There’s nothing like some wedding line dances to get everyone out on the dance floor! These fun, catchy tunes and their dances are wedding reception staples for a reason: They get the party started and guests up out of their seats!
No matter what your music preferences, you’ll likely want to mix in a few group dance songs and line dance songs throughout your wedding reception. In this blog, we’ll outline the best fun wedding line dances and songs from yesterday and today. Don’t forget to add these tracks to your wedding playlist!
Most Famous Wedding Line Dances of All Time
Line dances have been around for hundreds of years, and their popularity has only grown over time. While wedding line dances definitely had their heyday in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, we are seeing a resurgence of the trend thanks to new, catchy songs and the ingenuity of dancing teens on apps like TikTok. Before we move on to the modern hits, let’s take a look at some of the most famous line dances in party history!
“Cupid Shuffle” is a song by singer-songwriter Cupid from his 2007 studio album “Time for a Change.” It has spawned a popular line dance, “The Cupid Shuffle,” which was a defining aspect of the early 2010s due to its meteoric popularity as a wedding line dance and at school dances, proms, or other festive occasions.
The Cupid Shuffle dance and the song itself immediately drew comparisons to “Cha Cha Slide” by DJ Casper. Like the Cha Cha Slide, the movements of The Cupid Shuffle are called out in the lyrics of the song, guiding participants through the dance. Cupid Shuffle and Cha Cha Slide are often played one right after the other at weddings or school dances.
Cha Cha Slide
While the Cha Cha Slide may seem ubiquitous to those who grew up in the late 90s and early 2000s, this party hit has only been around since August 2000, when it was released as a single by American artist DJ Casper. Producers of the track initially marketed it for use at aerobic sessions and nightclubs, but it quickly took the entire entertainment and event industry by storm. You can now hear the Cha Cha Slide at school dances, proms, birthday parties, ice-skating and roller rinks, bar/bat mitzvahs, quinceaneras, weddings and sporting events all around the world.
Like its spiritual successor The Cupid Shuffle, the Cha Cha Slide’s lyrics cue party guests to perform each dance step, like the titular “slide” to the left or right or—of course— “cha cha real smooth.”
There’s no such thing as too many slide dances at a wedding! The Electric Slide, much like the Cha Cha Slide, is a four-wall line dance (meaning the participants will turn to eventually face all four walls of the room over the course of the dance) that has been incredibly popular at weddings since its inception.
Choreographer, pianist and Broadway performer Richard L. “Ric” Silver created the dance in 1976, setting it to Marcia Griffiths and Bunny Wailer’s song “Electric Boogie.” The original choreography includes 22 steps, but there are multiple variations, the most popular of which is the 18-step “Electric Slide 2.”
Beyond the original track, there are at least 134 songs you can dance the Electric Slide to. Here are just a few:
- “Another One Bites the Dust,” Queen
- “Brick House,” The Commodores
- “December 1963 (Oh What A Night),” The Four Seasons
- “Get Down On It,” Kool & the Gang
- “Ice Ice Baby,” Vanilla Ice
This line dance stems from the song “Wobble” by rapper V.I.C., which was originally released in the summer of 2008. Four years later, it debuted at number 94 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on January 7, 2012. The song’s belated popularity is attributed to the dance it eventually inspired, The Wobble.
It is a simple dance in the same vein as the Electric Slide or Cha Cha Slide, but with a more modern, hip-hop/R&B flavor. More recently, the song and its associated dance enjoyed another spike in popularity thanks to its discover by the next generation of party-goers on the video sharing app TikTok.
Hey, Macarena! “Macarena” is a Spanish dance song by Los del Río about a woman of the same name. Appearing on their 1993 album “A mí me gusta,” the song became an international hit and dance craze in the latter half of 1996. The song even got the group ranked the “No. 1 Greatest One-Hit Wonder of All Time” by VH1 in 2002! The associated dance consists primarily of arm and hand movements, making it a fun wedding reception dance for groups comprised of many different ages and mobility levels.
Disco isn’t dead! This 1978 hit by The Village People is perhaps one of the most famous songs of all time to say nothing of the lasting popularity of the dance by the same name. “Y.M.C.A.” is one of fewer than 40 singles to have sold 10 million (or more) physical copies worldwide.
“Y.M.C.A.” stands for Young Men’s Christian Association, an organization that built low-income housing and youth community spaces for underprivileged and unhoused city dwellers. In the 60s and 70s, the YMCA was known as a safe space for young men of color and youth ousted from their homes for their sexual orientation, which inspired Victor Willis, lead singer and lyricist of The Village People, to pen the song.
