House dance

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

House dance is a freestyle street dance and social dance that has roots in the underground house music scene of Chicago and New York.[1][2] It is typically danced to loud and bass-heavy electronic dance music provided by DJs in nightclubs or at raves.

Elements and characteristics[edit]

The main elements of House dance include "jacking", "footwork", and "lofting".[3] The element of "jacking", or the "jack", – an ecstatic, sex-driven rippling movement of the torso – is the most famous dance move associated with early house music.[4][5] It has found its way onto numerous record titles like the Jack Trax EP by Chip E. (1985), "Jack'n the House" (1985) by Farley "Jackmaster" Funk (1985), "Jack Your Body" by Steve "Silk" Hurley (1986), or "Jack to the Sound of the Underground" by Fast Eddie (1988).

Jacking style involves the whole body in energetic, often ecstatic movements, going beyond traditional dance movements. Reynolds[6] links 'jacking' to both the 'jerk' movement and a collective, intense dance style, resembling a robot in a charged dance. In house music's more sexually charged tracks, 'jacking' often happens during climactic energy peaks, where the beat becomes a continuous, sexually charged motif, driving the audience to heightened excitement.[7] This results in a collective, almost impersonal experience, where dancers become part of a unified group, often showcasing extravagant identity transformations. House dance movements carry spiritual and political meanings, creating a sense of unity and connection through the genre's energy.

House dance is often improvised and emphasizes fast and complex foot-oriented steps combined with fluid movements in the torso, as well as floor work. There is an emphasis on the subtle rhythms and riffs of the music, and the footwork follows them closely.[citation needed]

Notable dancers[edit]

In the early progressions of the dance, there were hundreds of phenomenal dancers that were key in its progression in this social dance scene. However, out of the many there were few instrumental in the introduction of house dance culture across the globe. Some of these dancers are Ejoe Wilson, Brian "Footwork" Green, Tony McGregor, Marjory Smarth, Caleaf Sellers, "Brooklyn" Terry Wright, Kim D. Holmes, Shannon Mabra, Tony "Sekou" Williams, Shannon Selby (aka Shan S), Voodoo Ray, and others.

In Los Angeles, as seen in the local television series, "Pump It Up" hosted by Dee Barnes, the "underground" house dance episode, co-hosted by Stefan of L.A. Posse, recognizes some of the following to be instrumental to the house dance culture in LA: The Scheme Team, Club House, L.A. Posse, Just As Hard, The Groovers, and the Soul Brothers.[citation needed]

Competitions and festivals[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Sommer, Sally R. (2001). "'C'mon to My House': Underground-House Dancing" (PDF). Dance Research Journal. 33 (2): 72–86. doi:10.2307/1477805. JSTOR 1477805. S2CID 191461352.
  • Czarina Mirani: Spin Slide and Jack: A History of House Dancing on 5 Magazine, 2005.
  • Makkada B. Selah: Powder Burns – Essay on house dance Archived 2011-05-24 at the Wayback Machine in Village Voice, 2007.
  • Barry Walters: Burning Down the House, in SPIN magazine, November 1986.
  • Phil Cheeseman: "The History Of House", on DJ Magazine, December 2003.


  1. ^ Phil Cheeseman: "The History Of House", DJ Magazine, 2003.
  2. ^ "What is house?" Archived 2012-03-19 at the Wayback Machine, discussion board on, 2008.
  3. ^ Czarina Mirani: Spin Slide and Jack: A History of House Dancing on 5 Magazine, 2005.
  4. ^ Barry Walters: Burning Down the House, in SPIN magazine, November 1986.
  5. ^ Simon Reynolds: Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture. Routledge, 1999. pp. 28-29.
  6. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2012). Energy Flash. Berkeley, Calif. : Soft Skull Press. p. 21.
  7. ^ Hawkins, Stan (2003). Feel the beat come down: house music as rhetoric. In Analyzing Popular Music. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. p. 98.