How to Dance at a School Dance (for Guys)

Four Parts:Studying Up on the Common Moves and GenresLearning the Latest HitsDancing with a PartnerAsking Someone to Dance

So the school dance is coming up and you have to come correct with the right moves. With all the variety of music and dance moves out there, how are you supposed to prepare? Take a look at some of the classics, along with a selection of some hot moves from the end of 2015. Practice these in order to bring the heat on the dance floor.

Part 1
Studying Up on the Common Moves and Genres

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    Get your headbanging down. This move involves exactly what it sounds like – banging your head up and down like a madman. This dance move is most performed during hard rock songs with heavy guitar riffs.
    • Make sure you stay stationary while headbanging. Leave yourself plenty of room if you are headbanging near other people. You don’t want to headbutt anyone and injure them, or yourself.
    • Don’t headbang too hard. It’s easy to throw out your neck or back muscles while rocking out.[1]
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    Jump into the mosh pit. Moshing occurs most during hardcore rock songs, punk and in heavy metal music. Just about anyone can do it! All dancers gather in one area (called the mosh pit) and jump up and down, bounding off one another.
    • There’s a good chance this may not be allowed at your school. Moshing is very physical and dangerous, so get involved at your own risk.
    • If someone you are Moshing with falls down or gets hurt, help them up. Falling down in a mosh pit is dangerous and it's hard to notice when someone gets in over their head. [2]
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    Check out the latest breakdance moves. Breakdancing is a physically intense dance that requires a lot of upper body strength, agility, and skill. Songs with fast hip hop beats are most commonly associated with breakdancing. If you want to breakdance at the school dance, be prepared for lots of practice beforehand.
    • Start at the beginning. Learn the most basic breakdance moves first. Once you have these down, you can start moving on to the harder dance moves, such as transitions and power moves.
    • Stretch before you start breakdancing. Like head banging, breakdancing is physically demanding. You don’t want to be carried out of the school dance on a stretch.
    • Give yourself plenty of room. Breakdancing at high levels involves a whirlwind of legs and arms. Don’t clobber a classmate or teacher with your sweet dance moves. [3]
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    Practice your freestyle. Freestyle or club dancing involves following your gut and the rhythm – you just make up the moves as you go along. This can include arm, head, torso, and leg movements. Freestyle is great for any kind of music. After all, you’re making the moves.
    • Just keep moving. There is no right or wrong way to freestyle. Move to the rhythm.
    • Find music that sparks your creativity. Turn on the music at home and dance in your room. Find the music that gets you moving and inspires you to take chances on the dance floor.[4]
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    Slow roll it with snap dance. The snap dance is a mellow dance often performed during R&B and other smooth songs. Mix it up with some slow freestyle to keep the rhythm going.
    • Move one shoulder forward and one shoulder backwards in a back and forth motion. Keep one shoulder stationary and then bend one knee and rock to the opposite side at an angled motion. Rock back to the original position while snapping your fingers. Now you’re snap dancing![5]
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    Study a few choreographed dances. These dances involve a whole line of people doing the same exact choreographed moves. Examples of these dances include the Macarena, the Cha Cha Slide, and the Electric Slide.
    • If you don't know the motions, you can sit that one out to observe the moves, and then give it a try on the next play.
    • Feel free to jump in the line even if you don’t know the moves. Choreographed dances are more about silly fun than showing off your serious dance skills.
    • Some country dances fall under this category, such as line or square dancing.
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    Come up with a gameplan for less popular music. Techno and similar electronic music are a mainstay at clubs and you might just hear a song or two at your school dance. Elaborate hand motions and smooth body gyrations are the go to moves for slower techno. Faster techno dancing involves sharp movements of the joints.
    • For a slow techno dance, try the Flower. Open your palms with your wrists together and move them around like you are molding a bowl out of clay. Roll your wrists together so that the back of your wrists are facing one another. Finally, roll your palms back so they are facing one another, and start over. [6]
    • Faster techno and Eurodance lends itself well to freestyle dancing. When in doubt, follow your sense of rhythm.

Part 2
Learning the Latest Hits

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    Read up on what is trending. Keep tabs on the latest songs or genres that are sweeping the media. You can expect at least a few of these songs to make an appearance at your school dance, provided they aren’t particularly risk.
    • Youtube, Vine and Instagram are a prime place to find trending dances. Many will feature hashtags or other markers denoting their popularity.
    • The Billboard Music Chart has added Twitter trends to its metrics, allowing you to get a good idea of what is trending online in particular. [7]
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    Determine what is likely to play at your school. Some genres of music are more or less likely to be played at your school depending on the location and demographics of your school. Use this knowledge to determine whether you should practice a hip hop dance, or something more club oriented.
    • School DJs are often chosen from a group of DJs already established as school safe. If the DJ is announced ahead of time, look into their organization to get a better idea of what songs might be played and those that might be banned.[8]
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    Practice a few popular dances. Add these to your arsenal for the school dance. You don’t have to learn every popular dance. Even knowing just a few will let you join in when the right song hits. Try a few of these popular hits from the end of 2015.
    • The Dab. This dance has gained popularity since first introduced and you don't have to look far to find an example of your favorite celebrity or artist giving it a shot. Performing the Dab is simple. Lean forward and bow your head into your bent elbow, like you’re wiping sweat off of your face. Throw your other arm in the air, either behind you or in the same direction as your bent arm is pointing. That’s all there is to it! The Dab fits in with most hip hop songs, but its simplicity means it can find a way into almost any genre.
    • The Whip/Nae Nae. Two older dances originating in the early 2000s, The Whip and Nae Nae were combined last year, transforming the two into a popular sensation. Hold one arm out in front as through you’re driving a car, while moving to the beat. Follow with the Nae Nae, shimmying your body upward while you raise your arm. Let your personality shine through during this dance![9]
    • The Hotline Bling. Popularized by the Drake music video of the same name, the Hotline Bling is a collection of dance moves that look like something your dad would do on the dance floor. Commit a few of the more memorable moves to memory. For example, for The Call Me, perform a slow, freestyle sway, but raise your thumb and pinky to the side of your head while doing so, as though beckoning for someone to give you a phone call. [10]

