Songs With Dance Steps In The Lyrics

Dance crazes dominated the music scene from their heyday in 1950s dance halls and sock hops to their peak in 1970s discotheques. This playlist features our favorite songs with dance steps in the lyrics from that era in music history.

Best songs with dance steps in the lyrics

These are some of the most popular songs that contain lyrics about dance steps, from the early days of poodle skirts to the disco era of bell-bottom pants. Enjoy!

1. Do You Love Me by The Contours

Year: 1962
Album: Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)

Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. wrote “Do You Love Me” with the Temptations in mind. But he later decided The Contours had the right vocal sound to perform the song.

The song became one of Motown’s first hits, charting at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962.

Key lyrics:

I can mash-potato
(I can mash-potato)
And I can do the twist
(I can do the twist)
Now tell me baby
(Tell me baby)
Do you like it like this

2. Nobody But Me by The Human Beinz

Year: 1967
Album: Nobody But Me

The Isley Brothers originally wrote and performed this toe-tapper about dancing like nobody else. But it was The Human Beinz who made it a hit, taking it to number eight on the Billboard pop singles chart in 1968. It is the band’s only hit song.

Key lyrics:

Nobody can do the (Shing-a-ling) like I do
Nobody can do the (Skate) like I do
Nobody can do (Boogaloo) like I do
Nobody can do (Philly) like I do

3. The Loco-Motion by Little Eva

Year: 1962
Album: (Originally released as a single)

Famed singer/songwriter Carole King teamed up with Gerry Goffin to write this popular dance song. After another artist passed on recording the song King offered it to her babysitter, Eva Boyd, who took the opportunity and ran with it. Little Eva’s “The Loco-Motion” reached the number 1 spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1962.

The song became a hit again in 1974 when Grand Funk Railroad recorded their version of it and once more in 1988 when Kylie Minogue covered it.

Key lyrics:

Everybody’s doin’ a brand new dance now
(Come on baby do the locomotion)
I know you’ll get to like it if you give it a chance now
(Come on baby do the locomotion)

4. Hanky Panky by Tommy James & the Shondells

Year: 1964 & 1966
Album: (Released as a single)

This simple tune by Tommy James & the Shondells features one line repeated 23 times and one verse repeated twice. James said he heard it played in a club and came home to record it, but only remembered a few lines.

The “garage rock” favorite reached the number one spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1966.

Key lyrics:

My baby does the hanky panky

5. Twist and Shout by The Beatles

Year: 1963
Album: Please Please Me

The Beatles jumped on board the dance-craze movement of the early sixties with “Twist and Shout.” The song was originally recorded by the Top Notes and the Isley Brothers, but it was The Beatles who took it to the top of the charts (#2 in 1963).

The song had a resurgence of popularity in 1986 when it was featured in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” starring Matthew Broderick lip-syncing to its lyrics.

Key lyrics:

Well, shake it up, baby, now
Twist and shout
Come on, come on, come, come on, baby, now
Come on and work it on out
You know you twist, little girl
You know you twist so fine
Come on and twist a little closer now
And let me know that you’re mine, woo

6. Keep On Dancing by The Gentrys

Year: 1965
Album: Keep On Dancing

The Gentrys recording of “Keep On Dancing” was so short, it had to be repeated in production (with only a false fade and drum fill) in order to lengthen the song to radio play standards.

The song reached as high as number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1965.

Key lyrics:

I keep on dancin’ (keep on)
Keep on doin’ the jerk
Shake it, shake it, baby
Come on and show me how you work

7. The Twist by Chubby Checker

Year: 1960
Album: Twist with Chubby Checker

Songwriter Hank Ballard gained inspiration for “The Twist” by watching a band called The Midnighters dance during a performance. They had a way of moving as if they were trying to put out a cigarette with their foot.

The dance craze that ensued was easy to do and allowed dancers to move freely without touching, a new trend for the era.

Chubby Checker topped the charts with “The Twist” in 1960, starting a fad of “Twist” songs that includes more than 80 different titles.

Key lyrics:

Come on, baby
Let’s do the twist
Come on, baby
Let’s do the twist
Take me by my little hand
And go like this

8. Twistin’ the Night Away by Sam Cooke

Year: 1962
Album: Twistin’ the Night Away

In the wake of Chubby Checker’s “The Twist,” Sam Cooke took advantage of the popularity of the new dance craze with his song “Twistin’ the Night Away” in 1962.

The “King of Soul” took his song to number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and all the way to the top spot on the R&B chart.

Key lyrics:

They’re twistin’, twistin’
Everybody’s feelin’ great
They’re twistin’, twistin’
They’re twistin’ the night away

9. The Hustle by Van McCoy

Year: 1975
Album: Disco Baby

Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony had one of the disco era’s biggest hits with “The Hustle.” He and his music partner Charles Kipps based the song on a dance of the same name being performed by patrons of a New York City nightclub called Adam’s Apple.

People around the world were soon bopping to the disco beat of “The Hustle.” The song topped out at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 during the summer of 1975.

Key lyrics:

Do the Hustle!

10. Jump In The Line (Shake, Senora) by Harry Belafonte

Year: 1961
Album: Jump Up Calypso

Harry Belafonte gave an irresistible calypso spin to this song with dance steps in the lyrics. He mentions the cha-cha, tango, waltz, and rumba in the song.

“Jump In The Line” remains popular to this day with many appearances in popular culture. One of the most notable is in the 1988 Tim Burton movie “Beetlejuice.”

Key lyrics:

You can talk about cha-cha
Tango, waltz or the rumba
Senora’s dance has no title
You jump in the saddle
Hold on to the bridle

11. Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance) by Leo Sayer

Year: 1974
Album: Just a Boy

In “Long Tall Glasses,” Leo Sayer and writing partner David Courtney tell the story of a man who is down on his luck and must dance for his next meal.

Facing hunger, he tries and succeeds at his mission, even gaining confidence and discovering he’s quite light on his feet like Rudy Valentino.

The song became a Top 10 hit for Sayer in the United States in 1975.

Key lyrics:

Look at me dancing
I did a two-step quick-step and a bossanova
A little Victor Sylvester and a Rudy Valentino
You should have seen me moving
Right across the floor

More songs with dance steps in the lyrics

  • Harlem Shuffle by Bob & Earl
  • Peppermint Twist by Joey Dee & The Starliters
  • Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock ’n Roll) by Elton John
  • Twist, Twist Señora by Gary U.S. Bonds
  • Dance The Mess Around by Chubby Checker
  • California Sun by The Rivieras
  • Monster Mash by Boris Pickett & The Crypt Kickers
  • Shimmy Shimmy KO KO Bop by Little Anthony and the Imperials
  • Shake a Tail Feather by The Five Du-Tones
  • Time Warp by Neil Campbell, Patricia Quinn and Richard O’Brien
  • Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag by James Brown
  • Let’s Twist Again by Chubby Checker

We hope you enjoyed this list of songs with dance steps in the lyrics. Here are more song playlists you’re sure to love:

Songs About Eyes

Phone Call Songs

Songs With Girl Names

By Greg Johnson | Published 5/17/2022

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