A Comprehensive Guide to the Iconic ’80s Dance Styles


Navigating the vibrant world of the 1980s dance styles, one encounters a kaleidoscopic journey into the heart of pop culture fusion, innovative choreography, and iconic dance moves. The era was characterized by a blend of diverse dance styles that came together to define the invigorating soundscape that epitomizes ’80s music. From Breakdancing to The Moonwalk, the dance floor was dominated by dynamism, energy, and creativity.

Breakdancing: Rhythms from the Streets

Invented by the urban youth, Breakdancing or B-Boying emerged as a powerful dance style, driven by the beats of hip-hop music. The innovative dance form significantly revolved around four fundamental elements: toprock, downrock, power moves, and freezes.

The Moonwalk: The Michael Jackson Phenomenon

One cannot discuss ’80s dance styles without mentioning the game-changer, The Moonwalk. Popularized by music legend Michael Jackson, this dance style captivated the audience with its illusory motion suggesting a man walking on the moon.

The Electric Boogaloo: A Disco Revolution

Characterized by fluid and sharp movements akin to a robot, The Electric Boogaloo dance style was born from the origins of disco, funk, and electronic music.

The Jitterbug: Echoes from the Past

An evolution from the swing dance styles of the ’20s and ’30s, The Jitterbug continued to find favor amongst ’80s dance enthusiasts. Its distinctive features include dramatic lifts, highly energetic movements, and elaborate footwork.

The Robot: Dancing with Precision

Influenced by the mechanical era, The Robot dance style reflected the rise of machine culture in society. The routine involves imitating a robot with stiff fluid movements, showcasing an intriguing fusion of human creativity and machinery precision.

Voguing: Dance of the Underground

Celebrated as a revolutionary piece of ’80s dance history, Voguing originated from the Harlem ballroom scene. This expressive dance form is marked by model-like poses inspired by Vogue magazine, intertwined with angular, linear, and rigid body movements.

The Dirty Dancing: The Sensual Craze

Revitalized by the popular film of the same name, The Dirty Dancing swept across dance floors with its intimate dance routines filled with passion and sensuality.

Conclusion: ’80s Dance Styles: A Lasting Legacy

The ’80s dance styles marked a transformative period in the dance landscape, driven by bold creativity and distinctive movements that still inspire contemporary dance forms. These dance styles stand as enduring symbols of the period’s vibrant culture and continue to permeate the dance fabric of the modern era.

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