The Top Dance Songs of All Time
The popularity of dance music across the globe is unrivaled. The genre has blown its competitors out of the water with its feel-good party anthems that has amassed millions of loyal fans from all corners of the world. The unique appeal of dance music lies in the good time feel that invariably comes from its songs and artists. The top dance songs have enjoyed some of the biggest chart-topping hits that we’ve ever seen. Make no mistake, this is an upbeat genre that is intrinsically linked to partying and getting your moves on at the dancefloor.
Why is Dance Music so Popular?
So, just why is dance music popular with hundreds of millions of people all across the world? The universal appeal and popularity of dance music is tied to the fact that, whoever you are, we all like a good time. The clue is in the title – dance – and when we are dancing, we are invariably enjoying ourselves. Dance music is different from other genres in that, although it evokes emotion, it is not melancholy and oftentimes the audience is simply lost in the song.
This gives off feelings of happiness and hysteria and allows them to enjoy the company of their family and friends and even complete strangers when dancing to the tunes. To lose our inhibitions is one of life’s great pleasures where we can simply be ourselves and that is what dance music allows us to achieve, hence its great popularity all around the world.
Fans of dance music are often carried away by the complex beats, tense build-ups, and strong drops. Lyrics are of course important - as they are with any music - but in dance the rhythm is often the most crucial part of any song. The rhythm of the music can create an emotional rollercoaster that fans of the genre enjoy so much that they become almost addicted to the feeling it gives them.
Rhythm is the heart of nearly all dance music genres, but the beat and the drop constitute the backbone and the meat of what listeners look for in dance music. Rhythm is an integral part of all musical genres, and we can trace its importance back hundreds of years to the evolution of what we see today using more modern technology and instruments.
As we listen to dance, we cannot help but find beauty in the rhythmic complexity of the music. When compared to dance music, more traditional music uses instruments such as strings, brass, woodwinds, and standard percussive instruments.
However, dance music is more commonly known. to use synthesizers, looped samples, electric bass, and drum machines that are more abrasive forms of instruments and hence give off the feeling that we need to move our bodies and dance.
There is no one answer to the question why is dance music so popular? The genre means different things to different people and its popularity cannot be blanketed to include all the hundreds of millions of fans across the world, but one thing is for sure the popularity of this genre is not going to diminish any time soon.
The Top 10 Dance Songs of All Time
Stayin’ Alive - The Bee Gees
The Bee Gees are synonymous with dancing the night away. Following on from the movie soundtrack “Saturday Night Fever” was this 1977 classic entitled “Stayin’ Alive”. This is about as iconic as a song you can get and showcases the brothers of the band at their absolute peaks. A throwback to a bygone era, this makes you long for a time when people danced like their lives depended on it and everything seemed so much simpler. Without question one of the top 10 dance songs of all time.
The Hustle - Van McCoy
A perhaps controversial choice and one for the older audience here with Van McCoy's 1975 smash hit 'The Hustle'. A favorite with the older audience who still enjoy a jive, this popular song from the disco era still gets people dancing today. Only the great dance songs are truly timeless and this from Van McCoy, who proved to be something of a one-hit wonder in terms of chart success, proves that.
Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
The King of Pop is how the world refers to the iconic Michael Jackson, and boy did he make you dance. The number of other classics we could have included in this list by the legendary MJ is testament to his brilliance, but we opted for Billie Jean. While Thriller might be the best line dance song according to many, Billie Jean is the song that is intrinsically linked with the kind of danceable beats Jackson is famous for and any top 10 list of the best dance songs of all time wouldn't be complete without it.
Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars)
A modern-day dance music classic and one which deservedly muscles its way into our list of the top 10 dance songs of all time. While Bruno Mars has an extensive collection of fabulous hits, Uptown Funk is a true winner at the dance floor. It is a certified Platinum and a Grammy Award winner, and is the ninth best-selling music single of all time. The accolades for this track just kept on coming and with good reason. Dance fans will be praying this isn't the last Ronson and Mars collar we see.
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO
Known for their cheeky songs with dancing inducing beats, LMFAO has produced numerous dancing hits but none were better than this iconic offering which brought joy to so many listeners. Their Party Rock Anthem ranks as the band's greatest ever moment and although dismissed by some critics as a little corny when it comes to songs that make you want to dance, it's right up there.
Dancing Queen - ABBA
The year was 1976 and the Swedish band ABBA were at the peak of their powers. Nobody knew how to throw together infectious pop hooks quite like ABBA, as this monster international hit demonstrates. From the first moment, when a piano bleeds into an angelic chorus wordlessly and with astonishing smoothness, then comes the “Dancing Queen” line which grabs hold of the listener’s ear and won’t let it go until the bitter end. The beat behind the tune isn’t as openly propulsive as most disco hits, but it’s all the more powerful for that reason. Almost half a century later and we are still marveling at what is truly one of the top dance songs of all time.
Shape of You - Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran may not be everyone's favorite artist to dance to, but no one can deny his impact on the music industry since his breakthrough almost fifteen years ago now. Proving he still has the good, his smash dance hit Shape of You is the number 12 best-selling music single of all time. Although Sheeran is perhaps best known for his acoustic sets and romantic love songs, Shape of You features a dance beat that is a celebration of being human and has struck a chord with millions of dance fans across the world.
I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
Black Eyed Peas have seemingly not put a foot wrong since they emerged on the mainstream music scene at the turn of the century. Their smash hit record I Gotta Feeling shot to the top of the charts in almost every country imaginable and ensured their status as dance music gods. The song celebrates the feeling that "tonight's gonna be a good, good night" as it calls for listeners to celebrate everything good about life, friendship, music, just about anything you can think of.
