1. The Grizzly Bear
The Grizzly Bear was introduced in Chicago in 1909. It was rough, clumsy, and undignified, as it was literally meant to be an imitation of a dancing bear. People would shout out “It’s a Bear!” while stepping heavily from side to side. Married women were probably very familiar with the routine.
2. The Safety Dance
“The Safety Dance” protested how bouncers stopped allowing dancers in clubs to pogo (or jump up and down in time with the music while staying in the same spot) because they thought it was unsafe in the ’80s. So to throw their support behind pogoing, the group’s music video for “The Safety Dance” had each member make an “S” for “Safety” with their arms and bodies in the middle of a large, grassy field. Too bad they didn’t realize roaming around in tall grass with exposed legs isn’t very safe, either.
3. The Pee-wee Herman
“The Pee-wee Herman” debuted in the 1985 adventure comedy, “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.” Knowing how a biker gang was about to beat him up (or possibly kill him), Pee-wee said his last request was to hear “Tequila” played one more time. His wish was granted, the bikers liked his performance so much they gave him a brand new motorcycle. If only it was that easy in a dealership.
4. The Urkel
We first saw “The Urkel” in the “Life of the Party” episode of “Family Matters.” The song that went with it had instructional lyrics on how to do the moves, and it was a nice tribute to Steve’s geeky appearance and sweet demeanor. He probably would’ve gotten another song if that whole time machine thing pulled through.
5. The Roger Rabbit
The Roger Rabbit stemmed from the 1998 movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. The dance looks like a backwards Running Man, where the dancer skips backwards and links their thumbs under their preferably existent suspenders.
6. The Carlton
When Carlton Banks from “The Fresh Prince of Bel – Air” found himself home alone, he turned on Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual” and literally danced like no one was watching. Viewers responded so positively to Carlton’s shamelessness that they began wearing cable knit sweaters to places that were not golf courses.
7. The Meatstick
Phish is known for breaking various world records, and for not always succeeding. In July of 1999, the group tried to break the record for most people dancing simultaneously during a concert in Oswego, NY. They did The Meatstick while playing the Phish song, “Meatstick.” Sadly the record was not broken (even though 60,000 people participated), and meatballs were not handed out as consolation prizes.
8. The Dougie
The Dougie goes all the way back to the ’80s, where it was pioneered by Doug E. Fresh. In 2007, the moves were revived by Lil’ Wil’s hit, “My Dougie,” and then again with the 2010 release of Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How To Dougie.” Powerhouses like Wolf Blitzer, Kate Upton and First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, are all fans.
9. The Creep
“The Creep” was started by comedy troupe The Lonely Island. The music video premiered on the January 29th, 2011 episode of Saturday Night Live, and the dance explains how to properly make an unwelcome advance on someone: you dangle your arms around like a puppet, raise your knees up high, move towards your target, and grin with sexual appetite.
While all those other novelty dances are nice, it’s all about #Shamrocking now. For those of you who don’t know, #Shamrocking is when you buy your friend a Shamrock Shake from McDonalds and take a picture of them doing an Irish Jig because they’re so happy. Be sure to take part in it so The Grizzly Bear can’t come back!