The Dance (song)

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"The Dance"
Garth Brooks - The Dance.jpg
Single by Garth Brooks
from the album Garth Brooks
B-side"If Tomorrow Never Comes"
ReleasedApril 30, 1990
LabelCapitol Nashville
Songwriter(s)Tony Arata
Producer(s)Allen Reynolds
Garth Brooks singles chronology
"Not Counting You"
"The Dance"
"Friends in Low Places"

"The Dance" is a song written by Tony Arata, and recorded by American country music singer Garth Brooks as the tenth and final track from his self-titled debut album, from which it was also released as the album's fourth and final single in April 1990. It is considered by many to be Brooks' signature song.[1] In a 2015 interview with Patrick Kielty of BBC Radio 2, Brooks credits the back to back success of both "The Dance" and its follow up "Friends in Low Places" for his phenomenal success.


At the opening of the music video, Brooks explains that the song is written with a double meaning - both as a love song about the end of a passionate relationship, and a story of someone dying because of something he believes in, after a moment of glory.

  • Key: G Major
  • Length - 3:42

Music video[edit]

The song's music video, directed by John Lloyd Miller, features an introduction by Brooks himself explaining the alternative meaning of the song.[2] The video shows several American icons and examples of people who died for a dream. These include archive footage of the following:

It was awarded Video of the Year at the 1990 ACM Music Awards.[2]

Chart performance[edit]

On the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, The Dance reached number one and remained there for three consecutive weeks until it was knocked off by "Good Times" by Dan Seals

Release and reception[edit]

Released near the beginning of his career, "The Dance" was a hit single around the world, including the United States, Europe, and Ireland, charting inside the British pop top 40.[3] In 1990, it was named both Song of the Year and Video of the Year by the Academy of Country Music. It was awarded the number 14 position in the CMT 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music broadcast in 2003[4] and also the number 5 position on the network's The Greatest: 100 Greatest Music Videos special in 2004.[5]

In a 1994 Playboy interview, Brooks said, "unless I am totally surprised, The Dance will be the greatest success as a song we will ever do. I'll go to my grave with The Dance. It'll probably always be my favorite song."[6]

In 2001, after the death of Dale Earnhardt, Brooks was invited to the NASCAR awards ceremony that was honoring Earnhardt to play the song as a tribute.[7] [8] The song has been used as several country stations' last song before changing formats. It was also the second song to be played on UK station Country 1035, the first being another Brooks number.

On February 6, 2014, "The Dance" was performed by Brooks on the final episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC.

Track listing[edit]

U.S. 7-inch promotional single Capitol Nashville NR-44629, 1990

  1. "The Dance" - 3:37
  2. "The Dance"

U.S. 7" jukebox single Liberty S7-17441-A, 1990

  1. "The Dance" - 3:41
  2. "If Tomorrow Never Comes"

U.K. CD single Capitol CDCLS-735, 1993
Disc 1

  1. "The Dance"
  2. "Friends in Low Places"
  3. "Victim of the Game"
  4. "Kickin' & Screamin'

Disc 2

  1. "The Dance"
  2. "Friends in Low Places"
  3. "The River" (live acoustic version)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1990) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[9] 1
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[10] 89
Irish Singles Chart[11] 3
Scottish Singles Chart[12] 31
UK Singles Chart[13] 36
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[14] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1990) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[15] 8
US Country Songs (Billboard)[16] 13

Rockell version[edit]

"The Dance"
Rockell Version The Dance.jpg
Single by Rockell
from the album Instant Pleasure
ReleasedSeptember 5, 2000
GenreFreestyle, dance
LabelRobbins Entertainment
Songwriter(s)Tony Arata
Rockell singles chronology
"When I'm Gone"
"The Dance"
"What U Did 2 Me"

"The Dance" is the fifth single in the overall discography of American freestyle recording artist Rockell. It is the first single she released from her second album, Instant Pleasure. There was no video made for this single.

Track listing[edit]

US CD single

1."The Dance" (The Hex/Dez Radio Mix)4:09
2."The Dance" (The Hex/Dez Club Mix)9:21

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
US Hot Dance Singles Sales 27


  1. ^ Brooks, Garth. "Biography". Garth Brooks Official Website. Archived from the original on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b " - Garth Brooks - "The dance"". Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  3. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "The Official Zobbel Homepage". Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  4. ^ CMT's 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music
  5. ^ CMT's The Greatest: 100 Greatest Music Videos
  6. ^ "Playboy Interview: Garth Brooks, by Steve Pond ~ June 1994,". Archived from the original on April 20, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  7. ^ "The Dance - Tribute to Dale Earnhardt". Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  8. ^ "A Tribute To Dale Earnhardt Discussion, 2014". Racing Forums. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  9. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 1274." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. July 21, 1990. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  10. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (4 September 1993). "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved April 21, 2017 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100 - Official Charts Company". Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  13. ^ "GARTH BROOKS - full Official Chart History - Official Charts Company". Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  14. ^ "Garth Brooks Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  15. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1990". RPM. December 22, 1990. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  16. ^ "Best of 1990: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1990. Retrieved August 23, 2013.

External links[edit]