Fad dances are nothing new, not since impressionable teens of the early 1960s flocked to the malt shop do the Twist en masse. Killjoy adults at the time probably thought that the dance was really, really stupid and worried that the nation's youth were going straight to Hades in a handbasket, shaking their heads all the kooky kids swiveling their hips to and fro just because some guy with the name Chubby Checker--probably not even his real name!!--told them to in song. (Come to think of it, anyone who's seen Megan Joy Corkrey perform on American Idol lately probably would agree: The Twist can be a very dorky dance.)
But little did those intolerant adults know that in ensuing decades, dumb dances would get dumber and dumber, to the point where the Twist would eventually look like something choreographed by the Joffrey Ballet.
The latest new dance craze, or attempt at one, is Miley Cyrus's "Hoedown Throwdown." Now, to be fair, it's not the silliest dance we've ever seen...scroll down for more of those...and it'll probably get the dance floor pumping at many a supersweet 16 party this year. But we still refuse to follow Miley's instructions below, as enthusiastic and/or helpful as they may be:
Miley can be excused, though, for having Billy Ray Cyrus as her dad. He is the guy who popularized THIS dance, after all:
But other fad dances have been far more egregious, and the artists responsible didn't have the excuses of a) being only 16 and not knowing any better, or b) having the "Achy Breaky" dude in their DNA. Below are some the worst novelty dances of past years...
THE VILLAGE PEOPLE - "YMCA"
Sure, "Hoedown Throwdown" may become a new favorite at children's dance parties, but this '70s hit has permanently ruined every wedding reception forever. Isn't one's wedding supposed to be the happiest day of one's life? But how can it be, when that day is filled with scarring memories of Aunt Agnes doing disco sign-language to a song originally performed by a flamboyantly gay troop of costumed Chippendale's dancers?:
MC HAMMER - "TOO LEGIT TO QUIT"
Here we go, more sign language. Hammer's "2 Legit" sign-language dance never really caught on as he'd hoped, and with good reason. Funny how now when people make the "L" sign with their thumb and forefinger, it's usually interpreted as the international symbol for "loser":
LOS DEL RIO - "MACARENA"
Yes, the Village People and MC Hammer are big offenders. But if there is such a place as Hell (you know, the place where all those aforementioned godless, Twist-ing '60s kids will end up), there is a special spot reserved in its seventh circle for Antonio Romeo Monge and Rafael Ruiz, aka Los Del Rio, aka the men who unleashed about 17 different remixes of the "Macarena" onto an unsuspecting public in 1995. And there, Antonio and Rafael will be forced, for all eternity, to cross and uncross their arms over their shoulders to their song's endless, insipid beat:
SOULJA BOY TELL'EM - "CRANK THAT"
Speaking of insipid...with a minimal amount of talent, beats, or even pronounceable words, Soulja and his Superman dance inexplicably--and, thankfully, temporarily--took over the world in 2007. This made Soulja Boy, along with Debbie Gibson, the youngest person to write, produce, and perform a U.S. number one single. But we much prefer Debbie's "Electric Youth" dance over this repetitive garbage:
WEBSTAR - "CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP"
Before Soulja Boy came along, Webstar made the nation's hip-hop fans put their hands in the air and wave them like they really just didn't care. And while soup usually does a body good, that wasn't the case when bodies were contorting to Webstar's one-hit wonder of 2006. Whatever inspired Webstar to create an entire song-and-dance about the lunch special at Denny's, anyway?:
LAS KETCHUP - "THE KETCHUP SONG"
Oh yuck, another song about Denny's food. Or condiments, at least. Excuse us, but this Spanish trio's 2002 novelty hit has caused us to lose our appetite:
BEYONCE - "SINGLE LADIES"
Sure, Beyonce's asymmetrical-leotarded, robot-gloved, intricately choreographed dance of supposed female empowerment was a massive hit last year, spawning multiple somewhat-funny YouTube parodies and one undeniably funny SNL skit with Justin Timberlake. But if you take a good look at this video...well, it is kind of dumb. It's great when Beyonce does it, because she's gorgeous and talented. It's not quite as cool when a bunch of drunk bachelorette-party guests start trying to do it in the club when "Single Ladies" comes on:
CHERISH, LIL JON - "SNAPPING"
Is snapping even really dancing? Isn't dancing supposed to be done mainly with one's FEET? It looks pretty easy to us. You can do it all by yourself, after all, as Lil' Jon points out. So was Cherish's instructional video really necessary?:
DEM FRANCHIZE BOYZ - "LEAN WIT IT, ROCK WIT IT"
No, we don't think "leaning" counts as dancing, either:
KAOMA - "LA LAMBADA"
There's a reason why the Lambada was called the "forbidden dance." A dance this lame should be banned:
VINCE NEIL - "THE CHICKEN DANCE"
Lest you accuse us of being close-minded, we do not think that pop, rap, R&B, and Latin artists have the bad-dance-craze market cornered. Rockers can be just as big offenders, for sure. For instance...do you believe that bad boys Motley Crue are all about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll? This incriminating footage of lead singer Vince Neil, serving as the Grand Marshal at the World's Largest Chicken Dance event at the 29th Annual Oktoberfest in Cincinnati, may make you think otherwise. Not cool, Vince. Not cool:
POISON - "UNSKINNY BOP"
Vince's '80s metal friend/rival, Bret Michaels of Poison, also once tried to get in on the dance-craze action. Although, come to think of it, the Unskinny Bop's side-sweeping style was pretty much a ripoff of Axl Rose's moves. A bad ripoff:
THE ROLLING STONES - "HARLEM SHUFFLE"
Mick Jagger used to be so cool. What happened? This is worse than Vince's Chicken Dance. Yet another example of rock + dance = LAME:
BART SIMPSON - "DO THE BARTMAN"
The Simpsons is possibly THE coolest show in the history of television, and its contributions to popular culture are admirable and immense. But this is not one of the show's finest contributions. The fact that The Simpsons kept its cred and managed to stay on the air for 20 seasons after this embarrassment is a testament to Matt Groening's genius. This video just makes us want to have a cow, man:
Oh, and by the way...just to prove that bad dancing never goes out of style, it even got to the point in the 1980s where the Fat Boys covered "The Twist" (with Chubby Checker, slumming):
Maybe those concerned '60s parents were right all along...
- Arts & Entertainment