"After the Dance" is a slow jam recorded by singer Marvin Gaye and released as the second single off Gaye's hit album, I Want You. Though it received modest success, the song served as one of Marvin's best ballads and the song served as part of the template for quiet storm and urban contemporary ballads that came afterwards.
Written by Marvin Gaye and his co-producer Leon Ware, the song narrates a moment where the author noticed a woman on Soul Train and convinces the girl to "get together" after the two shared a dance. Throughout the entire I Want You album, which was dedicated to Marvin's live-in lover Janis Hunter, the narrator (Gaye) brings up the dance concept in songs such as "Since I Had You". The song also served in a funky instrumental, which included a synthesizer solo performed by Marvin, who also played piano on the song and the entire album itself.
The single came out on the strength of its success as a double-A side on the Billboard Club Songs chart, where it had peaked at number-ten alongside the album's hit title track. The song was Marvin's lowest-peaked pop single for the first time in fourteen years since the b-side of his "Can I Get a Witness" titled "I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby", peaking at number seventy-four, ironically three places higher than "I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby", while it was a bigger success on the R&B chart peaking at number-fourteen.
It has since been covered by a legion of jazz vocalists and groups including Fourplay, who covered the song with longtime Gaye admirer, R&B singer El DeBarge, in 1991. Their version was released as a single that year and re-introduced newer listeners to Gaye's original.
During her "Girlie Show" concert in 1993, Madonna resung the opening lyric of the song, "Dance with me/c'mon, dance with me, baby", while performing "Everybody". The song was also sampled by De La Soul on the track "With Me" from their Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump album and by Nas on the track "Play On Playa" from his 2006 album Hip Hop is Dead.