Party Dance Steps

Benna Crawford

You're the Dancing Queen (or King) so you need some moves to rock that night out, floor your friends, and avoid the dread Wallflower Fail. Confidence is sexy on the dance floor, and you get confidence by practicing the choreography. Master a few party dances to cover yourself in glory at your next social spectacle.

The Center of Attention

Do you remember that kid at your junior high dance who would show off in the middle of the big circle of classmates, showing off the coolest party dance steps you had ever seen? Maybe you wished you were that student - able to come off suave and coordinated in front of a whole room of impressed onlookers. You may be more grown up now, but there is still time to win some admirers through your smooth dance moves. Read on below for some steps that are exceptionally popular right now, as well as ideas on how to learn them and look like a pro.

Easy Party Dance Steps

Assuming you're beyond the age of dance-off circles, social dance is a popular activity at more mature parties. From wild to classy, there is always a great opportunity to move to some fun music and look more than capable on a dance floor. To get started, try out these simple steps:

Bus Stop

  1. Step to the side with your right foot, and then bring in your left foot so they touch.
  2. Repeat this, and then switch directions.
  3. Smile and look relaxed or people might misinterpret this clever choreography as a "where's-the-loo?" jiggle.

You have now mastered the "bus stop", one of the easiest moves to carry out at a party. You will see a lot of people bus-stopping on the dance floor, as it's easy to keep to the rhythm of most any song, while still managing to carry on a conversation - or even flirt a little! The bus stop simply consists of the feet moving back and forth, but it helps prevent stiffness or other awkward stances many non-dancers tend to adopt while out in the middle of a jammin' crowd. Plus...hip hop. Add some arm moves and you're actually dancing.


The Macarena has gone down in dorky dance moves history, along with the YMCA and Chicken Dance. However if you happened to live under a rock during the late 1990s, you may feel sillier NOT knowing this campy dance set. For this reason, use the below reference to learn the Macarena on the fly:

  1. Your right hand is outstretched with the palm down. Repeat this movement with the left hand.
  2. Flip your right palm over and then follow again with your left.
  3. Touch your right hand to your left shoulder and then cross your left hand over to touch your right shoulder.
  4. Don't get too tangled up, because the next step calls for you to touch your right hand to the back of your right ear, and then - you guessed it - your left hand to your left ear.
  5. Next, place your right hand on your right hip and mirror with the left hand.
  6. Repeat the same two moves so your hands are on your rear. Do a little hip wiggle, and jump a quarter of a turn to the right.

The Macarena threatens to repeat endlessly (or until someone changes the song on the CD player), so be ready for a workout.

Soulja Boy

The recent music video caused a global dance phenomenon, and countless young people have mastered this hip hop-infused dance sequence.

  1. Bend your knees, jump in the air, and land with your right foot crossed over your left.
  2. Next, kick your left foot behind you, so your right hand touches the ball of your foot.
  3. After your foot is returned to its initial position, pop your right and then left shoulder forward, ending with your upper body sinking down at a right angle.
  4. The ball of your right foot should then touch out in front of you, then to the right, and then pop up and down to the side once.

The next part of Soulja Boy is known as the "Superman."

  1. Press your hands together in a diving position, and push them outward with your right leg cocked behind you, as if you are flying like Superman. Let your arms push out all the way through.
  2. Then, with your feet apart, hop to the left three times, and then to the right three times.
  3. Your arms should be angled like a boxer as you hop, adding to the rhythm and overall look of the set.
  4. Lastly, repeat the entire sequence from the initial bend and jump, this time doing everything in the opposite direction.


MJ was 2 Kool 4 U, but that doesn't mean you can't get good at his signature move. And then, watch out! You will be in the middle of a cheering circle, smoothly strutting your stuff while your homies' eyes bug out. Fun fact: French mime, Marcel Marceau (1923-2007) invented this move and called it "Walking Against the Wind." Michael Jackson consulted Marceau for choreography.

  1. Stand tall in your socks or soft-soled shoes, feet together.
  2. With your left foot flat on the floor, slide your right leg back, heel up, toes on floor.
  3. Shift your weight onto your raised right foot, just bending the toes so the ball of your foot is on the floor.
  4. As you lower your right heel slowly, slide your left foot backward (keeping it flat as long as possible). When the toes of your left foot are lined up with the heel of your right foot, your left heel will start to come up off the floor. The word here is "smooth."
  5. Bring the left foot all the way back until the toes rest on the floor and repeat the moves on alternate sides - never allow the toes of either foot to leave the floor.
  6. Pro Tip - "Snap" your heel up as you "snap" the other heel down for even more awesomeness.

Single Ladies

Beyonce is Da Bomb. Be like Beyonce. Don't take any negatives while you lay down some sass. Start with the first moves of Single Lady and add on to your skills a few parties down the road, once you're rocking the open.

