Dancing through the decades: The dance crazes quiz


By: Bambi Turner

4 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Every new decade brings a new style of dance as people use their bodies in creative ways to interpret beat, lyrics and music. As quickly as a dance craze catches on, however, people are looking for the next new thing, leaving a once-hot style relegated to the history books. Take our quiz to see how much you know about the hottest dances to ever hit the dance floor!

What dance was made popular via a song by The Diamonds?

The Diamonds urged fans to "Stroll Across the Floor" in their hit 1958 song "The Stroll." The line dance resembled the Virginia Reel, and required boys and girls to form lines facing one another before taking turns pairing up as they danced.


Who made the Twist a mega-hit?

The wholesome Chubby Checker had a number one hit in 1960 with his song, "The Twist." Bill Haley and the Comets had a hit in Latin America with their version of the song, which referenced variations known as the Spanish Twist and Florida Twist.


What dance started a long time ago, with a guy named Sloppy Joe?

Dee Dee Sharp had fans everywhere doing the Mashed Potato, thanks to her 1962 song "Mashed Potato Time," which "started a long time ago, with a guy named Sloppy Joe," according to the lyrics.


Which of these dances is a simpler evolution of the chicken dance?

The Frug -- pronounced Froog -- is a simpler version of the Chicken, in which dancers move primarily their upper bodies while keeping their legs fairly still to conserve energy.


What dance was popularized by Major Lance in the early '60s?

Major Lance had everyone doing the Monkey -- which is pretty much what it sounds like -- thanks to his 1963 song, "Monkey Time." The Miracles also helped spread the word about the dance with their song, "Mickey's Monkey."


Which of these dances was featured in the original "Hairspray" movie, by John Waters?

The classic film "Hairspray" featured the cast doing a line dance known as the Madison, and the dance is still done in Broadway versions of the show. Ray Bryant made the dance popular in the '60s with his song, "Madison Time."


The Watusi is named after a group of people from Africa.

The Orlons had a hit on their hands with "The Wah-Watusi," which was named after a tribe known as the Tutsi from Africa. Both Smokey Robinson and Chubby Checker took advantage of this dance craze with Watusi songs of their own.


What dance craze did Van McCoy make famous?

Van McCoy caused a disco explosion with his song, "The Hustle," in 1975. The dance style, which includes both line and partner versions, features heavily in the movie, "Saturday Night Fever."


What show was the YMCA dance first performed on?

When the Village People appeared on "American Bandstand" with Dick Clark, on January 6, 1979, the audience did a cheerleader-style dance that spelled out YMCA with their arms -- and the rest is history.


What famous dance came from the 1975 film, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show?"

"Rocky Horror" had everyone doing the Time Warp. In 2010, in West Hollywood, a group of more than 8,000 dancers joined forces to set a world record for the most people doing the Time Warp at one time.


"Everybody's doing a brand new dance now," and this is it.

The song "Loco-Motion" was written for Dee Dee Sharp, but she turned it down and it went to Little Eva. After the song became a hit, Eva had to make up a dance to go along with the lyrics -- yup, the song actually came first, not the dance.


What style of dance was inspired by the Parliament song, "Give Up the Funk?"

Parliament's "Give Up the Funk" is often tied to the Bump -- a dance where partners bump their hips to the beat. The songs lyrics, "We want the funk, we need the funk, gotta have the funk" are often misinterpreted, with the word "funk" replaced with "bump."


What is the actual title of the Electric Slide song?

That Electric Slide song has a name -- it's the "Electric Boogie," by Marcia Griffiths. Now boogie-woogie-woogie down to the dance floor!


What song did Michael Jackson debut his moonwalk to?

At "Motown 25" on March 25, 1983, Michael Jackson performed the moonwalk in front of a big crowd for the first time. The dance, which was inspired by a 1930s move known as "The Buzz," had the entire world shuffling their feet in imitation of the King of Pop.


It's 1986 and you're making side-by-side fists and swirling your arms parallel to the floor. Congratulations, you're doing....

