If you’re a lover of hip-hop or reggae music, you will sometimes see the dancer weaving their legs in and out to the beat of the music.
Wondering what that peculiar dance is? It’s most likely the butterfly dance.
You don’t even need to be a fan of hip-hop to see it. This simple dance can be seen at almost every party, small or big. People even dance the butterfly at weddings! For a lot of people, it’s part of their childhood.
In this guide, we will give you an overview of the butterfly dance as well as a tutorial on how to do it!
What Is Butterfly Dance?
The butterfly dance gets its name from the distinct movement of the dancer’s legs as they perform it. Weaving back and forth, it looks like they’re mimicking the motion of a pair of butterfly wings. Hence the name.
Butterfly Dance Origin
The butterfly dance first appeared in the 1970s-90s. The hip-hop and reggae communities first began to use it in their performances. Eventually, it spread to other popular dances at the time, such as Dancehall and R&B.
It wasn’t surprising that they did. The dance is extremely simple and can fit on top of any piece of fast-tempo music.
However, “butterfly dance” isn’t just used to describe the dance wherein you weave your legs together. These days, it refers to any dance that has you weave, bend, spread, twist, or space out your body. For example, the Leg Wobble, Popping, and Stanky Legg can be called “butterfly dance.”
Even PSY’s famous Gangnam Style dance can be considered a butterfly dance!
Butterfly Dance Move: How To Do It
Basic butterfly dance move
The classic butterfly dance is typically performed by females only. But these days, nobody cares about that anymore. It’s a unisex dance that anyone can bust out if you’re in the mood for it.
Dancing the butterfly is simple. Start off with your feet apart, a bit wider than the length of your shoulders.
Slightly lower your body at the knees, then bend them inward. Push them outward again. Keep doing this in-and-out motion to the beat of the music. Imagine the motion of a butterfly’s wings as you do this. It should make practicing and dancing easier.
Add more flair to the basic move
To stand out on the dance stage, you will need to add a bit more flourish to your movement.
- Start off first with your waist. Waist movement is very important if you’re dancing to reggae. Wind your waist in a circular motion, starting first clockwise. As you bend your waist to your right, angle your leg inward.
- As you return to a straight position, “flap” your legs.
- Wind your waist counter-clockwise next. Repeat the same pattern and motion.
- Not just the lower body, introduce your arms and upper body movement to the dance, as well! Hold them up in the air, or wave them gently as you turn your body.
Butterfly Dance Attires
Like most hip-hop dances, there’s really no formal attire to dancing the butterfly. It depends on the party you’re going to and the people you’re with. If you’re among friends or you’re busting it out on a Dance Dance Revolution machine, you can dance in your pajamas if it makes you comfortable!
But generally speaking, we recommend you to wear loose-fitting clothes. Like sweatpants or a loose T-shirt. If you’re at a party, the butterfly isn’t going to be the only dance that you’re going to do throughout the night.
As for footwear, you should wear something that pad your feet well and keep them safe and protected, such as trainers. You don’t necessarily have to wear specialized dance shoes, but if you have a pair, it’s not a bad idea to take them out and wear them!
Check more: All about Crip Walk Dance
The butterfly dance is quite interesting: there’s very little recorded information about it. Nonetheless, probably everyone has seen it before or knows someone whose favorite move is it. And it’s never too late to practice and introduce it to your own repertoire! Maybe it’s going to become your favorite dance, too.