When These 50 Songs Come On, You Can’t Help But Dance
OutKast, "Hey Ya"
OutKast ruled the radio with this 2003 hit. And at that time, people still knew what it meant to “shake it like a Polaroid picture.” (Would that lyric even work now?) We’ll never know what grooves we could have been dancing to from Outkast: After they broke up, their solo careers never quite matched the pop brilliance of “Hey Ya.”
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"
So catchy, so upbeat. “Uptown Funk” brought together the smoothest of smooth stars Bruno Mars and the funktastic DJ Mark Ronson. Though it debuted in November 2014, the song was still popular enough to be a key song of the summer in 2015. And the song won Ronson a Grammy for Record of the Year in 2016.
Aaliyah, "More Than A Woman"
Aaliyah’s 2001 slow-jam hit is just one of the songs that make us miss the late pop star, who was tragically taken at age 22 in 2001. But her talent lives on: Her voice had warmth and charm, and she was one of the last female pop stars able to sing and seriously dance at the same time.
Lady Gaga, "Just Dance"
This Lady Gaga hit was basically unavoidable in 2008, and for good reason. The electronica beat worked up the crowds. And the lyrics hilariously reflected how partying can be a little disorienting. Who hasn’t got on the dance floor and thought: “How’d I turn my shirt inside out?”. Then you get off the floor and think: “Where all my cheese? I lost my phone.” We share a motto with Lady Gaga and all her monsters: Just dance!
Michael Jackson, "Black Or White"
There are so many Michael Jackson songs that move us to dance. Choosing between his early hits and late career is tough, so we’ve sprinkled a few on this list from his whole body of work. Some might quibble that “Man in the Mirror” is the better song with its slow-build and dramatic mood. But “Black Or White” has those guitar riffs, “eeeyo!” and peppy beats that just get us every time.
Kenny Loggins, "Footloose"
Come on. You know you love it. Kenny Loggins captured all the bottled-up small-town frustrations in one great theme song. If you don’t dance to this song, at least admit that the dance sequences in “Footloose” are epic.
Kiesza may be the hottest thing to come out of Canada since Ryan Gosling. And she knows how to fill the dance: Put a slick vocal over a fun deep-house beat. And we loved the homemade on-the-street look of the video to this 2014 dance-floor filler.
You can probably identify this song from the firs two notes. Usher’s “Yeah” was a must at every club, party, wedding and living room dance jam in 2004. And it still works. Not the mostly complicated lyrics here, but who cares? Watching Usher and crew dance in this video is almost as fun as getting your grind on.
Scissor Sisters, "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'"
Despite the title of this Scissor Sisters song, it makes everybody dance. The Scissor Sisters had a sound that was hard to place chronologically; They were a new band that sounded like a disco-80s-Abba mash-up. This song started out as a UK hit in 2006 and then circled the globe bringing more joy than Santa.
Michael Jackson, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"
Again, how can you choose from the catalogue of the King of Pop? But “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” which Jackson himself wrote, has so much energy and sass, it’s pretty much the danciest winner from “Off the Wall,” his fifth solo album.
Ghost Town DJs, "My Boo"
This 1995 one-hit wonder came back for real when it was used for one of the best viral dance videos around: The Running Man challenge. It’s internet-powered second life put the song back on the R & B charts and clearly, it’s game is still strong, boo!
Beyonce, "Get Me Bodied"
“Pose for the camera now CLICK!” There’s really nothing like early Beyonce to make you shake your derriere. Her 2007 hit “Get Me Bodied” took sexy to another level, which then Queen Bey surpassed in later years. But this vintage is still so fine, you just wanna “drop down low and sweep the FLOOR with it!”
Simple Minds, "Don't You (Forget About Me)"
It’s a little on the slower side, but this Simple Minds hit from the 1985 film “The Breakfast Club” is a classic. It kinda makes you sway and think of high school, lost loves and the days when sushi for lunch — in high school — was a new concept.
Katrina & The Waves, "Walking On Sunshine"
This 1983 song can lead to spontaneous jumping around and twirling in your living room. So don’t knock over any lamps. Katrina & The Waves had British roots and were an international sensation for a while. But they peaked with “Walking On Sunshine.”
Young MC, "Bust A Move"
Oh, the innocence of rap in the 1990s. Young MC, the British-American rapper, won a 1990 Grammy for this song, which sampled beats from numerous existing songs and featured bass guitar by Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Missy Elliott, "Work It"
Missy Elliott’s “Work It” was released in 2002 and its throwback elements to old school hip-hop made it a signature hit for Elliott as well as for renown producer Timbaland. And the dance moves in the video? So slick, they’re worth hitting reverse for again and again.