Part 3
Dancing with a Partner

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    Know the classic slow dance. Slow dancing offers a break from the faster paced songs, and is typically performed during slow love songs or R&B slow-jams. Grab a partner (ideally someone you have a crush on) to take advantage of the opportunity.
    • First place your hands on your partner’s waist. If you don't know where the waist is located, it's just above the hips. Your partner will either place their hands on your shoulders, on your waist, or a combination of the two. More formal dances, such as the Waltz, will instead require you and your partner to lock a set of hands and hold them out to your side.
    • Move your feet with the beat. Slow dances aren’t terribly demanding – a simple swaying left and right is enough to get you through the song.
    • A classic and easy step routine to remember is the Waltz. If you are leading the routine, you simply step forward with your partner, then to the right, then backwards, and to the left. This creates a box pattern, and you should finish right where you started. [11]
    • You can spin your partner (or they can spin you) as you see fit. Don’t get dizzy though!
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    Keep bump and grind at the ready. A controversial dance best suited for fast paced hip hop or R&B songs. Check with your school prior to performing the dance, or at least do so in a way that you don’t get caught.
    • Have your partner place their hips against yours, with both of you facing the same direction.
    • Grind up and down to the beat. You can place your hands on their hips if both parties are comfortable with the idea.
    • Make sure your partner is okay with performing this dance.
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    Fill in the gaps with freestyle. The principles of solo freestyle dancing also apply to partner freestyle. This works well with any type of music that you want to join a partner for, provided the song isn't reserved for formal slow dancing.
    • Let your partner’s dance moves influence your own, and vice versa. You aren’t necessarily touching your partner while dancing, but you undeniably are working as a team.
    • If you ever get lost or lose your rhythm, revert to a few simple moves. The two-step is a simple maneuver where you step your right leg to the right and step your left leg over to meet it. Then, repeat back to the other side.
    • The bounce is another simple move that will help you get back on track. Simply bounce or jump up and down to the beat of the music. Move your arms as desired. [12]

Part 4
Asking Someone to Dance

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    Arrange a dance partner prior to the event. School dances are announced a few weeks prior to the event. Take advantage of this time to gauge another’s interest in going to the dance with you.
    • If you’re familiar with the person you want to ask to the dance, invite them out to a normal social event, such as grabbing a bite to eat or the movies. Bring up the dance in conversation and ask them nonchalantly, but with confidence.
    • For example, you could say: “Hey, have you made any plans for the school dance yet? Want to come with? We can show them how to get loosey goosey.”
    • You might also simply ask: “You looking for a partner for the school dance, or are you going to fly solo? Happy to join you if you need a partner in crime.”
    • If you aren’t particularly close with the person you want to ask out, try writing a letter or sending an email asking them to the dance.
    • Avoid working through an intermediary, like a friend. This shows a lack of confidence.
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    Ask them to dance at the event. When someone catches your eye at the dance, don’t be afraid to approach them and ask them to dance. Take a few precautionary measures to improve your chances of them saying yes.
    • Start some small talk beforehand. Cold opens are a tough sell, and might give the wrong impression, depending on your approach.
    • Wait for a new song to start before asking. You want a song that is suited to the type of dance you would like to have with your partner.
    • Make sure the other person is not already in a relationship. If they seem to be close to another or dancing with someone else, they might be taken.
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    Be confident. Whether you ask someone prior to the event, or right there on the dance floor, confidence will help convince them to join you for a dance. Studies show confidence as a leading factor in whether someone finds another attractive. [13]
    • Be direct. Rather than asking someone to dance through a friend, go ask them yourself, preferably in person.


  • Don't be afraid or embarrassed to dance. Confidence will help you look like you know what you’re doing on the dance floor.
  • If you're break-dancing, clear a wide circle first. Push people back gently or get a friend to clear some room.
  • Don't overdo it too early in the evening or you'll get tired.
  • Do not perform provocative dances if your dance partner is uncomfortable with the idea.
  • Be respectful during the dance. Don’t touch another without their consent.
  • Go with the flow if you're doing freestyle or any dance. It it's a low beat, seductive hip-hop song, try out some fluid moves. If it's a fast beat song, try focusing on fast footwork.


  • Bump-and-grind can get you kicked-out, so be aware of the rules.
  • Not all genres of music will be played at your school dance. Get an idea of what the DJ will be playing to plan ahead.
  • Don't attempt to break dance if you have no experience. It’s an easy way to hurt yourself.

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Categories: Dances