List of 15 Famous Old School Dance Moves

Old school dance moves belong to the previous decades, created and used by people of the older generation. When they became part of the mainstream culture, they were often associated with a song recorded and performed by the same artist. 

If you take a look at the performances and music videos from that time, you might truly be surprised at how familiar these moves are! 

Without further ado, let’s get started with my list!

List of Old School Dance Moves

1. The Humpty Dance

Humpty Dance

Now that we look back at producer Shock G. People recognize him as a genius, and he might as well be one of the most successful artists with the “alter ego” concept.

After the success of Doowutchyalike with many professionals sampling it, Shock G’s “Humpty Hump” alter ego returned with The Humpty Dance. The dance’s signature is colorful clothes and a buffoon persona.

With a lot of arm movements, while bouncing on your feet, this dance can feel like a stamina-consuming workout, but it was still everywhere during the 90s!

2. Hammer Dance

Hammer dance

The Hammer dance move became popular with the flashy music video U Can’t Touch This, the biggest hit in MC Hammer’s career. Along with the rise in popularity, people acknowledged his unique style and catchy dance moves.

The 90s clubs were filled with teenagers jamming to MC Hammer’s songs in his cool pants because it was the epitome of coolness during that era.

You can get on your feet right now and get to a squat position before quickly shuffling from side to side. Don’t forget to insert jumps and extend your arms for more visual appeal!

3. The Prep

With the clubbing culture booming in the 80s, college kids sought inspiration from everything around them, and the preparation process for a fun night at the clubs also came in handy.

The move is quite simple, with little taps of your feet on a fixed spot and arm motions similar to a robot. It is a cool move without too much exertion for the kids to enjoy themselves.

4. The Reebok

The Reebok brand came out in the middle of the 80s and immediately took over the shelves. Since dance moves need to catch up with the current trends, we have the Reebok dance.

It is quite simple with rocking motions on your feet with your arms opposite of your legs or both arms involved all the time. It shared some similarities with the Cabbage Patch, hence the two moves were usually associated with one another.

5. The Creep

The Creep dance is the choreography accompanying the song of the same name by The Lonely Island. It is rather young compared to other old-school moves, released in 2011 and featuring Nicki Minaj.

One could describe the arms as T-Rex, matching the rhythmic knee raises, so you truly look like you are creeping up on someone. Old-school folks will also remind you to put on a wide smile!

6. The Running Man

running man - rave dance move for beginners

Shuffling never truly goes out of style, and it was an essential part of the popular 80s dance move “The Running Man”. 

It mimics the motions of a person running forward, but the backward slides of the feet will keep the dance in the same spot.

The artists popularizing this dance move include Janet Jackson, MC Hammer, and Selena, to name a few. The reverse variation of The Running Man was also extremely well-received in the same decade.

7. The Fila

If the Reebok dance was born due to the popularity of the same brand, the Fila dance would be no different. In fact, dance instructors pointed out that these two moves are kind of similar in rhythm.

However, the Fila dance features more deep dives and jumps, so it will undoubtedly force your body to be more active to engage with the beats.

8. The Biz Markie

The Biz Markie dance

Named after the rapper Biz Markie, this move is his signature when performing. The energizing vibe of it allows it to become very suitable for dance floors or social gatherings.

You will need to familiarize yourself with the bounces on your feet first, before learning to swing one of your arms forward at a time. Side-to-side or back-and-forth movements are all up to you!

9. The Wop

The Wop is a little bit different compared to other dances on this list because it existed before a song was released to accompany it. 

Rapper J. Dash and his friends have been doing the wop whenever they went to clubs. And, he ended up composing a song for it because other soundtracks didn’t seem like the best fit!

The routine is a repetition of arms up and knees down, then reverse. If you have partners, you guys can give your head more dynamic moves and slap your hands to feel the beat.

After its initial release in the 2000s, The Wop was on hot search again when Miley Cyrus twerked to the song and shared a clip publicly.

10. The Butt

If you think songs from the 80s were still conservative, then the name “Da Butt” might shock you. 

Composed by Marcus Miller and performed by the E.U band, this song skyrocketed straight to #1 on the Hot Black Singles chart of Billboard.

The emphasis of this dance, of course, focuses on a lot of hip movement accentuating the butt. It looks funky, yet it is quite a feel-good dance and a boost of confidence!

11. The Bogle

Instead of a song, the Bogle dance is named after a dancer of the Kingston Black Roses, originating from Jamaica and further developed in the 90s.

Gerald Levy, a dancehall legend of the reggae genre, created and engineered this dance with an ocean wave longitudinal motion and more arm movements to support the visual effect. 

The timestamp was around the 60s, but the dance move only became more well-known two decades later.

A lot of artists were inspired by Levy’s creativity and legacy, consequently giving shout-outs to him in their soundtracks.

12. Voguing

Voguing dance

The beginning of Vogue was during the 60s, started from the ballroom scene of Harlem and was inspired by the way models would pose for magazines. 

It was part of the advancement in new aspects such as gender, sexuality, and race.

However, it only gained more attention in the mainstream after the music video Vogue by Madonna. Both its old and new forms are phenomenal – one was a defining style for the LGBTQ community and one is still evolving in demographics and style.

Nowadays, we have some notable celebrities who are heavily inspired by the Vogue style, like Beyonce, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, and many more.

13. The Roger Rabbit

roger rabbit dance

Between the 80s and the 90s, the hip-hop world was hyped by the rise of the Roger Rabbit dance. It might sound goofy, yet this main character from Who Framed Roger Rabbit has some cool moves!

The dancer simply needs to hop and alternate their feet while staying in sync with the rhythm. The simple and lively nature allowed the dance to become a basic hip-hop move and still regularly appears in either clubs or competitions.

The Roger Rabbit is sometimes considered a variation of the Running Man move.

14. The Percolator

Considered a Charleston-styled move, the Percolator might have been created way before Madonna made it popular with her early 2000s performances.

You can choose any song with a fast tempo to start with, as long as the beat doesn’t fluctuate too much during its duration. 

The primary movement is in the legs, with knee claps and heel shifts. Once you are ready, you are free to add more personalized arm and hand movements!

15. The Tootsie Roll

The Tootsie Roll was one of the rap songs that scored a platinum record in the 90s. Like most songs in the same era, it has a dance to contribute to its uniqueness and individuality.

You will need to get accustomed to the footwork first by starting in a squatting position and turning your knees inwardly one by one. After that, you can add more personal touches with cool arm and head movements!


How much of this list of old-school dance moves have you seen in your journey with dancing? 

Although only a few of them retain the same attractiveness, there was no doubt that they could bring great fun to any party. 

I know there are many other favorite moves, so I will be sure to keep the list updated regularly!

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