5 Dance Videos that will Get You Pumped for Halloween
As an art form, dance has been on the rise in mainstream media and culture with how much more accessible it has become. With TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, and America’s Best Dance Crew, thousands of people are being brought into the world of dance more and more each day. That, and with the existence of media sharing websites like Youtube, Vevo, and more, aspiring dancers have had more opportunities to watch pieces by their favorite artists, and in turn be inspired by their capablities.
5. “Death Car” by Phillip “Pacman” Chbeeb
In what could be considered Jaja Vankova’s (Lady Tighteyez, IaMmE Crew) first introduction to mainstream hip-hop culture, Pacman (IaMmE Crew) creates a story that forewarns the dangers of texting and driving. Within the video, Di “Moon” Zhang (IaMmE Crew) has just received news that the woman he is in love with is cheating on him. To add injury to insult, he receives this text moments before dying in a car crash with the very same woman in the car he hits. The moment the characters get into their cars, it is clear that death has other intentions for them as Jaja and Pacman represent these spirits of death and provide a haunting performance that almost makes you want to text and drive to see the dancers yourself (Spoiler alert, that won’t happen). The choreography implements “strobing” which is a series of dime-stops used in quick succession. This, on top of the imagery used in the video makes the characters very convincingly appear ghostly. This video’s haunting music is accompanied very nicely by the eerie movements Jaja and Pacman deliver in this dance as well as their make-up and costumes.
4. “7 Deadly Sins” by Jaja Vankova
This piece earns its spot in the attention to detail around it. It very cleverly establishes each of the seven sins and gives them life through all of the characters’ dance moves. While the piece itself may not necessarily be absolutely “horror” themed, there is certainly something about it that can send chills up your spine.
Jaja’s piece is a concept video that went above on beyond in its set-up and execution. It starts with signs that point in different directions, kind of asking “What direction will you take?” She then goes on to explore each of these sins through a multitude of different dance styles. This piece is an excellent example of versatility in expression. There are many different emotions (sins) conveyed in this video and Jaja ultimately decided upon the best styles to accurately present it all.
The dancing starts with Greed (Jaja) asking Envy (Jessica) what she wants from her. Jaja is then portrayed as Pride, surrounded by chains held by Emilio Dosal and Robby “Lil Machine” Dominquez. The video progresses to feature Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, and Wrath in that order and seemingly represents society’s own struggle with such sins. Jaja cleverly portrays the extremes of each sin through her direction and videography.
3.”Haunted Mansion” by Academy of Villains
Established in 2009, the San Francisco and Los Angeles based crew is renowned for their story-telling, intense choreography, and trademark stunts. Their incredible dances are often highlighted with theatrics and costuming that only further unify their movement.
The supposed “Ghost host” introduces us to a world of clean dance moves and the amazing stunts that Academy of Villains bring to the table. The red gloves seem to hint that every one of their hands are covered in blood, but seeing as they are ghosts, would it be their own or the blood of their victims? Ultimately, the gloves are used to create a face at the 3:04 mark, an effect that is both ingenious and entertaining.
2.”The Hospital” by Quest Crew
This concept has it all. From the disheveled hospital rooms, faulty lighting, and sound effects, its one that can elicit screams just from watching. The film opens with a tender moment between a man and his pregnant wife, only to have him attempt to take an axe to her pregnant belly. We are then treated to a man that seems possessed or at least insane with bloody writing on the wall, the only discernible word is “Wake up”. While the film itself is not one shot, it feels like it with the smooth transitions and unified sound and music. The “Wake Up” really becomes prevalent as the POV shots makes it feel like we are in a nightmare and there is absolutely no way out.
Since their appearance and victory of Season 3 of America’s Best Dance Crew, Quest Crew has since shot to stardom over they ears, and their sharp choreography, performance, and astoundingly unique stunts set them apart from many other crews. The performance they give as disturbing (perhaps dead?) doctors is absolutely breathtaking and worth the watch. They are able to transition smoothly around the room as the camera effectively frames everything to implement jump scares and eerie reactions only to have the viewer “wake-up” presumably from surgery.
1. “Thriller” by Michael Jackson
It should be no surprise that Michael Jackson’s thriller has earned its place at the number one spot. The late King of Pop produced many music videos in the form of short-films but none so great as Thriller, which had a dance that people still perform around Halloween every year. For those who are not familiar with this video, it opens with MJ watching a film starring him while on a date. The girl he is on a date with becomes frightened and opts to leave and MJ teasingly sings a song about monsters coming out to get her, presumably to point out how absurd her fears are.
Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood. To terrorize y’alls neighborhood. And whosoever shall be found. Without the soul for getting down. Must stand and face the hounds of hell. And rot inside a corpse’s shell. The foulest stench is in the air. The funk of forty thousand years. And grizzly ghouls from every tomb. Are closing in to seal your doom. And though you fight to stay alive. Your body starts to shiver. For no mere mortal can resist. The evil of the thriller.
Her fears soon prove true though as zombies begin to rise from the grave, sewage systems, and all over. They manage to capture MJ and turn him into one of the damned…with excellent dance moves. This video is brilliant in that it effectively captures the essence of horror, but also because MJ was sure to dance in such a way that seemed zombie like while featuring his signature style.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
What about the ‘Pumpkin Dance,’ the greatest of all Halloween dance videos?
I just looked it up…I need to reevaluate my list hahaha.
Best time of the year to shake it. This is a little on the nose, but I’d suggest morphing some moves to Tartini’s “Devil’s Trill.” It comes off as a pounding flurry of temptation, followed by despair, then a feeling of being trapped and regret, forced into a puppet-like submission.
Thank you for introducing me to some great dancers. Anyone interested in this kind of work should check out Storyboard P–a twentysomething dancer from New York City. He has some incredible work that isn’t overtly Halloween themed but moves in a supernatural way, evoking body horror and ballet (and everything in between!) in captivating choreography. Black Magic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKZOd3IAIPk) is an great example of his “animation” style, like the strobing used in the first video. And check out his fabulous ensemble, an inspiration for anyone looking to add some glitz to their Halloween getup!
You’re very welcome! And the video you shared is everything you said it would be, I love it!
I love this piece.
Do you ever find it awkward to read the comments like this, which are clearly just meant to fill a slot to get more points or to progress the “writer” to the next level? Super awkward.
We all know Spooky Scary Skeletons is the best halloween song EVER!! Thriller makes no sense anyway.
Thriller proves that not every song has to hit #1 to be a good song.
Great list man! Some Halloween songs I love are:
“Creature from the Black Lagoon” — Dave Edmunds
“Endless Sleep” — Danny Kortchmar
“Jersey Devil” — Bruce Springsteen
“Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” – Warren Zevon
“Last Kiss” — Pearl Jam
“Swap Witch” Jim Stafford
A twist on the typical Halloween playlist – love it!
thriller is certainly my pick for the best halloween dance song of all time!! you can’t go wrong esp. with vincent price doing his famous ‘rap’
Thriller is way overused!
Yesterday, you saw me dance to Bach’s Toccata and FUgue in D minor and Berlioz’ Witches’ Sabbath
Nice to see Thriller at the top. One I like, but it’s a little sad, but Lou Reed’s “Halloween Parade” is amazing halloween tune.
The only one I am familiar with here is “Thriller”, so I am excited to view the others.
Awesome videos and list! Good job.
This is such an excellent list, I wish I’d seen it on Halloween 😀
Wish I had seen all of these before Halloween but great compilation! The Hospital by the Quest Crew is absolutely incredible!! Quest Crew is still one of my favorite teams from ABDC (second to the Jabbawockeez, of course)!
As someone who knows nothing about dancing nor how to analyze the movement, your writing and approach was helpful and invigorating. Your analysis brought light to the hard work and thought that went into these dances that might have gone under appreciated when viewed by newbies like me. It was brilliant, but down to earth enough for me to understand. Keep up the great work, it SCARY good.
As someone who has studied about dance quite a bit and continues to do so, it’s incredibly encouraging to see a relationship strengthen between a non-dancer and an interest in the art! Thank you to both you and Jemarc Axinto!
I’m so happy to see that the first video made sense between the dance break and the rest of the storyline! It’s so rare for me to find that in Hip Hop, but it’s excellent in seeing that it’s becoming more popular! so As a dancer being involved in so many projects and jobs every week it’s hard sometimes to get in a whole lot of exposure to what’s being made out there. I really appreciate what you brought up! Thank you!
I’m very pleased to see the positive response from the dance community and non-dancers! This is excellent motivation for me to write more articles that relate to dance :).
For someone who knows nothing about dancing nor how to interpret the movement and choreographer’s style, your article was refreshing and insightful. Your brilliant analysis and down to earth approach brought light t the hard work and thought that went into these masterpieces that would have gone unnoticed by newbies like me. Keep up the great work. It is SCARY Good.
Thriller for me is always a indication that Halloween is coming. I always think of the thriller dance scene in 13 going on 30.
I love thriller! Whenever I hear that song I know Halloween is coming up.
Always MJ. Forever. When I was in Catholic school for first and second grade, they’d have a Halloween assembly where they’d play videos on a huge movie screen. Thriller was the main event.
Now the popular dance video (though the genre seemed to be more of a fad, as it does not seem to be as popular as in 2014) is the coffin dance.