Dougie Dance: Origin, Moves, Songs, How to Do & More

If you love watching short hip-hop clips where people simply have fun and pose coolly, you must have caught the Dougie dance move at some point! 

With some knee bending and the signature shimmy style, the entire act of “running a hand through my hair” became more modern and trendy than ever. 

But do you know where it first came from?

Dougie Dance Origin

The Dougie dance move originated from Doug E. Fresh, a rapper known as “The Human Beat Box” and quite popular for the hit “La Di Da Di” in 1985. He would raise a hand and make a move near his head, as if he were stroking the hair back.

Later, dancers who do the Dougie move added more “shimmy shimmy” as well as knee bends to their performance for a whole lot more funky vibes.

However, the popularity of the original Dougie dance wasn’t exactly skyrocketing until the local hit “My Dougie” by Lil Wil. 

It was a phenomenon in 2007, even more so when a conflict happened between Wil and the Cali Swag District crew over who was more original with the dance.

The Popularity Of Dougie Dance

After Lil Wil’s MV, the 2010 – 2011 era witnessed the spread of Dougie. 

Fans have seen many celebrities dance to this funny move, such as Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Dez Bryant, Nate Robinson, Kate Upton, and even Michelle Obama to name a few.

Jimmy Fallon perform Dougie Dance
Jimmy Fallon perform Dougie Dance

At the 2012 Olympics, gymnast Gabby Douglas did the Dougie dance in front of viewers after winning the US trials. Gymnastics medalist McKayla Maroney also showed the daughter of former President George Bush how to do the move.

Some notable rugby players like Juan de Jongh and Lelia Masaga were spotted doing their personalized version of the dance too.

Check more: Ultimate List of 60s Dance Moves

How To Do Dougie Dance

Step 1. Find a great song

If you want to keep everything simple, “My Dougie” by Lil Wil is perfect. Another well-known choice is “Teach Me How to Dougie” from the Cali Swag District.

Step 2. Start a move

Start with a side-to-side move and a bounce for more rhythm in your dance. 

Once your weight is on the right (R) side, remember to tap gently with your left (L) foot and take a one-beat pause before swaying to the L side.

Step 3. Sway

The sway: R, L, R, R. The follow-up is L, R, L, L. 

It is not different from the (2), except that you will repeat the sway once more. The swaying will help you engage your arms, relax your knees, or thrust your hips – anything that can add a bit more of you to the dance.

Step 4. Pull the arm

When you feel comfortable enough, pull the arm on the same side you are swaying to until your fist is by your head and your elbow is pointing down. It is a simple move, so no need to make it complicated!

After you memorize the steps, you can put them together: two steps to the side while leaning your body and raising the opposite forearm. 

Step 5. Add flairs

There are many more flairs you can add to your dance.

  • Cat Daddy: Punch your raised hand down to the opposite hip while lowering your body along with the move.
  • Wheelchair: Hold your hands to the front and move them in circles toward yourself as if you are pushing a wheelchair.
  • Dougie Fresh!: Move your hand further once it is next to your head like you are slicking your hair back.

Some tips

  • Don’t do a full tap with your foot! It should be a gentle tap.
  • Aside from the traditional Dougie arm move, you can do arm rolls or arm pops as long as you feel good while doing it.
  • Keep your knees loose and free! The essence of Dougie is moving with the music and flowing with the beat, so you don’t have to maintain any posture.

Dougie Dance Tutorial Videos

Once you have grasped the theory, it would be easier to follow a tutorial video and get your body familiar with the steps.

A clear and easy-to-follow tutorial by dancer Randy R.C. Connor is shown in this video. 

Aside from the comprehensive instruction, the dancers featured in the video also present many variations, so you can truly enjoy the Dougie dance style to the fullest.

If you are interested in the original version, check out the “My Dougie” MV by rapper Lil Wil. It has hit 12 million views despite being released 15 years ago – an impressive achievement!

Final Words

Many people consider the Dougie dance their favorite because it is not complicated at all, and the number of tutorial videos is huge. 

Furthermore, they can feel the beat and enjoy the fun without worrying about getting the wrong step or not looking cool enough! 

It also works well with all sorts of good beats in the hip-hop category, so let’s get some music on and move your body!

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