Fave 5: Dar’s Favorite Dance Videos

I don't dance that well myself, but I certainly appreciate a music video with tight, innovative dancing throughout. It seems like artists and dancers took it more seriously back in the day, but that's just my opinion. I just don't see much in the way of inspiring choreography--something that will make me want to emulate the moves in my living room like I did back then. For real, they don't dance no mo'--all they do is this. Anyway, here are five of my favorite dance videos. Let's rock!

Troop: "Spread My Wings" (1989)

I remember when I first saw this video; I was floored. Troop was already known for their intensive dance moves and choreography, but the clip for the remixed version of "Spread My Wings" took it to a new level for the time. Around 2:38 is when it really pops off. See if you don't do the Running Man, at least in your head.Janet Jackson: "Pleasure Principle" (1987)

There had to be a Janet video on my list, but it was tough to narrow it down to one. I went with "The Pleasure Principle" because it featured no one but Jan in the clip, and it was just so striking. She'd lost weight, toned up a bit, straightened the hair (or the wig as it were), and just impressed us with her presence. To me, this is when I first thought of her as someone who could be an icon. Between the chair tip and the broken mirror scene around 3:48, it's a wrap.Missy Elliott feat. Ciara & Fatman Scoop: "Lose Control" (2005)

Like most Missy videos, there is so much going on here. I think what makes this video unique is the different settings that the dancers are featured in: in the middle of the desert during a virtual dust storm, to what looks to be an abandoned juke joint, to the scenes when everyone is dancing in line in the middle of the road. This video is just hot--the Cybotron-inspired track demands that.Michael Jackson: "Smooth Criminal" (1988)

Not much needs to be said. Mike was really at the pinnacle of his art, and it is reflected with his moves here. The way the choreography is integrated with the dice game, the pool table scene, and the countless extras who all danced...just flawless. It all begins to go fever pitch at 2:40, when you realize that this dude is not only a dancer, he's a magician.Jody Watley: "Still A Thrill" (1987)

I remember being really intrigued by the overall visuals in this video, as well as the movement. Here, Watley dances alone and with partner (and fellow former Soul Train dancer) Tyrone Proctor. Peep the way he playfully drags her across the floor at 2:32--classic. Jody Watley is giving you so much "fierce" here--this proves why she's a legend.

What are some of your favorite dance videos?

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12 Responses

  1. Agree with all of these...A 1,000 times YES to Janet's "Pleasure Principle". The dancing in that was on point, and I admit to trying to imitate it in my room, to horrible results. I believe Paula Abdul did the choreography on that vid, correct me if I am wrong...
    Speaking of Paula, she was always one of my favorite dancers, the first version of "The Way That You Love Me" video had some great moves

  2. Yeah that is one of Janet's best videos and no Paula Abdul didn't choreograph this video it was Barry Lather

  3. I am so happy you put Troop on this list. People don't dance in videos like they used to and when they do dance, everything looks the same.

  4. Good show! What happened to a well-choreographed video? I totally forgot about that Jody Watley joint! I think my Michael Jackson pick would've been "Remember The Time" and for Janet, it would've been a close call between "Pleasure Principle," "Alright," and "If.

  5. pleasure all time fave video......i still haven't learned the whole thing yet. lol

  6. These were wonderful examples of a premium time in R&B and video history. Stuff was fun and exciting...But nothing compares to the feeling I had when i first saw the video for "If it isn't love" by New Edition. Anytime i hear that song take me back to the staggered swim dance move...classic!

  7. Excellent selection. Especially the Jody and Janet. Jody has an interview up with Tyrone Proctor on her Myspace you may want to check out.-QH

  8. Two Smooth Criminal vids were released - this is the second, but check the first for the real dancing magic.

  9. I don't really remember that Jody Watley video, BUT YES to pleasure and spread my wings. classics; i love missy but i would have chosen either get ur freak on, OR hit em wit da hee remix, dancing in that vid was sick.

  10. Avatar

    Geez I wish we could go back to this!! Can't even object to any of these picks if I tried. My absolute favorite dancer for 'my time' was Aaliyah

  11. I have to agree with Jukellington on this one, NE's Video for "If it isn't Love" is arguably on of the best dance videos EVER by an R&B group and definitely one of my all-time favorites. When I saw it it had me in awe and I had been a New Edition fan growing up but I didnt expect them to come back like this, especially after Bobby left and was doing his thing. R&B Groups changed in the 90's, everyone basically "got their rapper on" by just standing around and vocalizing all day until the N'syncs and stuff. But this 20 year old video still smashes all of them and 98% of R&B videos to this day!

  12. I would add MC Hammer's "You Can't Touch This" or my fav, "Let's Get It Started" to the list.