Riddle Me List: 15 Music Videos That Make You Wanna Dance Your Ass Off

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's Friday, you might not have gotten paid, but there is one thing you can do free of charge and not have to feel guilty about, and that is dancing. Whether you're in the strobe lighted club or in Club Bedroom, dancing is something that universally everyone does, whether they can dance up a storm or have two left feet. I even encourage those who have no rhythm to dance, but just don't stand close to me cause you'll get embarrassed by my moves. I'm also a believer in dancing the sillies off...guy rejected you? Dance. Friends ditched you. Dance. Failed a test. Dance. Rough day on your job as a welder? Well, Flashdance

The always effervescent Jezebel sparked an interest in me reveling in dancing music videos the other day, an art form that isn't around much because everybody is too "serious" now. So to add to the spirit, I had to compile a list because 1) I'm bored and 2) I haven't done a list in awhile.

As far as dancing music vids go, I prefer the throw down, the in sync group dance, the tricky tap-dances, booty bumps, pop locks, ballroom meets disco swings, etc. Not to denote sit in chair dances, shoulder dancing or "walking with style" types of moves, but something about  a video revolving around dancing is essential to me to feel the dance fever. Here I have picked my favorite 15 music videos (and a bonus) that are about 90% based on dancing. So if you have some favorites, share them in the comments. Now get to steppin'.... 

Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal (1987)
Asking me to choose the best Michael Jackson dance video is not an easy job, nor should it even be necessary. But in this case, since I must...."Smooth Criminal" because Michael Jackson is in a fedora, flicking a coin into a jukebox from like five feet away, shooting machine guns and then has enough time to do that slanty dance move. That is what you call a bundle of epic.

Janet Jackson - The Pleasure Principle (1986)
Like her brother Michael, almost any dance minded video from Janet's catalog  "What Have You Done For Me Lately" to the latest  could have been added. Yet, this one is the cream of crop for me after "Rhythm Nation", why? She is dancing in a warehouse by herself...and she's dancing her ass off. Case closed.

Paula Abdul - Cold Hearted Snake (1988)
She may not be the greatest singer in the world, nor the most sober person to grace the American Idol judges panel, but Paula Abdul has a special place in my heart for the sole reason that she can dance like nobody's business (also Spellbound is a great album, okay?). "Cold Hearted Snake" shows you what I mean in all it's Bob Fosse tribute glory. 

Usher - My Way  (1998) 
Kids and tweens, back in the 1990's Usher Raymond used to dance. He used to sing catchy songs. He also used to do A Clockwork Orange  homages in videos and drop his pants before you could say, "Let It Burn". He used to be really good. Here's your evidence right here. I like to remember Usher this way. 

Missy Elliot ft. Ciara & Fatman Scoop - Lose Control (2006)
No matter what day it was, people in my freshman dorm were doing dance battles, and the moves were from the video. Even that divine pop-locking people train. Though Ciara kind of rides the fail whale now, during the Evolution years, she was dancing her pants off and doing those back rolls that made me want to grab some Therma Care heating pads. 

Jody Watley - Still A Thrill (1987) 
Hoop earrings ahoy! As she was a Soul Train dancer prior to being 1/3 of Shalamar, it's no secret that Jody would take her dancing days an apply it to her solo career. As witnessed here, Jody dances with her dance mentor, Tyrone Procter, who showed her how to move n' groove. Flouncy skirt dancing was revitalized with one swoop in this vid.

Sophie Ellis Bextor - Murder on the Dance Floor (2001)
A cross between Strictly Ballroom, Saturday Night Fever and Dancing with the Stars...if there was someone like a glory hungry prankster named Sophie, who'd do anything (and everything) to win a dance competition.

Destiny's Child - Lose My Breath (2005)
Wig hair flipping. Finger wagging. Pouty lips. Side-eye glances. Yep, it's a Destiny's Child video. Always liked the dance battle between the street wise DC and the 70's glam squad DC. Honorable mention to Beyonce for "Crazy In Love", because dancing in heels always gets bonus points.

Madonna - Vogue (1990)
Here is where hand dancing comes in, later known as "spirit fingers". You're probably feeling voguish right now without even thinking about it. Immediately, you stop thinking this way, but suddenly the song is lodged in your brain, and dang it! your hands are going up to your face again in that famous "strike a pose". You're voguing, and you can't stop. Damn you, Madonna!

New Edition - If It Isn't Love (1987)
The New Jack Swing era brought in the merge of breakdancing, freestyle and 1960's Motown dance shuffles for a few glorious years in music. New Edition were the headliners of this era, bringing back that Temptations style of synchronized dancing with their microphones. Very on point, if you ask me.

Justin Timberlake - Like I Love You (2003)
Oh, Justin...the way we were. This was the set-up for Justin's solo career, as this was his first single and debut video, and why, he didn't need those other four guys. Justin is quite 'limber' in this, even rehashing some MJ moves in the mix. This music does move your bones.

Aaliyah - Are You That Somebody? (1999)
After viewing this video, little girls everywhere wanted the Aaliyah look. So we tried with wearing silver track pants, belly baring tops and frosted green eyeshadow, looking like Aaliyah Rejects than the late singer herself. But having that hawk perched on our arm was a challenge that only Aaliyah could pull off with flair.

Roisin Murphy - Let Me Know (2007)
Where turning a fast food joint into your own personal disco becomes a reality. Only professionals, like Roisin can attempt to do this.

Salt n' Pepa - Shoop (1992)
Here I go, here I go again...Salt N' Pepa were dipping low and stompin' around in those 90's combat boots, proving that rappers don't always have to be behind a mike.

Omarion - Touch (2005)
If a guy came up to me in the street pop locking and twisting like Omarion does here, I think I might just humor him and join in...or run in the opposite direction. I've voiced how much I like this video, and how many times I've injured myself trying to do all those twist n' turns.

Added Bonus
Nicholas Brothers - Stormy Weather (1943)
History lesson time...one of the best dance numbers of all time.


  1. Thanks Jen! I like the list and many of the videos I agree with are really great dance videos!

  2. Awww great post! Jody Watley was hot!!! (still is, but really, back then she was fire!) I have never ever liked that "Lose My Breath" song. Blech. Great collection of songs though :)

  3. Great video choices! The MJ video is my favorite video of his. I like most of the other videos on this list as well. Love the inclusion of the Nicholas Brothers, classic tapping at its best.

  4. Great piece, I like the variety here. Work it out.-QH


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