We are Family - Sister Sledge
The perfect dance song for weddings, parties and just about any family celebration is We are Family. this classic by Sister Sledge is a celebration of family ties and sister and brotherhood. This song has the rare ability of making everyone feel unified together and pulling on the heartstrings as well as making you want to dance until you drop. A favorite track for any event or function where dance floors are involved.
Y.M.C.A. - The Village People
This is the song that everyone loves - even those who claim they don't, well, they secretly do. Y.M.C.A by the Village People created a sensation with this song and the love and affection for it spread to all corners of the globe. This is a true cult classic and DJ's all over know an event is not complete without dancing to Y.M.C.A. Whether young or old, this song has that rare benefit of being universally loved. This song is fun to dance to and the letter-making motions are easy to do. A truly international hit, the only language this song knows is the language of dance and it has been responsible for breaking down barriers and bringing people together.
Top Dance Songs of 2021
Ewan McVicar – Tell Me Something Good
Kicking things off we have Ewan McVicar’s version of ‘Tell Me Something Good’ and this list simply wouldn't have been complete without one of the most enjoyable and top dance songs of 2021. This is an extremely cool edit of a classic soul record that others might not have dared touch. It gets a bit of a makeover here and is definitely speedier than the original which lends itself to a great dance track.
Duvall feat. bshp - Every Song
Duvall stormed the charts with his debut single ‘Every Song’ (feat. bshp) and announced himself on the dance stage with an almighty bang. It is the amazing vocals of bshp that make this a timeless record, however, and both of these talented young musicians will surely be filling dance floors across the world for many years to come if this track is anything to go by.
Swedish House Mafia & The Weeknd - Moth To A Flame
Two of the greatest and most recognizable names in dance came together on this record and they did not disappoint. Without question of the top dance songs of 2021, the lyrics in ‘Moth To A Flame’ have that rare ability to make you be thankful to be alive.
Another amazing production from Swedish Mouse Mafia with the help of The Weeknd.
Purple Disco Machine feat. Eyelar - Dopamine
Purple Disco Machine are an inspirational outfit - they enable people to come together regardless of what genre of music you are into. They are unquestionably a dance band, but the harmonies and vocals in their songs also lends themselves to ballads and other thought-provoking genres. In this track called ‘Dopamine’ their groove is unparalleled and makes you want to grab your nearest friend and head for the dance floor without hesitation.
Shouse - Love Tonight (Vintage Culture & Kiko Franco Remix)
When you have an original as powerful as this, tinkering with it is always dangerous but isn't that just the essence of great dance music? This Love Tonight has a shout for being the remix of the year and with good reason. This track gives off festival vibes that are always a winner with dance audiences and is rightly amongst the top dance songs of 2021 due to its popularity.
Tiesto feat. Ava Max - The Motto
Anything involving Tiesto is sure to be a huge hit with dance fans. His tune ‘The Motto’, featuring a magnificent cameo performance from Ava Max, is the kind of tune you just love to hear when you're in the club with your friends. It is sure to add to what is already an impressive back catalog of legendary dance songs from the Dutch superstar.
Elton John & Dua Lipa – Cold Heart
When it comes to Elton John, there are too many classics to count and this remake of his legendary 'Cold Heart' only pours more honey on the old days. It’s easy to ruin a classic, but Australian trio PNAU made sure this was an undisputed three-generation hit with a collar that is sure to stand the test of time even further. A true dance classic of 2021.
Paul Woolford feat. Amber Mark- Heat
Paul Woolford's ‘Heat’ (feat. Amber Mark) was the perfect follow-up to his massive 2020 hit with Diplo and Kareen Lomax, ‘Looking For Me’. He follows that up here with one of the top dance songs of 2021 that was surely not the last collaboration between these two talented artists - at least let's hope not.
Acraze – Do It To It
This was intelligence, sophistication and class personified. The use of the classic song ‘Do It To It’ by Acraze was made even more special by Zedd’s entrance to the fold, where he integrated the Squid Games theme song. That may not have been to everyone's taste but didn't hurt its chart rankings as more and more flocked to get their groove on to this catchy hit.
Martin Garrix feat. Tove Lo - Pressure
A must have for any playlist in 2021, this one really lightened the mood as we came out of the pandemic and back onto the dance floor. ‘Pressure’ by Martin Garrix and Tove Lo is hands down one of the most underrated productions of the year. The mastery of the drops and how the synth line rips through the song makes this tune very special and you just can't help but move to it.
Top Dance Music Artists
The past and present have produced countless dance music artists from all over the world. They have had a huge impact on the music industry and, more importantly, on fans of dance music in enabling us to forget our inhibitions and simply dance our troubles away. While there are, of course, far too many legendary artists to mention, just some of the most iconic names in dance music history are listed below;
- Nuelfe Byorn
- Lady Gaga
- Britney Spears
- Kylie Minogue
- Michael Jackson
- Pet Shop Boys
- Christina Aguilera
- Katy Perry
- Justin Timberlake
- Jennifer Lopez
- Sophie Ellis-Bextor
- Mary Juane Clair
- Nicole Scherzinger
- Ivete Sangalo
- Janet Jackson
- The Chainsmokers
- Major Lazer
- Steve Aoki
- Calvin Harris
- Martin Garrix
The true beauty of dance music is how universal it is and the fact that it is, in itself, an International language. The right beats inspire the moves that bring the whole body into action, making you sway your hips and break your bones to the rhythm. Listening to the best dance music will make you achieve uttermost satisfaction that leaves you in a healthy state of mind and soul and has been responsible for millions of moments of happiness for so many people all across the world. This is a truly unique genre that has delivered some of the greatest songs and artists we have ever - and probably will ever - see in music.
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