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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 18 May 2022

7 iconic dance moves from the 1990s that we'll never forget

Stop… It’s hammer time.

WHILE THE NOUGHTIES brought us the likes of gangnam style and the ‘teens’ (both this current decade and actual teenagers) gave us the ‘floss’, the 1990s were known for their iconic, and at times unusual dances.

Will Smith was busy doing the running man, Madonna was Vogue-ing and almost every single one of us were busy learning off the Macarena – something that’s probably hardwired into your brain.

Here are a few of our all-time favourites to bring back to the humble dance floors of Ireland this summer.

1. Voguing


Although this one technically originated within the LGBT community in Harlem in the 1960s, it only got its mainstream status when it was featured in Madonna’s video for Vogue in 1990, and was then later showcased in the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, inspired by famous model poses of Vogue Magazine.

2. The Macarena


Featured in the 1993 Los Del Río music video, this one is so iconic that even One Direction were still doing it two decades later. It spent 14 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, which makes it one of the longest runs to this day. It continues to appear at weddings, parties and whenever anyone panics on the dancefloor.

3. The Hammer Dance

Source: Agent M Loves Gifs/GIPHY

A dance derived from MC Hammer’s signature 1990 song U Can’t Touch This, this video even featured another iconic dance on this list (seen below), along with the Hammer Dance. Hammer’s album stayed in number one spot in the US for 21 weeks and even now, it’s pretty hard not to do the dance when the song comes on.

4. The Running Man


Originally thought to have originated in Africa, again this move was brought to stardom when it featured in video. This time, it was Will Smith in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air who took it to the international stage, something that the likes of both MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice would go on to perform on stage at their live shows.

5. The Sprinkler


Definitely the only move on this list that relates to a pretty mundane gardening tool, it had reportedly originated in 1970s Australia, but was made famous when it appeared in the 1990 movie House Party with Martin Lawrence. Suddenly the sprinkler took hold and it still appears in movies and film (not so much on the dance floor, thankfully).

6. Slam Dancing


For those who had more grunge in their Discman than hip hop, slam dancing refers to the move echoed in Nirvana’s video for Smells Like Teen Spirit. It describes how they run into each other with their eyes on the floor, and it quickly swept through grunge gigs throughout the 1990s.

7. The Cotton Eye Joe


Remixed by a band who were literally called ‘Rednex’, this dance comes from the dance remix of the traditional American country folk song. This version combines line dancing and is inspired by the hoedown in the video that takes place inside a barn. In January 1995, it reached number two in Ireland and thousands began to learn the dance.

Speaking of dance moves… Electric Ireland hit the streets for the first (hopefully) Annual Samantha Mumba Dance Challenge to award two festival tickets to Dublin’s best 1990s dancer. Head to the Electric Ireland Facebook page to have your say, by commenting with the name of who recreated the best 1990s dance moves.

Source: Journal Media Studio/YouTube

Suddenly feeling nostalgic? Then don’t miss the #ThrowbackStage this year at Electric Picnic, all powered by Electric Ireland. The stage has hosted the likes of Bonnie Tyler, The Vengaboys, Mark McCabe and 5ive, to name a few. To find out more and to be in with a chance to win tickets, keep an eye on Electric Ireland’s website.

Sponsored by:

Electric Ireland

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