Run That Beat! Black Dances By The Decades (VIDEOS)

African Americans have had an undeniable presence in the music industry. While notable for introducing motherland instruments and a healthy helping of legendary vocalists, the most distinguishable element of blacks in music is the art of dance. From twisting and shouting to “gettin’ jiggy”, we take a look at the most iconic dance crazes of the past five decades.


Pop-Locking – With an uproar in California, pop-locking quickly migrated to the streets of New York when rap vets like Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, and Run DMC included it in their acts.

The Hustle – Spotted in a New York City nightclub, Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony decided to honor the dance with a No. 1 single of the same name. Soul Train reruns, anyone?

Electric Slide – Originally choreographed in New York City by Ric Silver, the dance accompanies Marcia Griffith’s 80s reggae hit “Electric Boogie.” The Electric Slide is most likely to be performed at family reunions nationwide with some crispy chicken in close proximity.