Brush Up on Iconic Dance Moves

The moon walk is one of the most iconic dance moves

Perfecting longtime favorites will help get the party started


Before you attend a summer wedding, chaperone a high school dance, or bust a move at a party with friends, Fred Astaire Dance Studios suggests brushing up on some iconic dance moves to have fun and relive your glory days on the dance floor.


Iconic dance moves make people smile and inspire everyone to hit the dance floor. They are often dances that we’ve known since childhood and spark great memories. Iconic dance moves can be inspired by a single song, musician, or even a popular video game. Iconic dance moves are typically simple and easy to learn. They help shape pop culture, and no wedding is complete without kicking up your heels to the Chicken Dance, Electric Slide, and YMCA.


Many signature ballroom dances got their start as dance fads at social clubs. The Charleston had its heyday during the Roaring 20s and gained popularity following the release of the Broadway show “Runnin’ Wild,” which featured a song dubbed “The Charleston” by James P. Johnson. The dance has its roots in African American culture and combines moves from a dance called the Juba, which was popular among slaves in Charleston, South Carolina. Other ballroom dances that got their start as fad dance moves include the Lindy Hop, swing, and jitterbug.


Twist. We are throwing it way back with this classic dance move. The Twist shot to fame in the 1960s with the debut of Chubby Checker’s hit, “The Twist.” The cover was originally recorded by Hank Ballard, an R&B musician. The Twist is a group dance where people twist the lower half of their body in time with the music. It is a fast-paced move that can be performed by any skill level. Here’s a clip of Checker performing his famous tune.


Moonwalk. Michael Jackson started his musical career as the lead singer of The Jackson Five; at the tender age of 5. When he left the band and struck out on his own, he often performed a signature dance move called the Moonwalk. While he didn’t invent the dance, he is associated with its popularity on the dance floor. As part of the Moonwalk, the performer slides backward but gives the illusion they are moving forward by popping their feet. In this clip, Jackson performs his signature move to the beat of one of his popular tunes, “Billie Jean.”


Vogue. While the birthplace of Vogue dancing is Harlem, the dance tradition gained popularity following a music video by Madonna, a 1980s pop music icon. Vogue is a dance style that mimics the poses of models from the upscale fashion magazine, Vogue. To see the Vogue in action, here is a clip of Madonna’s music video, which was part of the soundtrack for the movie “Dick Tracy,” which debuted in 1990.


Macarena. If you are a college student in the late 1990s, it’s likely you performed the macarena at parties across campus. The Macarena is performed to a song by Los del Rio that debuted in 1996. The Los del Rio singer performs the moves as she attempts to attract members of the opposite sex on the dance floor. Despite its questionable motives, the dance is a fun group number guaranteed to make dancers smile as they groove to the catchy beat. In this clip, a group of dancers perform the Macarena as part of a flash mob.


Floss. If your kids are Fortnite junkies, you’ve probably had your fill of the Floss. Fortnite is a multiplayer video game developed by Cary, North Carolina-based Epic Games. As part of the dance, participants swing their arms and hips from the back of their body to the front, similar to using dental floss. The video game rewards players with the Floss when they complete part of the game. Here’s a family performing some of the popular dances from Fortnite, including the Floss.


Visit Fred Astaire Dance Studios to Learn Iconic Ballroom Dances

Learn some iconic ballroom dances at Fred Astaire Dance Studios. The dance chain offers group or individual lessons at their local studios. Fred Astaire Dance Studios also provides an Online Lesson Platform allowing people to live-stream dance lessons to their living rooms. Contact your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios location to find out more about our introductory offer for new students.