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Dance Through the Decades

# Beginner Guides

Dance is not only an art form but also a cultural diary that captures the essence of each decade’s spirit. From the roaring '20s to the innovative 2000s, every era has its signature moves. Here’s a whirl through the most iconic dance styles that defined each decade.

1920s: The Jazz Age

The 1920s, dubbed the Roaring '20s, were marked by jazz and the Charleston. Following World War I, this era celebrated liberation with the Charleston embodying freedom and fun, capturing the decade's vibrant spirit.

1930s: The Swing Era

As the Great Depression took hold, swing dancing offered an escape. The Lindy Hop, a joyful and energetic dance that originated at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, became the era’s highlight. Its lively steps and aerial moves brought hope and resilience to a struggling nation.

1940s: World War II and Ballroom Dancing

During the 1940s, amidst World War II, ballroom dancing soared in popularity as a means to uphold morale and decorum. Stars like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers captivated with their elegant Foxtrot and Waltz, offering a glamorous escape into a world of romance and sophistication.

1950s: Rock and Roll Revolution

The 1950s introduced Rock and Roll to the world, and with it came dances like the Twist and the Jive. These dances were expressive and free-spirited, mirroring the rebellious tones of rock music and the youth culture that embraced it.

1960s: The Swinging Sixties

The 1960s, a decade of social and cultural revolution, saw dance evolve as a key form of expression. New music from Motown and the Beatles spurred dances like the Mashed Potato and the Pony. The hippie movement introduced the Twist and Psychedelic Slide, using dance both as protest and a celebration of individualism.

1970s: Disco Fever

The 1970s are synonymous with disco dancing, sparked by the disco music that dominated the airwaves. The Hustle was the era's defining dance, characterized by its flashy footwork and smooth spins, often performed under disco balls in nightclubs.

1980s: Breakdancing and MTV

The 1980s saw the rise of MTV and the explosion of breakdancing. This street dance, part of hip-hop culture, featured athletic moves like spinning and freezing. It not only dominated urban streetscapes but also influenced mainstream media and fashion.

1990s: The Rise of Line Dancing and Rave Culture

The 1990s brought line dancing into the limelight, popularized by the catchy beats of country music. Simultaneously, rave culture surged with dances like Para Para and Liquid Dancing, which were integral to the electronic dance music scenes in Europe and America.

2000s: Dance-Pop and Viral Moves

In the 2000s, dance routines began to be heavily influenced by pop stars and music videos. The rise of the internet also meant that dances like the "Cha-Cha Slide" and "Cupid Shuffle" could go viral, becoming staples at social gatherings.

2010s: The Era of Dance Challenges

The 2010s were dominated by social media platforms, which gave rise to numerous dance challenges. "The Dougie," "Gangnam Style," and the "Mannequin Challenge" are just a few that showed the power of dance to connect people across the globe virtually.

2020s: TikTok and Beyond

As we navigate the 2020s, TikTok has become the primary platform for dance trends. Dances like the “Renegade” or “Savage” are not just dance moves but are also mediums of viral expression and creativity, accessible to anyone with a smartphone.



Dance continues to evolve, reflecting and shaping the societal trends of each decade. It remains a powerful form of expression that transcends words, embodying the joys, struggles, and the heartbeat of the times.


For further insights into these dance forms, explore our blog post—What is Hip-hop Dance?

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