Salt-N-Pepa, "Push It"
Originally released as a B-side single in 1987, “Push It” was a hit for one of the few girl groups in rap. The sexual references reflected the freedom of the time, though a little less obviously than 1991’s “Let’s Talk About Sex.” It remains one of the most danceable rap songs — and a fun singalong.
Will Smith, "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"
If you loved the disco song “He’s the Greatest Dancer” by Sister Sledge, you probably found something to connect with here. It’s the basis of Will Smith’s 1998 hit, though sped up considerably. Smith’s light-hearted rap over top, and the chorus of kids with their “na na na na na,” made this an upbeat crowd pleaser.
So it was risque. It was about bondage. But you could probably change all the words of this 2011 triple-platinum hit by Rihanna and it would still be a dance-floor filler. With its pulsing beats and slick synth, it has dance power with or without the naughty lyrics.
Nicki Minaj, "Super Bass"
There’s something so catchy in the way Nicki Minaj lays down the “boom, badoom, boom, boom” chorus that carries you into a booty-boomin’ dance frame of mind. This 2011 hit, with lyrics all about having a crush, sold more than 8.2 million copies internationally.
The Bucketheads, "The Bomb"
A house music hit of 1995, this song has the power to make anybody get up and bounce along. Easily mixable with other songs, its often a go-to for DJs taking a party to the next energy level.
The Jackson 5, "ABC"
A classic song that will get all ages movin’ and groovin’ and singin’ along. It was a 1970 hit for the Jackson 5, who debuted in on American Bandstand. While it shares similarities with “I Want You Back,” the simplicity of “ABC” makes it a gem.
Pitbull, "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)"
Pit Bull’s celebration of his own lifestyle somehow makes for infectious dances, like this 2009 hit. Don’t we all want to be rolling through Miami with celebrity friends and fancy cars?
Whitney Houston, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"
If sainthood were available to pop stars, Whitney would be up there. And she’d be singing this 1987 global hit that speaks to everybody’s deepest vulnerability but in an upbeat way. That voice, that sweetness. When you hear this song, you pretty much have to stop, drop and dance in honor of Saint Whitney.
Janet Jackson, "Together Again"
Though it’s an upbeat song with a hopeful vibe and house beats, this 1997 song is farewell: Janet Jackson wrote it after she lost a friend to AIDS.
Montell Jordan, “This Is How We Do It”
How do you party? Ask Montell Jordan, who answered the question with this 1995 song combining hip-hop, soul and R&B. The song also marked a new R&B phase for Def Jam Records, better know for hip-hop.
Cali Swag District, “Teach Me How To Dougie”
When the California hip-hop group Cali Swag District released this 2010 song, many didn’t really know what they were singing about. Dougie? Is that like a Snuggie? Turned out, the Dougie is a hip-hop move named for Doug E. Fresh. And even if you can’t do the move, the song’s clear and simple beat still pops. As thsi lyrics say: “This beat was bubble, so I gotta chew it.”
House of Pain, “Jump Around”
In 1992, this hip-hop song by House of Pain absolutely dominated the dance floor. It even caught the ears of party people from the ’60s who heard the opening horn riff and knew it was sampled from the R&B duo Bob & Earl’s song “Harlem Shuffle.” If this song doesn’t make you want to jump around, we don’t know what to tell you.
The B-52’s, “Love Shack”
Guaranteed to get your party going, “Love Shack” debuted in 1989 and still feels fresh. Which has much to do with the B-52’s, a high-energy group that melded past and present styles to create a sound ahead of its time.
The Isley Brothers, “Shout”
When you hear “Shout” at a wedding, you have two choices: You can run for the hills (we see you), or twisting all the way down to the floor to shake and shout. A hit of 1959, it’s still on playlists far and wide.
ATC - "All Around The World (la la la la la la la la)"
Even if you didn’t know that ATC stands for “A Touch of Class,” you probably heard this Europop song plenty in 2000. And beyond. It was a global hit, and was in fact a cover of a Russian song.
Michael Jackson, “Thriller”
“Thriller.” It was a game changer. A cultural milestone. And though the word “iconic” is used for every two-bit wanna be these days, it truly does apply for this 1982 song — from an album that sold more than 65 million copies.
