – you know, when David Guetta reigned supreme. But that’s not house, that’s not the kind of dance music Drake and Beyoncé are trying to put you onto. House is playful, it’s soulful. Originating in Chicago in the ‘80s with DJ Frankie Knuckles’ experimental sets at the Black gay club The Warehouse, house became a positive and defining soundtrack for Black and queer communities. Hip-hop and house are by no means sonic siblings, but they’re rooted in a similar struggle to speak for their people. While hip-hop’s early rapstars swiftly took the genre into the mainstream, house largely eschewed the charts, choosing instead to thrive on the dancefloors of its chosen communities. In a sense, maybe it’s because house never made the shift from the collective to the individual superstar that it missed out on a major commercial crossover.

Drake attempts to take on this monstrous task before anyone else can, coming out ahead of Beyoncé who’s about to release her own full-length dance album, the fittingly titled Renaissance. Even through the confused and lukewarm responses, Drake struck gold again. Days after its release, Honestly, Nevermind became the biggest dance album in Apple Music history. The numbers by no means speak to its quality; Honestly, Nevermind is absolutely a commercialized, watered-down take on house music. In all this, the question of ownership and culture comes into play. Drake isn’t a stranger to accusations of cultural appropriation for his fleeting musical obsessions. In his 2019 Rap Radar interview, he addressed these saying, “Any time I embark on one of those journeys, I ensure that I am not only paying all due respects verbally. I make a point to give opportunity to people that I respect.”

It’s true, time and time again Drake steps out of his comfort zone, sustaining his experimentations by recruiting genre heavyweights into his orbit. On this album, that’s once again the theme. Iconic South African deep house DJ and producer Black Coffee contributes to three songs. And Baltimore club music icon Carnage (under his house alias Gordo) produced five. The song “Currents” samples a squeaking noise that Jersey Club producers have been using for years. With these major cultural assists, Drake’s banal pop ballads turn into the perfect echo chambers to ease skeptics into house music. Drake’s adaptability and ability to give pop appeal to “new” sounds is perhaps his greatest asset. And when we look back at dance music’s crossover into the charts one day, I’m pretty sure this record will be considered a landmark moment.

When “Passionfruit” dropped on the rapper’s 2017 mixtape More Life – which also brilliantly features production from Black Coffee – it quickly became one of my favorite Drake songs. I’ve combed through every project since searching for that one house-ish vibe, and when those couldn’t be found, I’d scour SoundCloud for dancey remixes. The rapper wasn’t ready to make the jump five years ago, and now he’s decorated a whole album with this sound. So what’s changed?

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Thing is, Drake and Beyoncé’s “house music revival” isn’t concerned solely with house as a sound. In a British Vogue interview with Queen B, editor-in-chief Edward Enninful describes Bey’s unreleased album’s “soaring vocals and fierce beats” that transported him “back to the clubs of his youth” in the late ’80s and ’90s. There seems to be a sense of escapism at the heart of this musical shift, a need to go back. House, perhaps more than any other genre, represents the impulse to get up and dance your worries away. Beyoncé’s no-holds-barred call to “Release ya anger, release ya mind / Release ya job, release the time / Release ya trade, release the stress / Release the love, forget the rest,” is the type of danceable defiance that has long coursed through house music. It’s what made it a refuge for Black, queer, and working-class people in the first place. Two years into a global pandemic that almost squashed club culture, took lives, jobs and security, more than ever, house music feels like a fitting anthem.

For the listeners who are new to this sound, “It’s all good,” welcome. It’s okay to admit that Drake or Beyoncé put you onto dance music. It’s okay to enjoy when things go mainstream. And for the house enthusiasts wrinkling their noses at this assimilation into the mainstream, that’s the beauty of music, it adapts, evolves and grows. House music is originally Black and queer, as as long as that is always put first, there is a strong future for the genre ahead.

National Dances of

Han Chinese make up approximately 93.3% of the total population of China. Since ancient times, Han Chinese dances have been distinguished by their richness and variety of forms and styles.


The Chinese Spring Festival - New Year's Day according to the agricultural calendar is the most important traditional holiday of the Han people. Many types of dances are dedicated to this holiday, the most common and also the most beloved are the DRAGON DANCE, LION DANCE and YANGE.

On the days of the Spring Festival, DRAGON DANCE is performed everywhere. Usually the dragon is made of multi-colored silk, it can reach 10 meters in length. Under the deafening crackle of crackers, a dozen men holding the dragon's body on sticks run and jump, forcing the dragon to take various poses, such as "the dragon rolls on the ground", "the dragon beats with its tail", "the dragon crawls along the pole". In addition, in some places, "dragons" have their own characteristics, in Zhejiang Province, for example, the "dragon of a hundred leaf lotus" is very common. In this dance, the girls hold images of clouds and lotuses in their hands and, following the leader, form the figure of a long dragon from the leaves, so that the impression of a dragon floating in the clouds is created. In some places, the dragon is knitted from straw, into which burning incense sticks are stuck. On a festive night, the "straw dragon" wriggles in a dance, spewing flames and smoke. There are also "dragons of the earth" that spew water from their mouths in all directions. And in some provinces south of the Yellow River, images of small dragons are tied to a bench, three men, holding on to the legs of the bench, run and dance to the thunder of timpani and drums. There are also “dragons from separate links”, “dragons from five links” and others. There are also "paper dragons" that are controlled by one person.

LION DANCE has a thousand-year history. Apparently, this dance is associated with the ancient beliefs of the Han people, who wished to expel evil spirits on New Year's Eve, bring happiness and prosperity to their home. Lion dance gives great aesthetic pleasure.

