Dabbing Through the Decade: Viral dances that defined the last 10 years


André Forget / OLO

Dabbing is believed to have started in Atlanta. Everyone from celebrities to politians have performed the dance after its 2015 introduction.

For the past 10 years, viral dance trends have come and gone. Some have endured. One literally almost broke the Internet. 

For our final edition of 2019, let’s take a look at five of the most popular dance trends of the decade.

The Dougie (2010) 

This dance was chosen first as it is still relevant today. While the Dougie has taken a backseat to more recent dances, it still makes special appearances in the nightlife atmosphere. According to Insider.com, the Dougie is an arms-based dance that became popular after the release of 2010 hit song “Teach Me How to Dougie” by Cali Swag District. The song’s catchy beat gets dance floors “popping.” The Dougie has a moderate to medium level of difficulty and allows for freestyle dance moves. Notable celebrities that have performed the move include Michelle Obama, Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian. 

“Gangnam Style” (2012)

This dance literally broke the Internet. Don’t worry, the Internet survived. The music video has reached over 3.4 billion views on YouTube. The beat is fast and the dance moves are either hysterical or embarrassing — depending on who you ask. Gangnam Style allowed K-POP star PSY (Park Jaesang) to make a huge name for himself in America. He followed it up with “Gentleman” but it wasn’t nearly as popular. The dance has a low level of difficulty. Though this song and dance were a fad, it can still prompt some to bust out the pony-riding-like moves if played.

Twerk (2014)

This dance’s popularity led the Oxford dictionary to officially declare “twerk” a word. According to The Daily Beast, to “twerk” is to shake the hips and bottom in a bouncy up-and-down motion causing it to shake, wobble and jiggle. The dance is simple in nature, yet difficult for most to master. Celebrities who have popularized this dance move are Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj.

Whip/nae nae (2015)

The whip looks very simple — so simple that it almost seems preposterous. The nae nae is in a category of its own. To many, these dance moves appear easy to master. However, this dance has a high level of difficulty. As stated in Rolling Stone, “It looks easy, but you have to push your body, your arms and your legs into the same place. You have to also express attitude or whatever your personality is with it.” Don’t believe the hype? Give it a shot and let us know. 


Migos popularized this dance with their hit song, “Look At My Dab,” in 2015. When a person dabs, it appears as if they are about to release a gnarly sneeze. When performed with some flair and attitude, the dab can actually be considered a borderline-innovative dance move. I’m still amazed at how a sneezing action became such a popular dance move. We can blame celebrities for this phenomenon, most notably, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who used the Dab as his touchdown celebration during the 2015-2016 season.

Honorable mention: Harlem Shake, the Jerk and the Floss.