The late great Prince oozed sexuality. And when you hear this 1986 single, what can you do but your sexy dance. Regularly picked as one of the greatest songs of all time, the monster hit popped back up on the charts after Prince’s tragic death in 2016.
Pharrell Williams, "Happy"
Don’t think. Just dance. This infectious 2013 tune can go on for days, and the video did in fact go on for a full 24 hours of people dancing. Which is something Dance.com can get behind.
Kool And The Gang, "Jungle Boogie"
Can you handle the funk? This 1973 song just doesn’t quit, what with the horns, the drums, the crazy jungle sounds. Kool And The Gang had a lot of hits, but this one is a favorite for its nutty creativity.
Guns N' Roses, "Sweet Child O' Mine"
Hard rock, with extra hair, is rarely so danceable as Guns N Roses’s 1987 “Sweet Child O’Mine.” It’s a solid karaoke song for those with vocal game, since it whips the crowd up. And who doesn’t hear this song and try to dance like Axl Rose?
Wham!, "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go"
Oh, the good times of Wham! The British group evoked many moods in their music, and “Wake Me Up” was for when you wanted to bop around as if it were 1950, only it was 1984. Or right now.
The Pointer Sisters, "Automatic"
The Pointer Sisters maybe aren’t the first girl-group that comes to mind from the 1980s. But this trio had back-to-back hits in 1984: “Automatic” and “Jump (For My Love).” We’re going with “Automatic” because in addition to having a steady groove, it captured something of the dawning digital age.
Justin Timberlake, "SexyBack"
“SexyBack” not only brought sexy back, it also brought JT back in 2006. After focusing on his acting, the multi-talented star returned to the charts with the album “FutureSex/LoveSounds.” The clear beat and fierce attitude made “SexyBack” an original.
Technotronic, "Pump Up The Jam"
The year was 1989, but this song ushered in the early ’90s, courtesy of female singers with attitude. “Get your booty on the floor tonight” is exactly the kind of lyric that makes our day.
Rick James, "Superfreak"
The year was 1981, but the ’70s weren’t quite over. And Rick James’s super fun “Super Freak” was right there on the borderline with a bit of best eras.
Madonna, "Like A Prayer"
With it’s vivid drums, Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” gives dancers plenty to move their hips to. And the soaring gospel choir moments make it a sing-a-long, too. Released in 1989, it was the seventh number-one single for Queen Madge.
The Human League, "Don't You Want Me"
This 1981 electro-pop song is a signature of the era. Of course there is that slick synth sound driving it, but the narrative of a complicated romance makes it, well, human.
Kanye West, "Gold Digger"
A 2005 number-one single for Kayne West, “Gold Digger” sampled a riff from Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman.” But since Jamie Foxx portrayed Charles in a 2004 biopic, a natural collaboration emerged.
Alice Deejay, "Better Off Alone"
Sometimes you need a little Dutch trance music to liven up a party. And when you do, there’s “Better Off Alone” from 1998. The song is credited with breaking ground for trance music on the radio.
Eiffel 65, "Blue"
Grammy-nominated for best dance recording, “Blue” has as kinetic power that somehow rises above the silly lyrics. If you went to Europe in 1999, you definitely hear this Italian pop song. But we heard it plenty stateside, too.
The Rolling Stones, "Satisfaction"
The instantly memorable riff of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” makes it musically a classic. But it’s the emotion that Mick Jagger layers on top of the 1965 song that drives us to dance out feelings of frustration and desperation — with the added rebel touch of bad grammar.
Pitbull & Kesha, "Timber"
When the harmonica opens this 2013 song, you’re not quite sure what to expect. But welcome to the Wild West — by way of Pitbull’s Miami and Kesha’s let-loose vocals. You can country line dance or swing your parter round and round, either way, at the end of the night it’s goin’ down.
Dead Or Alive, "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)"
Gotta love the ’80 sound here, with a touch of disco left over from the ’70s. This song was a smash hit for British band Dead Or Alive starting in 1984. The choppy beats and spooky vocals combined to form a song that defined a genre.
Sheila E, "A Love Bizarre"
Everything in Sheila E’s 1985 song is so sexy it demands your slinkiest dance. It starts with a strong beat, adds a lusty saxophone riff and lyrics that paint unforgettable images: moonlight shining on skin, outrageous sin, a kiss on the spine — and don’t forget that bed of flowers. How could it be any other way in a duet with Prince?