My favorite dances of the year.
I neglected to add a dance award on my 2011 award list, and the bf said that was a horrible, punishment-worthy oversight. After further review I have to agree. So here we are.
Please note: these are only my personal favorites, and I have no dance training whatsoever. So, fair warning, I don’t care how “hard” dances are or the skill it takes to do them. I like girl group dances a lot; they’re generally less busy and thus easier to remember. But in general, some criteria I look for are:
- how well the dance matches the lyrics
- how well the dance matches the mood of the music
- how good the members look doing the dance.
Honorable Mention #3: KARA—“STEP”
Any dance where KARA moves their hips is bound to be fun and just a tad scandalous (see their “Mister” for more information). I like how they incorporated their standing microphones into the dance, especially in the backbending move. (See my full review here.)
“Do they ever actually step up on anything in this entire video?”
Honorable Mention #2: Sistar—“So Cool”
The music video version is here, but that dance is not nearly as good as in this practice version, where they fixed the awkward “farting” move and made it really sexy and, yeah, cool. I especially love their tableau at the beginning and the “rock it like this” move. (See my full review here.)
“It’s much sexier with the short shorts than in the original dresses.”
Honorable Mention #1: Super Junior—“Mr. Simple”
There are few cooler things than
(On hearing that the horizontal walking move is being called the zombie walk:) “Zombies don’t usually cross themselves like that.”
#10: Secret—“Love Is MOVE”
This dance lives up to its song title—Secret is constantly moving throughout, and at times I feared for their lives in those high heels. Seriously, though, this dance looks so fast-paced as to be exhausting. But I am a huge fan of the hair flip, which is perfectly timed to the music, and the backwards walk. (See my full review here.)
“Too much like the chicken dance for my liking.”
#9: Sunny Hill—“Midnight Circus”
This dance is garnering so little attention, but I think it’s just fabulous. Kota’s finger-in-the-dust move is great. Sunny Hill makes superb use of their backup dancers here, too, as in IU’s “You and I” or TVXQ’s “Keep Your Head Down.” (See my longer review here.)
“I shall christen this ‘The Doll.’ Hopefully it will not go the cheesy way of ‘The Robot.’”
#8: Kan Mi Youn—“Won’t Meet You”
Ahaha, my (formerly) secret love. I…am completely obsessed with this song and dance. That brushing-off makeup or whatever move? I have no idea what she’s doing, but I love it. Also, it doesn’t hurt that she does parts of her dance under a black light. (See my full review here.)
“She can use her whips on me anytime she likes.” (That was my favorite dance move, too.)
#7: TEENTOP—“No More Perfume On You”
I may hate the meaning of this song and music video as a how-to for guys cheating on their girlfriends, but I can’t deny that the dance is awesome, even if we only get to see Neil and Chunji. Still, that little coy smirk they’re hiding behind their jackets? Their hands in their back pockets? Inspired. This kind of dance style, with its precision, difficulty, and skinny jeans, reminds me of SHINee more than any other group. I love SHINee’s dancing so much but felt deprived of it since this year they basically repeated all their 2010 (or earlier) dances. So thanks for that, TEENTOP, but please do stop telling your fans you’d cheat on them. Not a good PR move.
“I think the ‘shaving’ part of this dance is misleading. I don’t think any of those guys can grow facial hair yet.”
#6: Infinite—“BTD (Before the Dawn)”
Infinite has consistently impressed with its neat but passionate choreography and its ability to dance as a cohesive unit instead of just seven individual great dancers. Their “Be Mine” this year was also a great dance. (I personally like Infinite’s Michael Jackson-inspired “Come Back Again” dance best, but unfortunately that came out in 2010.) “BTD” stuns with, amongst other things, the scorpion move, and whether or not Infinite were the first to do it, they do it so well.
“I could’ve sworn they said, ‘Listen to my heart’ and moved their hands toward their groins…”
#5: SNSD—“Mr. Taxi”
*shifty eyes* I am not in the basement attempting this dance constantly, what? Mr. Taxi, Taxi, Taxi…So it’s not the most original of dances, but it is extremely smooth, memorable, and fun. I like how SNSD tends to be choreographed in sections of two or three for much of the dance but to add power or emphasis to a section, they dance in unison. (And, yes, I know it’s in Japanese, but it’s still SNSD. And I didn’t like the sprinkler dance in “The Boys” as much as I did this one.)
“Right, I’m supposed to be looking at the dance. Damn, I keep looking at the outfits.” (I assume he means their legs/boobs and is self-censoring for my benefit, but he needn’t have worried. I’d go lesbian for SNSD.)
#4: TVXQ—“Keep Your Head Down”
The first MV I saw in 2011! Sure, it’s a bit flaily, and it was certainly very bittersweet because it was the first TVXQ music video I saw without Jaejoong, Yoochun, or Junsu participating. But it was also awesome with the “keep your head down” move. And even though I don’t agree with the message of the song (people should be confident and keep their heads up!), I can’t deny that the dance matches it perfectly and looks great. See the dance version B, complete with horrendous ’70s carpet-inspired attire, here.
“For guys who aren’t gay, they certainly like bending their backup dancers over.” Ooh, risqué!
#3: 4minute—“Mirror Mirror”
Yes, yes, I must be crazy to put the stripper dance on a list of great dances. But what can I say? I find 4minute and especially Hyuna dancing on the floor really very sexy (here moreso than in “Bubble Pop” or “Trouble Maker”). What I really love in this dance, though, is the actual “mirror mirror” hands move. I can’t imagine any other move that would have worked so well with the music at that point. (See my full review here.)
“I’m surprised the girls don’t mirror each other’s moves more.”
#2: Jang Woo Hyuk—“Time Is Over”
Chest pumping! Head rotations that should not be physically possible! There’s only one way to describe this, and it’s: lasers + fake slow mo = awesome. Not going to lie, there’s no way I can even attempt to re-create this dance. But it’s very memorable and so impressive that it deserves one of the top spots.
“Who knew that Skynet would actually come from Kpop and not from the military?” (Skynet is the evil computers in Terminator.)
#1: T-ara—“Roly Poly”
(Or you can watch the nightmarishly long original version here.)
Disco! I love disco! This year we had at least three Kpop songs go down this route. Musically, Nine Muses’ “Figaro” matched the spirit of the ’70s the best, in my opinion. And I’m not entirely sure what Dal-Shabet were thinking with their messy “Bling Bling.” But neither of those music videos had the essential cheesy disco dance. T-ara did, remaking it into something fun that both older and younger fans could enjoy (and try!), and it’s the best dance to come out this year.
“I like the little flight attendant moves, pointing to the three airplane exits.” (I think he’s talking about the part right before the “roly poly” in the chorus.)
Can I just say now how much I adore some groups’ tradition of releasing dance versions of their music videos? It makes this sort of list so much more enjoyable—and learning the dances much easier for those who are interested.
I really wish 2PM/Jay Park were on this list, as some of Kpop’s best dancers (see “I’m Your Man”). But none of their dances stuck with me this year. Again, though, this list is only my opinion, so let me know which dances you liked best!
P.S. Oops, now I’m getting in trouble for not including this—my boyfriend’s favorite dances were BEAST’s “Fiction,” which he said had the “niftiest footwork,” and Crispi Crunch’s “Thumbs Up,” which he thought was fun because it didn’t take itself seriously. (Notice how he carefully avoids mentioning SNSD again…)
Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!