Top ten dances moves of the 90s

Updated April 17, 2017

Dancers who make "larger and more variable movements in relation to bending and twisting movements of their head/neck and torso, and faster bending and twisting movements of their right knee" are most attractive, according to a study done by psychologists at the University of Northumbria, reports Duncan Geere on the website. The top dances of the 90s, hip hop and line dancing, which incorporate these dance moves, have had a great influence on dance culture.

The Funky Charleston

The rap comedy due Kid 'n Play are the creators of The Funky Charleston. Also known as the Kid 'n Play Kickstep, the dance is aerobic, consisting of large steps and jumps from side-to-side. Its origins and inspiration stem from the Charleston dance, a dance from Charleston, South Carolina made popular by flappers in the 1920s.

Tootsee Roll

The 69 Boyz created the Tootsee Roll dance in 1994. The dance accompanies their song "Tootsee Roll," which rose to the number eight and nine spots on the Billboard rap and Rhythm and Blues charts, respectively. Dance the Tootsee Roll by moving your bent knees in and out simultaneously. The lyrics of the song "Tootsee Roll" also include further instructions to the dance, such as slides and dips.

The Carlton

While no one was looking, Alfonso Ribeiro's character Carlton, in the television sitcom "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," starring Will Smith, danced to Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual." His nerdy, geeky movements, snapping and side-to-side stepping, won the heart of America in the 1990s and The Carlton dance was born.

The Jiggy

America learnt the Jiggy when Will Smith's 1998 hit song "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" catapulted to the number 14 spot on the Billboard Top 100 charts. According to Michael Joyner's "Gettin' Jiggy Wit Will Smith," Smith used the term "jiggy" to confront the derogatory term for African Americans -- "jigaboo" -- and transform it to empower black people. The dance consists of standing and doing slight wiggles to the rhythm of the beat.

Da Dip

Freak Nasty's 1997 hit song "Da' Dip" taught America Da' Dip dance. While it failed to make an impact on the charts when it was released in 1996, it hit Billboard the year after, and the dance quickly became mainstream. Played frequently in dance clubs in the 1990s, Da' Dip is done by placing hands on hips and dipping the pelvis in low scoops. One person can do it alone, or several people can perform the dance together.

The Humpty Dance

Digital Undergrounds hit song "The Humpty Dance" taught audiences the Humpty Dance in the early 1990s. Lead singer Shock G wore glasses and a false nose when he performed as Humpty Hump, acting out the fictional tale of how he burnt his nose with a deep fryer. Fifty musical artists around the world have played this song and dance, which consists of hopping back and forth.

The Rump Shaker

The rap group Wrecks-n-Effect popularised the Rump Shaker dance. Its correlating song came in number 2 on the Billboards Top 100 list in 1992, second only to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You." Criticized for its blatant display of women in bikinis shaking their rumps, Producer Teddy Riley's "The Rump Shaker" music video remains one of the 1990s most memorable dances, nevertheless.


The longest-running number one song in American music history and VH1's #1 "Greatest One-Hit Wonder of All Time" in 2002, "Macarena" is a Spanish song coordinated with an eight-step line dance illustrated in the song's music video. A favourite for parties and dance clubs, "Macarena" topped the charts 1995 and 1996. The Macarena dance consists of simple arm movements and a pivot, suitable for people of all ages.

The Butterfly

Originating from a reggae dance move, The Butterfly emerged into the hip-hop dance scene in the 1990s. Performed in dance clubs and parties to reggae, rap and R&B music, the dance consists of moving the legs in and out in a smooth, butterfly-like manner. The Butterfly is mentioned in the "Tootsee Roll" song it resembles, but is slightly slower than the Tootsee Roll dance.

The Electric Slide

Created in 1976 by Richard Silver, the Electric Slide was one of the top dances of the 1990s. The Electric Slide is a four-part line dance performed to the song "Electric Boogie," by Marcia Griffith. According to Silver, the dance, which consists of grapevines and dips to the front and back, is not his original choreography. It is missing steps. Most commonly performed with 18 steps, the original dance is supposed to have 22 steps representing his birthday on January 22.

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About the Author

Jen Oda has been writing since 1999. Her stories and poetry have been published in Fordham University's newspaper "The Observer" and in "My Sister's Voices," a collection by Iris Jacob. Oda holds a Bachlor of Arts in theater performance from Fordham University.