Let’s have some real talk. Things suck right now for a whole lot of people. There’s death and anxiety and uncertainty and for us who are just sitting at home, we’re feeling cooped up but also feeling like we can’t complain about it because there are people out there busting their asses to save lives and make sure the planet isn’t wiped out. It’s a pretty depressing time all around and boy oh boy do I know a thing or two about depression. You know what I also know is a cold, hard fact though? That it is completely IMPOSSIBLE not to smile or laugh while you’re dancing. Dancing is such a weird concept. You flail your limbs around to music and sometimes people just sit there and watch and sometimes people join in and also throw their extremities around. How can you NOT be entertained by that? Ever since I’ve made it my life goal to perfect ONE dance video (read about that HERE), I decided to kick things off with a bangin playlist for a Quarantine Dance Party, because you have to have a GIANT dump in your pants to not feel happier after getting your groove on. It’s scientific fact. PS – I’m no fitness expert but go ahead and count this as a workout because I was VERY sore after learning my first TikTok dance and that has to count for something. JIGGLE TIL IT HURTS Y’ALL.
1. Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake. It is beyond weird to me that this song was created for a children’s trolls movie because it is without a doubt JT’s best dance banger. (Overall best song is Mirrors and it ain’t even an argument so don’t come at me.) I mean it’s literally in the title, I can’t stop the feeling that I want to boogie my face off when this jam comes on. It was released a few weeks before my sister’s wedding and when the DJ played it, I happened to be in the bathroom and I quite literally cleaned up shop and came charging out so I wouldn’t miss a minute of dance, dance, dancing.
2. Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus. Though this song requires much less fancy footwork and much more seaweed arms, it’s still a requirement for every party. Party can’t start in the USA until Miley hops off the plane at LAX. Kicks aren’t required for this dance party but encouraged if it makes you move better without falling because you have hardwood floors or something. Not that I would know from experience or anything. Please don’t sue me if you fall and injure yourself from dancing so hard to my kickass playlist.
3. Come Alive – Cast of The Greatest Showman. It’s no secret if you’ve read this blog before or listened to my pump it up playlist that I have a very large boner for the movie The Greatest Showman. I don’t even like musicals and this one had it all that even a naysayer like me who thinks breaking into song mid conversation is ridic won’t stop talking about it three years later. If I ever need to be in a good mood, I slap on this soundtrack and pretend I’m a performer in PT Barnum’s circus. This one really gets the juices flowing because it’s the beginning of the movie when they’re all excited and ready to rock n roll, just like you are at your dance party. It’ll make you want to snap your way over to a door and kick it right down.
4. Want to Want Me – Jason Derulo. Couldn’t have a dance off without JAY-SuNNn De-ROOOO-LOOOOWWW (sing in autotune voice or get the hell out of my face.) There has never been a more out of place pair than when my sister and I decided to go see Jason for a free concert at the NYS Fair, showed up several hours early to get seats and wait on a disgustingly hot August day, almost got edged out of our seats by concert bullies and then took part in a group learning of his “skeerrttt PULL UP” dance move. You’d think learning moves from Jason himself would make me a natural, but alas, I’m still white.
5. Barcelona – Ed Sheeran. It’s important for everyone to hear this. I revisited Ed’s Divide album the other day on a bike ride and what a PIECE OF ART that thing is. Ed went from dropping irish jigs about his grandparents getting married on the Wexford border, to rapping, to showing his hispanic flair on two tracks and then bringing it way down with some sobsies break up and love songs. Let it be known that Ed has THE MOST RANGE. I went from wiggling my hips off my bike seat, swerving all over the road to feeling like I needed to pull over for a good cry because HE WAS HAPPIER WITH YOU, YOU TROLLOP, AND YOU’RE DATING SOMEONE ELSE NOW! Anyway, got carried away there. The point of that long-winded story is to tell you why I needed this deep cut on my dance playlist. It’s under-appreciated, I LOVE a latin beat I can swing my hips to, and sometimes I just really need a man calling me mamacita to spice things up. Te Amo, Ed. Gracias por esta canción que me dan ganas de bailar. Besos.
6. Queen of the Night – Whitney Houston. OooOhhHh Shit we needed some Whitney to take things to the next level. When I asked my sister which Whitney song to choose, we listened to each one and each one made us want to jive so it was really a tough decision that had to be made. But that’s what I’m here for. To make the tough decisions about what song I should force you to dance to. And Queen of the Night just has that undeniable 80’s beat right from the top. So make yourself the Queen of your kitchen and sing into the slotted spoon while you do the running man.
7. Forever – Chris Brown. I’ve used this on one of my playlists before and typically my hard and fast rule is that I don’t repeat songs across playlists/blogs–and since I’ve been shoving these playlists at you for 5 years, that’s actually become quite difficult. BUT THIS SONG DESERVES A REPEAT. Not because of Chris Brown. He sucks and honestly I wish he didn’t create this masterpiece because we’re supporting a dirtbag by listening to it. But IT IS A MASTERPIECE. It’s pretty much the best dance song of all time and honestly if you get married and don’t have this at your reception, I hope your marriage ends in divorce because that’s what you deserve for leaving out the staple that created the JK Wedding Dance entrance and subsequent parodies, especially Dwight Schrute kicking a bridesmaid directly in the face hole. The end.
