In the post-era of mumble rap, in the day and age of former viners turned celebrities, few artists have survived the trends and the ever-changing flow of the music industry. And even fewer have kept their core identity. For a good while, for about 10 years, since 2010, we’ve all witnessed the silent ‘cancellation’ of dance groups, backup performers, and dance generally. The music business reflected the social consciousness: we were all too busy blasting Instagram with selfies and so were the artists through their craft. Thus, I really admire and sincerely appreciate artists that waited patiently for over 10 years and kept pushing the 00’s vibes of dance battles (the Step Up movies anyone?), because guess what? Dancers are having a strong comeback. Here are 10 artists that always promoted dancers:
Meet the 2019 ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR: Lizzo. You most likely already know her and her Truth Hurts song, with over 183 million views on YouTube alone. Lizzo has gained a loyal following over the years and she has been pushing really hard to break the invisible ceiling in the music industry and she DID IT! In all of her performances, we get to see dancers of all sizes move on stage alongside Lizzo. She’s like the poster girl for Body Positivity. Thank you Lizzo! It was long overdue.
9. Ariana Grande
Couldn’t leave the Mariah Carey of our generation out of this list. Ariana Grande always serves visuals and simple, yet memorable choreographies. She did an outstanding job at Coachella having given a lot of freedom to the dancers to bring the energy out. She doesn’t exactly dance everytime, but she’s doing her best. And let’s admit, those stripper heels she loves, must be making her job that much more difficult.
8. Meghan Trainor
Part of the younger generation, Meghan has extremely appealing visual material. From All About That Bass to Me Too, Meghan knows how to put on a show. And she moves too. Something that the new school kids are barely getting to know. You can see clearly in her videos the influence of the veteran stars. Thank you Meghan for saving the youth and showing them how a musician is supposed to entertain.
7. Iggy Azalea
Hate her or love her, Iggy has sold more than 48 million records globally and is a good entertainer. I dare you to start watching a music video of hers and then stop halfway through. Not gonna happen. She got that X factor that glues you to the screen. Iggy uses a ton of dancers in her music videos and she has made quite the effort herself. Bonus Points for the super colored, fresh, high quality music videos.
6. Britney Spears
The pop crush of every kid in the late 90’s and early 00’s. She’s slowed down her dancing skills lately, but boy oh boy, the memories we have thanks to Britney. All girls wanted to be her and all boys wanted to be with her. If you go to a Britney concert these days, it is unlikely you will hear any live performing but you are guaranteed to witness a close-to-perfect performance by her dance mates and from herself too.
5. Jennifer Lopez
This beast of a superwoman does not need any introduction. Jenny from the block actually started out as a dancer herself. She has employed various talented individuals throughout her career and sometimes even dated/married her backup dancers. It is only normal to meet your future love at your work place when you’re as busy as she is. Thank you for the historical Super Bowl Halftime Show Jenny!
She might be a billionaire now thanks to Fenty Beauty, but she has blessed us with all her past body of work. She had her fair share of solo music videos, but more often than not, she got dancers doing their thing in her videos. From Pon De Replay, SOS, Disturbia, to the more recent Lemon, Rihanna shares plenty of the limelight with her dancers.
Queen B sold over 100 million copies internationally and won 24 Grammies. By whatever metrics you wanna measure her career, she’s most likely on top of them all. Besides her exceptional vocal range, she is a professional dancer and has dedicated entire projects to promote dancing. Remember the Move Your Body remake? Or the forever-epic Run The World music video? That video alone had over 100 dancers involved in it. Props given where props deserved.
With over 23 million records sold worldwide, the Princess of Crunk always kicks some serious ass in ALL of her music videos. Even when we’re talking about a slower song, she still finds a way to combine her incredible moves with the beat (Promise, Like A Boy, Never Ever, Greatest Love). It’s safe to say, Ciara is THE BEST dancer in the music industry and has consistently involved plenty of dancers in her live shows, music videos, guest appearances. Oh, and let’s not forget the viral #levelup dance challenge of 2018-2019.
1. Missy Elliott
We’re talking about THE FIRST FEMALE RAPPER EVER to have been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Famous for her exceptional work ethic, futuristic visions and outstanding songs with fellow producer Timbaland (like Get Ur Freak On, Work It), Missy has always encouraged dancing and she has always spoken openly about this in her interviews. Her moves are always integrated in her stage presence along with the backup dancers. Missy is always THE CHOICE for dancing, cardio work outs, or just feeling better about yourself. Queen.