Can you still do these viral dances from the past 15 years?

Ben Roman

Music- it has always brought people together. Currently, when a song goes viral, just about every kid has heard about it. When a dance is created to a song, however, this song now has the ability to create a movement. These are some songs and dances from my lifetime that became a movement. Most students will be able to recall many of the “challenges” or dances/routines that go with these songs. Therefore, we are going to make a quick turn onto memory lane and relive some of the best dance movements in chronological order.

video by Ben Roman

For this dance, I basically hopped three times to each side and moved my elbows up and down. When you put this together, you crank that soulja boy.

In many ways, Soulja Boy paved the way for many of the other songs on this list with “Crank That” in 2008. This hit song took the world by storm and racked up over 450 million views on youtube and proved to be a jolt of energy. At the start of the song, Soulja Boy provides us some instructions, “You just gotta punch, then crank back three times from left to right.” Pretty soon, you find yourself in sync with a song that is determined to get you on your feet.

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The dougie consists of shifting my weight from side to side but moving my arms and shoulders with it. I am not very good at the dougie but you I’m sure you get the basic idea.

Can you teach me how to dougie? In 2010, Cali Swag District took advantage of a popular dance and released an anthem. “Teach Me How To Dougie” had the whole country hitting the dougie. Although the dougie was created in the 1980s by Doug E. Fresh. Smoove, a member of Cali Swag District, gives us a quick intro to the dance, “Put your arms out front, lean side-to-side.” Otherwise, this dance is all about the rhythm and creativity you put into it.

video by Ben Roman

The Harlem shake is the most random trend on here. I elected to change my outfit and start dancing on the beat drop, but you can really do whatever you want.

Beginning in 2012, the Harlem Shake picked up steam with the song “Harlem Shake” by Baauer. One of the main reasons for the popularity of this trend was the creativity and lack of rules that went with it. People who wanted to do the Harlem Shake trend merely had to do some crazy dance on the beat drop of the song.

video by Ben Roman

The Gangnam Style dance is a unique one, but its craziness is what attracted so many young people to it. If you develop a rhythm for this dance, it becomes easy.

Along with the Harlem Shake in 2012, the epic hit, “Gangnam Style”, took off like a rocket. Before anyone could blink, artist PSY was a global sensation. Gangnam Style lured in viewers of all age groups, with its youtube video reaching upward of 3.5 billion views across the globe. Gangnam Style had a specific dance that went with it. The only way to learn this dance is to do it - over and over again.

video by Ben Roman

In order to do the Shmoney dance, all I had to do was bounce my hips side to side slowly with my head bent over and my arms moving to the beat.

In 2014, the Shmoney dance took over. Although you might not know the name, you’ve definitely seen this dance. Created by Bobby Shmurda, this is a really easy one to learn. The key to this dance is a little bit of bounce to the beat. This is a trend that hasn’t stopped since 2014.

video by Ben Roman

The whip is generally pretty easy and self explanatory. The nae nae however can be tricky sometimes. In order to nae nae, once you stick your arm out, you are actually going to want to move your body side to side more so than your arm.

There was a flurry of dance trends in 2015 and 2016. Many of these dances became especially popular due to their ease. However, I would say the climax of the dance movement songs in the 21st century in America was “Watch Me” by Silentó. Silentó had billions of people across the world doing the whip and nae nae to his song, racking up 1.7 billion views on youtube. As long as you don’t live under a rock, you recognize the whip and the nae nae.

The other trends in 2015 and 2016 included “Hit the Quan”, “Juju on that Beat”, the “Dab,” and the running man challenge. First off, the dab is undoubtedly the easiest dance trend on here. Migos took advantage of the increasing popularity of the dab with their hit, “Look at my Dab.”

video by Ben Roman

The Quan is performed exactly how it is described in the song. You get down low and swing your arms. Leg movement is where creativity and flow come in for this viral dance.

Like many of these songs, iLoveMemphis provided us with some instruction on how to hit the quan, “get down low and swing your arm.” This one takes some rhythm and energy, too.

video by Ben Roman

The Juju dance is pretty simple. All I did was rock back and forth and shift my weight from leaning forward to backward and then back again.

“Juju on the Beat” by Zayion McCall and Zay Hilfiger became a self-proclaimed anthem. The song incorporates the running man dance along with helping to make the “hit the folks” challenge popular.

video by Ben Roman

I acted like I was running and taking extremely quick steps. There is a lot of variation in this dance. The basic gist of the dance is that you run in place while also moving around a little, if that makes sense.

The Running Man Challenge was one that took off in 2016. It was a youth-driven challenge to an old song, “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJ’s from 1996. I was in middle school during this challenge so I had the privilege of witnessing this challenge in school every day.

video by Ben Roman

The amount of success to be had with this dance entirely depends on the effort and energy you put into it. You can swing your whole body with your arms or you could only move your arms and you would still be milly rocking. Therefore, everyone’s milly rock looks a little different.

Following these, the milly rock took the throne as THE MOVE. The dance was popularized by artist “2 Milly” in 2015. However, everyone was milly rocking to “Magnolia” by Playboi Carti in 2017 with his lyric, “in New York I milly rock”.

The most recent of the major movements is the “In My Feelings” challenge, the floss, the shoot dance, and the “Woah” trend.

photo by Ben Roman

This is my attempt at the In My Feelings Challenge and the Shiggy Dance. I tried my best, however I didn’t manage to replicate the original in any way.

The Shiggy/In My Feelings challenge required a car and another person to perform. To perfectly execute the trend, one would exit the car while the song is playing. The car would have to be moving slow enough so that the person can dance while keeping up with the car. The other person/driver would film the dancer from inside the car. The dancer would then do the “Shiggy Dance.”

video by Ben Roman

Blocboy JB’s shoot dance is a jolt of energy. All that you have to do is hop on one foot and kick out on each hop with the other. What you do with your arms is up to you.

In 2018, Blocboy JB introduced the “shoot” dance to the world. Due to the music videos of his songs, “Shoot” and “Look Alive”, it became a nationwide phenomenon. “The Shoot” will get you hyped at any time of the day.

video by Ben Roman

The floss is another pretty basic dance. It merely requires the dancer to swing both their arms and hips at the same time, however in opposite directions.

The floss is a dance that was overwhelmingly popular with younger children starting in 2018. Popularized by The Backpack Kid, the floss worked its way onto video games into the heart of 11 year olds everywhere.

video by Ben Roman

Everything about the woah revolves around the beat drops of a song. That is the seemingly assigned time to hit the woah.

The "Woah" trend is the most recent of these. It gained its fame mainly from trends including the dance move from the app Tiktok. As long as you do it on the beat drop, the move turns out looking smooth and in rhythm.

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