Named for the insanely popular Cabbage Patch dolls, the Cabbage Patch dance is deceptively simple and oh-so-'80s.


Forget the moonwalk -- Michael Jackson also inspired a Robot craze.

During a performance on "Soul Train," as part of the Jackson 5 in 1973, a very young Michael Jackson performed the Robot while singing "Dancing Machine." The dance, which was also known as the Mannequin and started sometime in the '60s, became a smash hit after Michael added it to his routine.


What's the proper costume to wear when performing the "Thriller" dance?

Michael Jackson started more than his fair share of dance crazes, and "Thriller" was no exception. His short film music video for the song "Thriller" came out in 1983, featuring hoards of zombies dancing to the beat. And since no one can resist "the evil of the Thriller," plenty of zombie wannabes have grooved to its spooky beat.


Who made the "Chinese Typewriter" dance famous?

Who can forget early '90s icon, MC Hammer? His smash single "U Can't Touch This" inspired fans to don their very own parachute pants and try out his infamous Chinese Typewriter dance, which involves moving quickly from one side to the other with the entire body.


This Latin dance inspired two rival films, which were released on the same day in 1990.

The sizzling Latin-inspired Lambada took dance clubs by storm in the late '80s and early '90s. It was so popular that it inspired two films -- "The Forbidden Dance" and "Lambada" -- which came out on the same exact day in 1990.


Who inspired dancers to Vogue in 1990?

Madonna revived the '60s Harlem-inspired Vogue with her 1990 song of the same name, which instructed dancers to "Strike a pose!"


Which band had fans walking like Egyptians?

Ever posed like a figure in an old Egyptian hieroglyph? Thank The Bangles, who had everyone trying a new style of dance with their song, "Walk Like an Egyptian," which was the number-one song on the Billboard chart for 1987.


What year was the English remix of "Macarena" released?

"The Macarena" was the song of the '90s. Released by Los del Rio in 1993, the song was a major hit in Spanish-speaking countries before an English remix had people crowding the dance floors in the U.S. in 1996. And yes, the song is about a woman who's cheating on her man!


Which country star crooned "Achy Breaky Heart?"

Billy Ray Cyrus -- yes, Miley's dad -- made everyone want to line dance with his 1992 country smash, "Achy Breaky Heart."


"It ain't the butterfly, it's" this dance, according to a 1995 dance hit.

Hip-hop group 69 Boyz spurred a dance craze in 1995 with their song "Tootsee Roll," which is a line dance that incorporates a butterfly-style leg movement.


What is another name for the Whip?

Silento had everyone raising one hand up, lowering the other, and swaying a hip to do the Whip -- also known as the Nae Nae -- with his 2015 song "Watch Me."


In Spanish, this song is called "Asereje," but it's better known as this.

When Las Ketchup -- yup, that's the name of the band -- released "Asereje" in 2002, no one knew it would become a huge dance hit, requiring dancers to knock knees, put hand to forehead and throw thumbs over shoulders, in addition to plenty of other catchy moves.


Which part of the body does the most work in "Lean Back"?

Terror Squad's "Lean Back" came out in 2004, and was so simple that almost anyone could do it -- even those with no sense of rhythm. The dance required only that participants throw back the right shoulder to the beat, with little actual footwork required.


Which line dance warns dancers that "We're going to get funky"?

DJ Casper's 1998 song, "Cha-Cha Slide." has become a party staple. It instructs listeners on how to perform a line dance with simple instructions like, "Everybody clap your hands." Anyone can do it -- as long as you aren't afraid to get funky.


What dance did Psy make popular?

Psy smashed Youtube and radio records with his massive hit, "Gangnam Style," which came with a very unusual dance. The song offers only a few words of English, including the word "Oppa," which means "Big Brother," but is also a term girls use to flirt with guys they like.


This smash dance craze kind of resembles covering a sneeze.

The Dab hit 2016 by storm, and is easy enough that anyone can do it. Simply raise your elbow over your face so it looks like you're covering a big sneeze. For reference, check out Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers doing his 2015 touchdown celebrations, which often included the Dab.


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