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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

3 Iconic Hip-Hop Dances to Know

Nobody wants to be the person at a party who's just standing awkwardly in the corner when everyone else is having fun. Dancing can seem intimidating, especially if you don't get out often. Like everything else in life, it just takes practice! You can impress your friends or strangers that you want to get to know better if you learn these three iconic hip hop dances. These sweet moves will let your body be the social icebreaker, and feel at home dancing with everyone.

1. The Stanky Legg

Let's go back to 2009; it was a simpler time when smartphones were hitting the market, and YouTube was hitting its stride. The group GS Boyz put out the song “Stanky Legg” that immediately gained popularity.

The dance is simple, but can be used for a lot of different songs and mixed with other moves. It's an older dance, but offers flexibility in recognition.

You can perform it by bending one of your knees, and putting most of the weight on that leg. Stretch your other leg away from you, and roll your ankle while keeping the ball of your foot flat on the ground. Use that leg's knee and your hips to move and shake. It may be easier to think about it as the action of putting out a cigarette in older movies.

2. Whip and Nae Nae

Moving closer to the current day, we’re looking at 2015.

Silentó put out an incredibly successful song called Watch Me, which inspired fans to recreate his dance moves. Not only does the song teach you how to whip and nae nae, but it also visits other popular hip hop dance moves. The lyrics reference the Stanky Legg, as well as several others. The main focus, though, is the Whip and Nae Nae. These moves became a meme in recent times, and a lot of people will replicate the movements to emphasize jokes or provocative statements.

To Whip, you put your feet around shoulder-width apart, and then throw one hand back, and then forward like you're whipping something. The Nae Nae follows, in which you toss the arm that whipped up into the air, and you swing your hips to the beat. These moves almost always get paired together.

3. Dougie

We're going back to the '80s, an era that's had an all-out revival in recent years. With that revival, the Dougie got brought back to popular culture. Named after its creator, rapper Doug E. Fresh, the Dougie is a classic dance move that everyone should know. If you look for a hip hop dance instructor for hire, this is one of the first moves they’ll teach you.

The dance is smooth, focusing on swaying right and left with your legs and letting your hands do the work. Some variations include running your hands through your hair or moving your hands to the beat of the song. This one is very personality-driven, and its influence shows up in both the Stanky Legg and the Whip and Nae Nae.

Have fun dancing! Relax, and enjoy the rhythm and beat of the music, and you'll be showing off at parties in no time!



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