The dance of the lion is usually performed by two, the front dancer holding the head of the beast in his hands, the legs represent the front paws of the lion, the other dancer represents the body and hind legs of the lion. The body of the "lion" is covered with a shaggy golden fabric. Both dancers must work very well in order to successfully imitate the movements of the beast. Sometimes the lion dance includes a playful and cute lion cub performed by one dancer. The lion dance involves a warrior who holds a colorful ball and teases with it the “lion”, who jumps, bends and “plays with the ball”, as it were. The whole dance takes place under the thunder of drums, gongs and other percussion instruments creating a cheerful festive mood.

The lion dance is performed in a different manner. In one case, the “lion” stands on the ball, jumps, runs, “stands on its hind legs”, in a word, does acrobatic tricks designed to show the power and flexibility of the beast. In another, the "lion" scratches, licks its fur, rolls on the ground, shakes its mane, showing an affectionate and playful character.

The dance of the lion requires strength and endurance from the dancers, and in addition, the skills of traditional Wushu gymnastics, in order to show the strength and grace of the beast in its entirety, he must be able to do somersaults, jumps, somersaults.

YANGE - a mass dance performed on the days of the Spring Festival. A typical dance pattern consists of a range of folk dances. Usually Yangge is a long procession of tens or hundreds of people dancing through the streets and alleys, after which they gather in the square, where the main performance takes place. The procession is led by a dancer with a huge umbrella, symbolizing the new prosperous year, followed by the Dragon Dance, Lion Dance groups, then groups of people with multi-colored silk ribbons on their belts who perform the Yangge dance. Next comes a squad of drummers, with red drums on their belts, they dance, knocking out a fraction, now in a fast, now in a slow rhythm. Next come men and women riding "donkeys" or "in boats" (props made of silk and bamboo sticks), they depict the return of the spouses to the relatives of the newlywed. Behind them is a troop on stilts, all the performers dressed as opera characters with painted faces. Stilts are a meter or more in length, walking on them requires some skill. Following them, the artists, dressed up as a heron and a mollusk, play a scene based on an old Chinese fable about how a heron and a mollusk grappled with each other, and the fisherman caught both without any difficulty. Next come the artists, depicting scenes from the most beloved opera performances. Sometimes circus performers, jugglers, artists depicting famous historical figures also participate in the Yangge procession.

( Internet Information Center) 12/13/2005

Dance school on Baumanskaya | Dance Studio Dragon School

Dance School on Baumanskaya | Dance Studio School of the Dragon

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What you will get by studying at the Dragons dance school

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Learn to dance confidently to your favorite music tracks

You will become more beautiful to move not only in dance but also in life

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Gain confidence and be able to dance wherever you want

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Two dance courses are presented:

Hip-Hop styles

Includes hip-hop dance lessons, popping, locking. Classes are very active, a lot of intense amplitude movements. You will learn how to convey the energy of music in your dance. A great way to keep yourself in good physical shape!

Illusion styles

Includes the most spectacular illusory dance styles such as dubstep, robot, electric boogie, anime. You will learn plasticity, the ability to create spectacular performances that capture the attention of the audience. You will stand out strongly in any place where people dance.

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beginners recording 18.30-20.00

Hip-Hop styles (Anna Fluffy)

beginners recording 18. 30-20.00

Hip-Hop styles (Dragon)

beginners recording 18.30-20.00

Hip-Hop styles ( Anna Fluffy )

beginners enrolling 18.30-20.00

Illusion styles (Dragon)

beginners recording 20.00-21.30

Illusion styles (Katya Makuro)

beginners recording 20.00-21.30

Illusion styles (Dragon)

beginners recording 20.00-21.30

Illusion styles (Katya Makuro)

beginners recording 20.00-21.30

Children's groups

(up to 12 years old)

Two dance courses are presented:

Break dance for children

A great way to teach a child not only to hear music and dance, but also to develop flexibility, stretching, and improve physical fitness. Includes basic and advanced breakdancing techniques.

Hip-hop for kids

Basics of hip-hop dance. Adapted course for children. Includes the basics of hip-hop style techniques. Develops plasticity, rhythm, coordination of movements.

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Artem Shamanaev

beginners recording 17.00-18.00

Break dance for children

Artem Shamanaev

beginners enrolling 17.00-18.00

Hip-hop for kids

Anna Fluffy

Beginners are recording

17. 00-18.00

Hip-hop for kids

Anna Fluffy

Beginners are recording


where we are

How to get from Baumanskaya metro station (on foot 10 minutes)

1. From Baumanskaya metro station (one exit) turn right onto Baumanskaya street. At the shopping center "Elokhovsky passage" turn LEFT.

2. Go straight along the street along the tram lines to the second intersection, turn right at the traffic light onto Aptekarsky lane (on the opposite side there will be a Soyuzpechat kiosk) Dobroslobodskaya street.

4. Go to the business center "Basmanov". You need to go to the right side of the building. There, go to door 5 (it is to the right of the main entrance. Call the intercom and say: go to the Dragon School for dancing.

5. Go up to the 3rd floor. Tell the administrator "To the School of the Dragon" and he will show which hall to go to.

6. It takes about 10 minutes from the metro

Photos of the dance hall and dance school

answers to the most frequently asked questions

  1. What do I need to take to my first workout?

    You need a change of shoes for classes - these are sneakers or sneakers that do not leave streaks on the linoleum. What to wear. There are no special requirements, the main criterion is convenience. It can be a T-shirt and pants, a tracksuit, whatever you like.

  2. I am 23 (24, 25 or older) – is it too late to start?

    It's not too late. The result is determined, first of all, by your desire, and not by age.

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