Dance is hugely important to the success of music videos, and we're highlighting some of the latest and greatest that come across our screens. We're judging videos based on how dance is featured to tell stories, keep eyeballs glued to the tube, and support the music. Which artists are bringing their own moves? Which styles of dance work best? Who succeeded in using dance to make us like a song even more — and are there times when there is too much dance? (Hey, it could happen…) Let's take a look at what's new:
Little Mix "Touch"
This U.K. girl group from "X Factor" fame hasn't quite cracked the top of our charts yet, but that could change with this banger just released from their latest LP. "Touch" has everything you could want in a dance pop video: attitude, skin, a mix of sexy and fun choreography (both single and mixed gender) and strategic slow motion. The degree of dance difficulty isn't exactly A.P. level, but who cares? These girls work their bodies and the camera, and we were thoroughly entertained.
Chris Brown "Party"
We know this Chris Brown song starring Gucci Mane and Usher has been around for a few weeks, but we're still stuck on it! This is one underground dance party we want to be a part of. The footwork is lit. The pirouettes are power. And the sheer range of dancers to watch in this cast is keeping us glued. If you're looking to learn some new moves, this is the video to slow down and follow along with.
Missy Elliott "I'm Better"
Any video that starts with "I wake up I wanna dance" works for us. Missy Elliott's new video is a high-production fantasy with some serious costuming and quirky settings that at times obscure the movement. (And did Missy use some kind of digital lipstick?) We go from aerialist puppet dancers to dancers wearing boots so important they look like they might impede most footwork. Oh, reverse: Let's not forget the welding helmets that show up briefly. Then we go underwater...with Pilates balls. We're going to be watching this again and again.
Adidas Originals Feat. Snoop Dogg
Yes, it's an ad. But it's a supersized, expensive-looking, music- and dance-filled commercial that "recreates" the iconic album cover of one of hip hop's most influential records. There is a dark, moody fusion of skaters, people doing yoga inversions, violent cheerleader gangs, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and highbrow allusions to the Renaissance iconic painting The Birth of Venus – all set to a post-apocalyptic, poetry-slammish version of Frank Sinatra's anthem "My Way." Our favorite part comes a minute in, when the beat drops. We get jarring shots of a topless, ripped hottie modern dancing in front of 50 mirrors cut with moves busted by a gang dressed in Mad Max'cessorized sneaker gear. Requires repeated viewing. It sticks with you.