8. Please Don’t Stop the Music – Rihanna. It’s no coincidence that the songs are in this order. Get all your CB grooves out and then swiftly move on to the QUEEN. The SURVIVOR. Ri Ri has taken a whole lot of years off and I really think she’s due for a comeback, but also nothing will ever top 2007 Good Girl Gone Bad Ri Ri. Pre-Chris Brown dumping all over her face and her life. She was just releasing dance smashes and over pronouncing umbrella and life was good.
9. What A Man Gotta Do – Jonas Brothers. I like to say that I’m not a huge JoBros fan and all but I genuinely have become one with their comeback. Those bros know what they’re doing and they’re killin the game. This is my favorite song that they’ve released and they probably took a marketing class from Tay because they coincided the release with the height of TikTok and had people learn the video choreography and duet with them. Also they ripped the choreography straight from Grease but that’s neither here nor there. This song is a bangpiece.
10. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift. Since I’m such a Tay stan, I really wanted to go deep here because there’s so many jams that need love that she’s put out in her career. When I sampled some for my sister, a Tay hater, it became clear that I had to do an obvious dance hit or get the hell out of her house. So we had to go with this number. I mean it literally has its own dance move and there’s no way you can deny bopping to Taylor saying F you to the haters, PG style obviously. Related but unrelated fun fact: the weirdest thing I’ve done this quarantine was join Nikki Glaser’s Taylor Swift dance party that was literally just 400 people on zoom dancing to her carefully curated Swifty playlist. Natch, I disabled my video and only joined in hopes that Taylor herself would show up. She didn’t. But I did get to giggle at a lot of strangers dancing and dramatic lip syncing in their living room (and one real exxtra girl do some pole dancing.) Good times all around.
11. Die Young – Ke$ha. I originally had Timber on here because nothing can top the time I ran around the house scream-singing it and almost sprained my ankle but like I said, I’m very strict about my no repeats rule. So let’s love on early, trashy Ke$ha because I feel like that phase is easily forgotten now that she’s taken the dollar sign out of her name and shown us that she can actually sing without auto tune and techno beats. Also, great message here. Live your life and dance away like you’re going to die young. Because if you leave your house there’s a pretty high chance of that. Too dark? Dance it off. Inside.
12. Blinding Lights – The Weeknd. I had to give a nod to the song that my sister and I spent 2 hours learning moves to match the rhythm of LITERALLY 14 seconds. 2+ hours for a 14 second video that we did not nail. But you know what? Memories were made, we believed we got better at dancing and now when we hear this intro we break into cold sweats. WORTH IT. (If you want to dance along and learn the #BlindingLightsChallenge infinitely faster than us, it goes Dab, sunrise, sunrise, swim, swim, spirit fingers, JUMP.) You’re welcome.
13. Toxic – Britney Spears. I mean there’s really not much I can say about this song. It marked the official turn from teen school girl Disney Britney to I have lots of sex, check out my hot bod in this see-through diamond onesie Brit. Looking back it was probably step one leading to her inevitable breakdown but what a killer classic. Hindsight is 20/20. Toxic is forever.
14. Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah) – Andy Grammer. Ya boy Andy basically took a church hymn and made it pop music. Hallelujah and shake dem hips. It’s a nice message of a song and a reminder that even though things might blow right now, at least you’re alive and dancing and that’s something to be grateful for. Did AG just make me positive?! Whoa. Let that baseline move you and you too, could become a positive Polly.
15. Let’s Get Loud – Jennifer Lopez. I wasn’t going to brag about my close personal texting friendship with JLo and not include one of her heaters. I mean she’s Jenny from the Block. She was a fly girl before she was even a singer. Girl’s got moves. If you’ve ever doubted it, look no further than her CARRYING the Super Bowl halftime show with ease–including a quick core strength upside down pole maneuver just for shits. Anyway, now that I’ve wiped the slobber off of my keyboard just from thinking about that, here’s the only song I wanted her to open with because it’s not only a crowd pleaser, but a party starter.
16. Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) – C&C Music Factory. No dance playlist in the history of dance playlists can exist without this B screaming EVERYBODY DANCE NOW. So just do what she says, yo. If you’re not sweating by this point, you’re not doing it right. I used to have a gym unit that was literally called Jiggle Til It Hurts and the teacher (who called me Maria for all four years of high school, nbd) would nazi-style yell at us to keep moving like it was FM Hornets Boot Camp and not 5th period gym class where girls wear rolled up Soffe shorts and didn’t want to be sweaty or ruin their hair for the rest of the day at school. I hated that block more than anything and guess what Miss Cauley, I’VE BECOME YOU NOW! I want to see you all serving your best dance moves until this music stops OR ELSE.
17. Pop – N*SYNC. I get that I’m kinda double dipping with the JT here but deal with it. Sometimes you just need a beatbox breakdown to catch your breathe because you feel like you’re going to die because you’ve been dancing for an hour straight. This was when N*SYNC got edgy and Justin shaved his head. They were in a CLUB in this music video. What a time to be alive.
18. Dynamite – Taio Cruz. Remember this MF’er?! Taio deserves a shout out and the closer for this playlist because no one knows where he is now but he created the annoying habit of repeating things 4 times in 2010 and that was a whole lot of fun, fun, fun, fun. Just wrapping up our dance party with some good vibes and our hands in the air. Hopefully this playlist made you dance, dance, dance, dance, smile or even just laugh at the fact that you were wheezing after one song like you just ran a marathon. Just me? Whatever.