The song remains popular at events around the world, with crowds joining in on the dance in which arm movements are used to spell out the four letters of the song’s title. Like the Macarena, this dance’s reliance on arm movements makes it a great choice for groups with mixed activity or mobility levels.
The Chicken Dance
Did you know that “The Chicken Dance” dates all the way back to 1950? That’s right — this notorious earworm is credited to Swiss accordion player Werner Thomas. The original name of the song was “Der Ententanz” (The Duck Dance), and was a popular drinking song at Oktoberfest in Germany. In 1981, the song was played at the Tulsa, Oklahoma Oktoberfest. Performers wanted to don duck costumes, but none were available, so a local television station donated a chicken costume for use at the festival, accidentally making history by giving “The Chicken Dance” its name.
Since then, polka tune has been present at Oktoberfests, wedding receptions, school dances, proms and festivals across the country. Its four simple dance moves (mimicking a chicken beak opening and closing with one’s hands, flapping one’s arms like chicken wings, shaking one’s hips, and clapping four times on the beat) make it easy for everyone, from children to children at heart, to pick up quickly. It also happens to regularly top lists of the most common songs on couples’ “do not play” lists for their wedding DJs, so your mileage may vary with this old classic!
Cotton Eyed Joe
Believe it or not, “Cotton-Eyed Joe” is actually the oldest song on this list! Its roots date back before the Civil War, and is believed to have been sung by enslaved people in the fields of plantations in the American South. The first printed version of the song’s lyrics was published in 1882, and the lyrics have evolved since. Many different versions of the song have been performed and recorded with many different versions of the lyrics or without lyrics at all, but the most popular and recognizable rendition today was recorded by Swedish Eurodance group Rednex in 1994.
As a line dance, the Cotton Eyed Joe is essentially a heel-and-toe “poker” style dance, the likes of which are commonly seen at square dances or hoedowns. The Cotton Eyed Joe is a great country wedding line dance song choice for couples having a barn or farm wedding, backyard wedding, or rustic-chic wedding.
New Line Dances and Tik Tok Trends
Social media video apps like YouTube and TikTok have breathed new life into line dancing! Over the past decade, artists have seen their songs skyrocket to fame with new, younger audiences. Of particular note is the prevalence of hip-hop tracks, in addition to tracks that mix hip-hop and country influences, as the new genre of choice for line dances. Below, we give you all the details on some of our favorite new line dances and TikTok trends for your 2022 wedding playlist.
Old Town Road
“Old Town Road” is the debut single that launched American rapper Lil Nas X to fame. Originally released in 2018, then again in 2019 as a remixed version featuring country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, this country rap number gained popularity on Tiktok before hitting the Billboard charts. Tiktok users devised their own dance steps to the song, leading to the hit being widely considered a dance track despite being initially released without any associated choreography. The song went on to be featured in the dance-centric video game “Just Dance 2020,” which solidified the track’s line dance steps.
This dance is a great choice for younger couples who prefer a more modern twist on their wedding soundtrack’s country flair. Older guests may not know the dance, as it was conceived on and popularized by social media, but the steps are simple enough to pick up, especially for seasoned line-dancers.
If you’ve seen an Applebee’s commercial since late summer 2021, you’ve probably heard “Fancy Like!” During the COVID-19 pandemic, country singer Walker Hayes and his family decided to make TikTok videos for fun, creating dances for several songs from his EP “Country Stuff” for his children. The TikTok video for “Fancy Like” received more than 2.4 million likes and 23,000 comments and became a viral hit overnight. What’s that got to do with Applebee’s? The restaurant is mentioned in the lyrics of the song, prompting the chain to use the track in its commercials, contributing to its popularity.
The dance created by Hayes and his family draws inspiration from both classic line dances and more modern hip-hop dance. As journalist Chris Deville wrote for Stereogum in 2021, “There’s probably some connection to be drawn between the hip-hop-adjacent ‘Fancy Like’ dance and the line dancing that used to accompany every country hit in the late 20th century.” No wonder “Fancy Like” feels so familiar!
The Git Up
“Country rap” again went viral in early 2019 with “The Git Up” by American rapper Blanco Brown. The song has been described as the “sequel” to “Old Town Road” thanks to its mash-up of hip-hop and country sensibilities and viral popularity. Despite its decidedly modern conception, the dance associated with “The Git Up” is in keeping with the origins of classic line dances of the 80s through early 2000s: Brown himself performed a line dance to the song in a self-recorded video, which became a meme and was later used in the music video.