  1. Start with feet hip-width apart, right hand on hip, left elbow bent and hand up, wrist flexed.
  2. Lean to the right, shifting your weight into the right hip.
  3. Brush your left hand forward as you lean to the right.
  4. Lean to the left, bringing your right shoulder forward and slightly down and your left hand up so the wrist is not flexed.
  5. Your chin goes up just a bit as your shoulder comes forward, tucking a fraction down and in as your left hand waves down.
  6. Repeat this move for seven counts. On the eighth (last) count, as you flex your left wrist to wave the hand forward and down, raise your left foot slightly and step down in place.
  7. With your weight on the left foot, raise the right foot and step back, behind the left foot.
  8. Step in place with the left foot again and kick the right foot out to the side and front as you do.
  9. Raise both arms high as you kick, and flick them out as if you are flinging something off your hands.
  10. As you come out of the kick, bring the arms down to rest on your hips as you step down with the right foot, facing your toes to the left.
  11. Bend your left knee, pick up your left foot slightly and step it down smartly, so you are facing a little to the left side.
  12. Repeat.


Don't embarrass yourself. The Twist has been around since 1960. How have you managed not to learn it in all this time? Lucky for you, it's E-Z. Go here for a quick tutorial.

Electric Slide

Duh, better know a line dance because…concerts…weddings…whatever. It's bound to happen. Be prepared. The Electric Slide is so simple everyone does it.

  1. Take four steps to the right, then four steps to the left.
  2. Take four steps to the back - on the fourth step land your left foot forward a step, tilting your torso back slightly to accommodate the weight shift.
  3. Raise and lower the front (left) foot in place, shift your weight to that foot and step-touch-step with the back (right) foot.
  4. Step-touch-step with the front (left) foot, keeping your weight on the back (right) foot.
  5. Step onto the front (left) foot as you slide the back (right) foot forward into a low kick, turning your right hip forward as the right leg kicks and steps down. Now you're facing the other way (but still moving in the same general direction), and you go on.
  6. Repeat the moves and keep going until the line breaks up or you fall down.
  7. Make a sincere effort not to elbow, kick, or stomp your neighbor for a no-regrets line dance.

Nae Nae

You gotta love the name. Even better, love how painless it is. Get your Nae Nae on and then sort of twerk it a little for some extra sexiness.

  1. Stand with legs about hip-width apart.
  2. Raise your right arm and hand toward the ceiling, wrist flexed, palm facing forward.
  3. Lean your weight from side to side at the hips, keeping both feet on the floor. This move involves leaning your torso left and right just a bit while bringing your hips alternately back and forth. You're twisting at the waist.
  4. As you lean towards the right, push your hips back, starting with the right hip, while allowing your shoulder and arm to sweep back. Push the arm forward and out as your right hip twists toward the front again.
  5. Keep leaning into the twist from side to side so that your knees flex with every weight shift and it becomes one fluid motion that engages shoulders.

Nae Nae is just sinuous, continuous fluid motion in place, perfect for a crowded dance floor. Of course, you can add some flourishes like whip arms, one-hand-on-hip, head turns, kicks, and deeper rocking twists to heat it up a bit. If you love you some tutting, whacking, or popping, bring it on. Nae Nae is what you make it.

Waka Waka

Shakira popped this one out to raise awareness and funds for education in Africa. You know that traditional African dance is the basis for almost all popular contemporary dance, don't you? Well, now you do. And in about five minutes, you'll know how to Waka Waka, too.

  1. Put your hands in prayer position - palms joined - about chest high.
  2. As you step forward to the right, move the temple of your hands just a little to the right.
  3. Step left forward and move your hands to the left. Let your right foot trail behind.
  4. Step back onto the right foot, once again moving your joined hands to the right.
  5. Step back on the left foot, moving hands to the left.
  6. High step to the front with the right leg (bend your knee, raise your leg and step forward and down) as you move joined hands into a "dive" - up, over, front, and down.
  7. High step to the front with the left leg, repeating the arm/hand moves.
  8. On the next step froward with the right foot, separate the hands and raise both arms, elbows bent and arms wide, and fling your hands up.
  9. Step forward left and fling your hands up once more.
  10. Join hands again at chest height as you resume stepping back with the right foot, then the left foot.
  11. Step forward with the right foot, then the left foot, maintaining the coordinated arm moves.
  12. Take two more steps to the front, raising your joined (templed) hands up and down on each step.
  13. One the next two steps forward (almost in place) fling your arms and hands up again.
  14. Repeat the combination.
  15. Once you have the rhythm, put a little swing into it by sashaying your hips with each step.


These are only a few of the party dance steps available for you to learn. If you are searching for a way to master more cool moves, consider attending a local dance studio class or doing an Internet search for social dance or hip hop steps. Remember, practice makes perfect, and you may find one day soon that you own that party dance floor.

Was this page useful?
Party Dance Steps