Top 10 Weirdest Dancing in Music Videos
VOICE OVER: Matt Campbell
Script written by QV Hough
These moves are awkward, innovative and…unique. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Weirdest Dancing in Music Videos. For this list, we're focusing on dance moves from popular music videos that stray heavily from the norm - be it for better or worse.
Special thanks to our user liam_schell for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at
Top 10 Weirdest Dancing in Music Videos
These moves are awkward, innovative and…unique. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Weirdest Dancing in Music Videos.
For this list, we’re focusing on dance moves from popular music videos that stray heavily from the norm - be it for better or worse.
#10: “Friends” (2016)
Francis and the Lights feat. Bon Iver & Kanye West
For years, director Jake Schreier and his buddy Francis Farewell Starlite have been making videos together. In this Francis and the Lights production, featured guest Kanye West actually gives up the spotlight, allowing the lead singer to express himself with some peculiar dancing. The weirdness comes halfway through, as Francis performs a solo routine, consisting of fancy footwork and arm flailing. His synchronized choreography with Bon Iver is perhaps the most bizarre moment however, even though it’s a bit more poetic than the hyper-aggressive solo sequence.
#9: “Hotline Bling” (2015)
Much like the Francis and the Lights video, this video is minimalistic and focused on physical space. But Drake is more cool and collected with his quirky dancing, maintaining his composure throughout. Still, it’s all rather strange. Drake’s routine is all about hand movements and facial expressions. He mixes classic ‘80s moves with some questionable freestyle work to create his own special brand of dancing. The director – Director X – reportedly hoped that “Hotline Bling” would encourage men to dance more. Not sure if that worked, but it certainly brought along a slew of hilarious parodies.
#8: “Why Can’t I Be You?” (1987)
According to the band’s own biographer, this video features “some of the most poorly choreographed dancing ever seen on MTV.” Yes, these are the actual members of The Cure, with Lol Tolhurst even appearing in blackface. That alone will offend many viewers, not to mention the collective “dancing,” which is essentially The Cure just bouncing around. The effort is there, but sadly, the execution and good taste is not, and it’s painful to watch. It’s just a hot, hot ‘80s mess; a disorganized fiasco that director Tim Pope surprisingly described as “the video [he’d] always wanted to make.”
#7: “Dancing on the Ceiling” (1986)
Believe it or not, the great Stanley Donen directed this music video, and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” choreographer, Michael Peters, is responsible for the dance moves. While the video does have someartistic value, everything goes wrong when the dance party begins. Lionel Richie’s zubaz are distracting, and then he literally dances on the ceiling, with his pals jerking their bodies back and forth. It’s just too much contrived dancing across the board, and Richie tries way too hard to let us know that he’s feeling the music. Unfortunately, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” zombies seem more alive than Richie’s dance party crew.
#6: “Rock Me Tonite” (1984)
Choreographed by Kenny Ortega, this video has been retroactively credited with ruining the artist’s career. And it’s not hard to see why. Where do we even start? First, there’s the finger snaps and dramatic head turn, two, aggressively awkward dance moves. But then “Rock Me Tonite” takes a sexual turn, as Billy makes love to the floor and goes full downward dog. This is all simply a build-up to a freestyle prance, which ends with a t-shirt shred, a la Hulk Hogan. Some of you may dance like this at home, but Billy decided to have this documented for eternity.
#5: “Once in a Lifetime”(1981)
Singer David Byrne is well-known for his art rock aesthetic, and this video is most certainly original. Under the guidance of choreographer Toni Basil, Byrne moves stiffly and quickly, even planting his face into the ground. He actually studied video of epilepsy attacks, which inspired his bizarre body language and dancing techniques. Depending on your point of view, his moves are creative, nerdy or perhaps even offensive. But we can all agree that we’d run for help if a sweaty, sweaty man danced like this in public.
#4: “Polyester Girl” (1997)
Digital and definitely entertaining, this video was actually well-received upon release. Regardless, we don’t recommend translating this sort of dancing into the real world. The Polyester Girl plays by her own rules while cutting a rug, performing like she’s warming up for a polyester workout. This may remind you of a drunk uncle or drunk aunt at a wedding reception, but stiff as the Polyester Girl may be, we still have to give credit where credit is due - her rhythm is more natural than David Byrne’s! The Polyester Girl doesn’t exactly sell the routine, but her moves certainly make for a compelling, albeit odd performance.
#3: “Dancing in the Street” (1985)
Given the rock star status of the artists involved, it’s surprising that this video got made. First, there’s Mick Jagger, who must’ve chugged a few energy drinks to get ready. Then, David Bowie shows up, shuffling down a staircase before joining his wild-eyed pal. The most troubling sequence comes when the two rock and roll icons actually dance in the street - which, let’s be clear, is a little too on the nose. Poor David seems a bit lost, while Mick clearly tries to establish dancing dominance. The madness continues during a cheeky hallway sequence, with Mick stealing the show once again, while Bowie continues on, dancing to the beat of his own drum.
David Bowie & Mick Jagger
#2: “Weapon of Choice” (2001)
Christopher Walken moves in mysterious ways. In “Weapon of Choice,” he dances like he’s taken a few lessons, but also performs like he’s creating a style of his very own. Walken is clearly confident, and he does have some natural ability, but his moves are a weird mix of Broadway and drunk person bravado. The elevator sequence is arguably the most perplexing moment, with Walken’s movements becoming extra deliberate and unnatural. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is strange and highly bizarre, much like another Fatboy Slim video, “Praise You,” directed by and featuring an enthusiastic Spike Jonze.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
“Lonely Boy” (2011)
The Black Keys
“Paddling Out” (2012)
“Lean On” (2015)
Major Lazer & DJ Snake feat. MØ
#1: “Lotus Flower” (2011)
For many rock fans, Thom Yorke is above criticism, even when he dances like a maniac. Case in point: the entirety of “Lotus Flower,” in which the Radiohead singer establishes his internet meme legacy. Choreographed by Wayne McGregor, the video doesn’t seem to have any choreography at all. Instead, it’s just Yorke experiencing some type of violent attack, reminiscent of David Byrne’s epileptic dancing. “Lotus Flower” has a bit of everything: herky-jerky dance moves, hands-in-the-pocket dance moves and just your classic manic shaking technique, performed to weird perfection by Mr. Yorke. It’s strange, but utterly captivating.