The dance takes cues from country line dance staples like side steps, heel-toe taps and turning, but with looser body language befitting its hip-hop roots. “The Git Up” will fit right in at city weddings and farm weddings alike thanks to its genre-defying beat.
Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)
Thanks to a viral clip on YouTube in 2015, this song by rapper Silentó became popular for its dance — despite mixed reviews of the track overall! The dance includes a combination of the two popular moves cited in the title: the “Whip” and the “Nae Nae.” Both moves require the dancer to take a deep stance and use their arms and hips, so this is one dance that is best for the limber!
Since its original burst of popularity, this song has taken on a life of its own, becoming a popular tune at sporting events, dance clubs, school dances, proms, and weddings. It has also been used as an alternative song for other popular hip-hop dances like those from “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” and “Stanky Legg.”
Baby Shark Dance
“Baby Shark” is a children’s song and associated dance — so rest assured this will be a huge hit with any kids in your wedding party and at your reception! Originating as a campfire song and dance, with participants using their hands to imitate shark’s jaws, “Baby Shark” became popular in 2016 when South Korean entertainment company Pinkfong’s YouTube music video for the song went viral. In January 2022, it became the first YouTube video to reach 10 billion views, and is YouTube’s most viewed video of all time.
“Gangnam Style” went gangbusters in 2012 when it was released as a lead single by South Korean rapper Psy. The term “Gangnam Style” refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul in Korea. Psy’s amusing dancing throughout this K-pop dance song became a worldwide phenomenon, sparking memes, parodies, sketches and more. The dance itself is high-energy and involves galloping and lassoing motions, pulses and small kicks. Anyone who was around for this major cultural moment will undoubtedly dash to the dance floor when this is played at your wedding reception!
Crank That (Soulja Boy) – “Superman”
“Crank That (Soulja Boy)” is responsible for what was called “the biggest dance fad since the Macarena” at the time of its release in 2008. The debut single by American rapper Soulja Boy Tell’em, this song spent seven weeks at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and received a Grammy nomination. An instructional YouTube video for the associated dance surpassed 27 million views by early 2008.
Inspired by recent dance crazes in Atlanta, Georgia, Soulja Boy and his friends invented the moves that became synonymous with “Crank That.” As The Wall Street Journal described it, “dancers bounce back on their heels, ripple their hands, crank their wrists like motorcyclists, then lunge into a Superman pose.” The dance became wildly popular at dance clubs and school dances at the time and remains a memorable line dance today.
The Time Warp
Originally featured in the 1973 musical “The Rocky Horror Show” and the subsequent 1975 film adaptation “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Time Warp” is a glam rock parody of the dance song genre. The associated dance of the same name is one of the major audience participation portions featured during screenings of the film and performances of the stage show. Like many popular line dances of the time, much of the lyrics of “Time Warp” are dance step instructions, making it easy to follow along.
“Time Warp” has become a popular song beyond the reaches of its source material and is often played at dances and weddings. Because “Rocky Horror Picture Show” holds legendary cult classic status among film fans, this song will be an excellent choice for wedding reception groups of all ages — especially if the couple are self-proclaimed sci-fi or film nerds!
More Wedding Line Dance Songs Everyone Will Know
Country Wedding Line Dance Songs
Since country music is the grandaddy of all line dances, you can bet there are more hits that make boot-tappin’-good country wedding line dance songs:
- “Achy Breaky Heart,” Billy Ray Cyrus (1992)
- “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” Trace Adkins (2005)
- “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” Shania Twain (1997)
Hip Hop Group Dance Songs
There are almost too many great hip-hop dance songs to choose from — but here are a few more, just for good measure!:
- “Harlem Shake,” Baauer (2012)
- “Jump On It,” The Sugarhill Gang (1999)
- “Teach Me How to Dougie,” Cali Swag District (2010)
More Fun Wedding Reception Dances
Here are some of our favorite pop, Latin and R&B-inspired fun wedding reception songs:
- “Thriller,” Michael Jackson (1982)
- “Conga,” Miami Sound Machine & Gloria Estefan (1996)
- “Twist & Shout,” The Beatles (1963)
- “Sweet Caroline,” Neil Diamond (1969)
Dance Down the Aisle at the Heritage Center of Brooklyn Center
Ready to get dancing down the aisle? We’re ready to help! Let the expert planning team at the Heritage Center of Brooklyn Center see to every detail of your extraordinary wedding and reception. From the pre-ceremony cocktails to the perfect party playlist, we’re experienced in helping couples make their wedding day dreams a reality. Contact us today to learn more!