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2015’s Hottest Dance Crazes: The Dab, Hit the Quan and Beyond

Jamaica Craft and Sione Kelepi break down the year’s essential Vine-friendly moves

2015 Dance Crazes

Todd Detwiler

Dance crazes have been around for centuries, but thanks to Vine and YouTube, they now spread more quickly than ever. From Bobby Shmurda to Silentó, it's often teenagers who not only originate these new and fun dances but help to circulate them online until the likes of Drake and Beyoncé are busting them out in their own routines.

Choreographer Jamaica Craft (Ciara, Empire) and Vine-famous dancer Sione Kelepi (a.k.a. Sionemaraschino, of Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" video) helped Rolling Stone break down the origin of these dances and provided tips on how anyone can employ them in their everyday life.

Shmoney

Todd Detwiler

Shmoney

Difficulty: 2/5 stars

"It's only difficult if you're not lost in the moment," says Craft. "I think it's hard if you are trying to do too much with it. Let go of the stress and just let the music go through your body and just have the groove."

Origins: The dance that helped launch the Vine era: Rapper Bobby Shmurda kicked it off in 2014 when he showed his moves in the "Hot Nigga" video. After repeating "About a week ago" before the beat drops ever-so-gently, Shmurda starts swaying his hips with arms raised but relaxed. Immediately after, the quick moment became a Vine meme with people hitting the Shmoney everywhere from their cars to their classrooms.

How to: Sway your hips with your arms raised and groove in place to the beat. "It's almost like the Camel Walk, a Sixties, James Brown kind of dance," says Craft. "You have to let the music take control."

Best Time to Use It: Craft: "At any party or gathering [when] you just want to groove. Anytime you have a cocktail or a drink in your hand and you don't want to spill it, do the Shmoney."

Best Celebrity Rendition: Rihanna busted it out with her girl crew in true RiRi style: on a yacht, smoking a blunt, in a bikini. 

The Dab

Todd Detwiler

The Dab

Difficulty: 1/5 stars

Origins: First seen in Atlanta rapper Skippa da Flippa's 2014 video "How Fast Can You Count It," the Dab caught fire in the following months as MCs such as Migos, Peewee Longway and Future — not to mention countless Viners — posted their variations of the dance.

How to: Make a bowing motion as you lower your head into a bended arm, like you're literally dabbing sweat off your face. "I don't think it's as creative as the other dances," says Kelepi.

Best Time to Use It: Craft: "It's great with any song!!!"

Best Celebrity Rendition: LeBron James, before a scrimmage in early October, followed by NBA players everywhere.

Hit the Quan

Todd Detwiler

Hit the Quan

Difficulty: 4/5 stars

"I'm not even gonna lie, it took me like an hour to get all the [steps] down, and it's only 20 seconds," says Kelepi. "After you get it down and start adding your own flair, it's pretty good."

Origins: Inspired by rapper Rich Homie Quan's pelvic thrusts in the video "Flex" from earlier this year, the dance got its true start in ILoveMemphis' "Hit the Quan" video from the summer and has become bigger than any of Quan's own material. "The feet work of it remind me of the Walk It Out, which also came from Atlanta and kind of made you feel like the Mashed Potato did," Craft says. 

How to: Make a slow thrust while stepping side to side, then get down and swing your arms. "After that, you start adding your own flair – it's pretty hot," says Kelepi.

Best Time to Use It: Craft: "If you're watching Rich Homie Quan and he busts it out, do it with him. Don't be afraid."

Kelepi: "The best time to do it is in the daytime when you and your friends are driving around and the song comes on. Then you all have to stop [and do it]."

Best Celebrity Rendition: Thanks to numerous fan requests, Fifth Harmony's Dinah Jane and Normani Kordei shared their joint version of the Quan, which showed that the dance can be as fun as it is wildly skillful. However, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's goofy-dad version takes the cake.

Whip/Nae Nae

Todd Detwiler

Whip/Nae Nae

Difficulty: 4/5 stars

"That dance is hard," says choreographer Craft. "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."

Origins: The Whip and Nae Nae were separate in the early 2000s, until teen rapper Silentó paired them in his "Watch Me" video this past summer, pushing his single to Number Three on the charts. Both dances are Southern based and have been around for a few years, but Silentó and the kids on Vine who fell in love with his song quickly realized that the two are even better together. 

How to: First Whip, with one arm out in front, like you're driving a car and rocking to the beat. Then Nae Nae — inspired by Martin character Sheneneh — requires a full-body shimmy as you raise your arm. "It's for when you've nailed something," says choreographer Jamaica Craft.

Best Time to Use It: Craft: "The best time to throw out the Whip is when football players do it. It's like when you've nailed something. If you're done with your day, you should Whip. Anything after a period of completion, you should Whip and Nae Nae."

Kelepi: "I kind of feel like we should move on from the Whip and the Nae Nae, to be honest. I think the only occasion is if ["Watch Me"] comes on at a youth dance, but I think there should be a new dance craze, only because I've seen it so much!"

Best Celebrity Rendition: The dance hit peak saturation when Hillary Clinton attempted it on Ellen.

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