When people hear their favorite song, they’re invited to show off their signature dance moves. Music gets people moving, whether a song brings back memories of past dance eras or allows listeners to get lost in the beat.
Since music and movement are so intertwined, it’s no wonder artists have used “dance” in their song titles. While some songs have lyrical dance content, other songs tend to have deeper meanings. From ballads to uptempo tracks, here are 25 songs that can encourage listeners to take a small step in two.
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In 1987 Whitney Houston released “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”. She realizes her loneliness without someone special by her side and prefers to spend time with a life partner. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
2 out of 25
“I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack
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Lee Ann Womack’s 2000 single “I Hope You Dance” has a much deeper meaning than just showing off their dance moves. Throughout the track, Womack encourages listeners to take risks, stay true, and live life like there’s no tomorrow. the song being a hit on numerous Billboard charts, it won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song.
Electronic duo Daft Punk have recruited Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers to work on the funky single “Lose Yourself to Dance.” Pharrell repeatedly encourages listeners to slow down in life and release any stress by dancing.
4 out of 25
“Dance, Dance” from Fall Out Boy
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In 2005, punk rock band Fall Out Boy released their second album, Under the cork. He collected three singles, including the “Dance, Dance” on guitar. On the track, the protagonist details being awkwardly smitten with a girl and getting the chance to dance with her, but he actually hopes to have an intimate night with her. “Dance”, “Dance” became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
5 out of 25
“Dance Tonight” by Lucy Pearl
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In the late 90s, Raphael Saadiq recruited Dawn Robinson from En Vogue and Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest to form the R&B supergroup Lucy Pearl. The band’s debut single, “Dance Tonight,” was a sweet highlight for hanging out for a good time.
6 out of 25
“Just Dance” by Lady Gaga feat. Colby O’Donis
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In 2008, Lady Gaga caught the pop world’s attention with her debut single, “Just Dance.” She teamed up with Akon and producer RedOne to bring the dance floor to life, with additional vocals from Colby O’Donis. Gaga details a drunken and funny moment while dancing the night away.
7 out of 25
“A Dance” by Drake
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Drake’s fourth studio album, Views, featured elements of dancehall and afrobeats. He teamed up with Wizkid and Kyla on the album’s second single, “One Dance”. He details dancing with a woman and loves the chemistry so much he wants another dance. As he says on the hook, “I need a dance / Got a Hennessy in my hand / One more time before I go / Higher powers take hold of me.”
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Chic member Nile Rodgers produced David Bowie’s 1983 single “Let’s Dance,” and his signature guitar sound was evident throughout the song. “Let’s Dance” was a big hit in Bowie’s discography and was sampled by Diddy on his hit song “Been Around The World”.
9 out of 25
“Last Dance” by Donna Summer
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Donna Summer has always made songs that could get people on the dance floor. She is often called the queen of disco. Her hit song “Last Dance” starts out as a ballad, but Summer steps it up a notch to sound like an essential uptempo disco track. The song could easily have two meanings: to have one last chance to love or to dance before the nightclub closes.
10 out of 25
“Dancing Queen” door ABBA
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When disco took over in the 70s, pop group ABBA decided to follow suit with ‘Dancing Queen’. On the track, the band details the joy of dancing from start to finish: “You can dance / You can jive / Have the time of your life / Ooh, see that girl / Watch that scene / Digging the dancing queen.
11 out of 25
“After the Dance” by Marvin Gaye
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The sweet sound of Marvin Gaye’s voice is sure to take any listener to another realm. That’s how it feels listening to his 1978 single ‘After The Dance’. Gaye gives listeners the perfect vibe of a silent storm on the track, as he details seeing a woman on the dance floor. and hope to “get together after the dance”.
12 out of 25
“Dance Monkey” by Tones and I
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In 2020, Australian singer Tones and I warned the world with her breakthrough single “Dance Monkey”. She details her life as a busker, trying to please her audience. In addition to blazing through the song charts, “Dance Monkey” has become the most Shazammed song of all time.
13 out of 25
“Dance” by DNCE
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In 2015, Joe Jonas, Jack Lawless and JinJoo Lee formed the aptly named group DNCE. One of their most recognized hits is 2018’s single “Dance.” Jonas details his desire to dance with someone he’s in love with while hoping they can form a deeper relationship.
14 out of 25
“Dance for You” by Beyoncé
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Beyoncé brings a sensual and intimate essence to her 2011 track “Dance For You.” Teaming up with frequent collaborators The-Dream and Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, Beyoncé wants to show her man appreciation with a dance.
15 out of 25
“Shut Up and Dance” from Walk The Moon
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Rock band Walk The Moon scored their biggest hit yet with their single “Shut Up and Dance” in 2014. During that year, it seemed impossible to escape the contagious single. On the track, the protagonist talks about meeting someone on the dance floor and feeling like they’ve met their life partner.
16 out of 25
“Dancing With My Father” by Luther Vandross
Luther Vandross’ 2003 single “Dance With My Father” is a moving tribute to his late father. Vandross recalls his life as a child, spending time with his father and hoping he could reclaim that time. In the music video, celebrities are joined by fathers or their children to highlight the father-child bond that Vandross lacks.
17 out of 25
“Dancing with a Stranger” by Sam Smith feat. Norman
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Sam Smith teamed up with Normani on their free-flowing 2019 hit “Dancing With A Stranger.” On the track, Smith and Normani detail their loneliness over a breakup. Trying to move on, they find themselves going out and dancing with someone new.
18 out of 25
“Everybody’s Dancing” by Chic
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Disco and funk band Chic rose to prominence in the 70s with a number of upbeat singles, including “Everybody Dance.” The song is about how music can make anyone feel good, as stated in the first verse: “Music never lets you down / Puts a smile on your face, anytime, anytime. anywhere / Dance helps ease the pain / Soothes your mind, makes you happy again.”
19 out of 25
“Dancing In The Street” by Martha Reeves and The Vandellas
When people think of the main sound of Motown, “Dancing In The Street” always comes to mind. Martha Reeves and The Vandellas use the song to encourage people to have a good time no matter where in the world they are. “Dancing In The Street” reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
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In 2012, Jennifer Lopez decided to release a greatest hits album and she teamed up with Pitbull for the lead single, “Dance Again.” On the track, Lopez encourages people to keep living and dancing, even when things don’t always go their way.
21 out of 25
“The Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground
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Sometimes the songs come with real dance moves. Such was the case with Digital Underground’s 1990 hit “The Humpty Dance.” Frontman Shock G had an alter ego called Humpty Hump. On the track, he introduces this pseudonym and shows confidence in his signature dance. “The Humpty Dance” reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.
22 out of 25
“You Should Dance” by Bee Gees
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The Bee Gees were a dominant trio in the disco era, and their hit song “You Should Be Dancing” helped them make big strides in that era. For people who remember the movie Saturday night fever, the song was used during one of John Travolta’s scenes on a dance floor.
23 out of 25
“Dance to the Music” by Sly and The Family Stone
Funk band Sly and The Family Stone have always created music that could move people. With simplistic lyrics about adding different instruments on their 1967 single “Dance to the Music”, the track sounds like a demo that eventually turned into a solid dance track.
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Rock legend Bruce Springsteen felt the pressure to write a hit song, but his downfall worked in his favor when he released “Dancing in the Dark.” The hit song became her highest charting single to date.
25 out of 25
Dancing Machine by The Jackson 5
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In 1974, the Jackson 5 released their groovy single “Dancing Machine”. On the track, the brothers portray a woman who is also a great dancer – someone who shows off her moves at all times – while keeping all eyes on her. “Dancing Machine” reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100.