The 20 Greatest Dance Music Videos

  • Posted by: Tayi Sanusi

After both HAIM and Beyonce graced us with their invigorating new dance videos, we spent the majority of our Tuesday afternoon revisiting some of the best choreographed classics, and wanted to share our favorites. Here are the 20 music videos that we will never forget.

1. "Pleasure Principle" - Janet Jackson (1986)

Ahh..the glory days. What a great reminder of why we all fell in love with MJ's adorable kid sister.

2. "Bad" - Michael Jackson (1987)

What list would be complete without some tasty thrusting courtesy of Mr. Jackson...How are his hips so limber?

3. "Straight Up" - Paula Abdul (1988)

Okay, so I know Paula's little stint on American Idol pretty much destroyed her credibility as a performer and as intelligent human being, but this video reminds us that it wasn't always like that. Once upon a time she spent her days shakin' her tail feather, not taking shots with Simon Cowell and obliviously inventing adjectives.

4. "Cold Hearted" - Paula Abdul (1988)

Don't shoot me...this one's good, too. I promise. Whether you want to admit it or not, Paula paved the way for female sexuality in the context of music videos. Without this pioneering woman, female objectification and music may have never found one another...Thanx Paula!

5. "Simply Irresistible" - Robert Palmer (1998)

The squad of ladies in Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistible" revolutionized the female thrust and sway—a dance move that can still be witnessed to this day at any Bruce Springsteen concert. And Bobby P. was really onto something here: What's more irresistible than a red-lipped woman whose face is absent of any sign of emotion.

6. "Ice Ice Baby" - Vanilla Ice (1989)

White men everywhere should be so grateful that this guy got big. Who knew white boys could be so cooool. Not to mention Vanilla has always been the most underrated flavor.

7. "U Can't Touch This" - MC Hammer (1990)

Hipsters everywhere better bow the fuck down...this is the man who made harem pants (glorified diaper's) a badass clothing item. Also, the video hunnies in the background definitely raided an American Apparel.

8. "Cream" - Prince (1991)

Can anyone solve the mystery of how he gets so many hot chicks to beg for his cream?

9. "Scream" - Michael/Janet Jackson (1995)

This collaboration...I can't say I totally get the whole Space Invader/racquetball motif, but who can trash talk this intergalactic brother-sister bonding sesh.

10. "Livin La Vida Loca" - Ricky Martin (1999)

The dancing's good...but watching the then "straight" Ricky Martin sneakily checking out his male backup dancers is even better.

11. "Bye Bye Bye" - N'Sync (1999)

Watching this video gave me butterflies all over again. Somewhere in the depths of a password protected iTunes playlist where I house all my embarrassing prepubescent guilty pleasures resides this lonely gem.

12. "I'm a Slave 4 U" - Britney Spears (2001)

A male friend of mind brought to my attention that this was porn before he and his mates knew porn existed. Well, I understand why that might be true...

13. "Work It" - Missy Elliot (2002)

It's a semi-religious moment that you must experience to fully understand. There you are just minding your own business and poppin' it in the club and then BAM! The intro to this song comes on. It's guaranteed to make even the most awkward of humans want to rub butt cheeks with you.

14. "Lose Control" - Missy Elliott (2005)

See item No. 13 for more information.

15. "Hips Don't Lie" - Shakira (2006)

Shakira is so sexy and so damn annoying but I'm not a hater so I'll give the woman her props. She can move and this was a catchy song, so treat yourself deserve a cookie.

16. "Single Ladies" - Beyonce (2008)

Jay Z liked it, and like a good boy he put a ring on it.

17. "Sprawl II" - Arcade Fire (2010)

I have so much respect for this video. There's something so resonant about the idea of bridging the gap between pedestrian movement and what we think of as "dance". This video exemplifies the ways in which we can find beauty in the ordinary.

18. "Run the World" - Beyonce (2011)

Beyonce's the queen, every woman is a princess, and the men are... well...the men are off doing whatever it is that men do.

19. "Ingenue" - Atoms for Peace (2013)

The movement utilized in this so rich and languid. It's unique and a great contrast to the song.

20. "Partition" - Beyonce (2014)

There aren't enough words in any language that can articulate what was going through my mind while watching this video. I'm actually speechless. I've watched it so many times that I'm seriously starting to question my sexual orientation. I think I'm a Bey-sexual.


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