6 Surprising Origins of Hype Dance Moves

Words by Howi Bakunawa

Hype dance moves. You know the ones I’m taking about. Whether it’s on a night out partying or scrolling through the internet on your phone, chances are that you’ve seen these dance moves before. But have you ever wondered where these moves come from? Here are the backstories to 6 lit af, fire, and hype dance moves:

6. Shooting

lebron shooting hype dance


Get it? Shooting? Because he’s Lebron? No? Er, never mind. So, does the dance originate from the NBA? Well, no, but it does come from something that’s on the same cultural radar as basketball. Any guesses? That’s right if you guessed hip-hop, then you’d be absolutely correct.

The dance move originates from rapper JB BlocBoy’s viral 2017 music video for his song “Shoot”. Currently at 33-million views on YouTube, the video shows the rapper along with a group of friends pioneering the global dance craze that would eventually bear the name of his song.

 5. Nae Nae

jollibee nae nae hype dance


Being the satisfying conclusion to another dance move, the whip, I’m sure that most people know the nae nae from Silentó’s 2015 smash hit “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)“. But what if I told you that the origins of the dance move go back much further? Much, much further

In the spirit of collaboration, the nae nae traces its origins back to the Atlanta-based hip-hop group We Are Toonz with their 2013 song “Drop That NaeNae” and the dance made to accompany it created by PjTheKing. As for where the name “nae nae” itself comes from, it comes from a character named Sheneneh played by Martin Lawrence in the 1990’s sitcom Martin. 

4. Hit the Woah

hit the woah hype dance


Or simply just “The Woah” comes from Dallas, Texas, a place known for originating dance crazes ever since the “Dougie” back in 2010. Beyond that, much about the dance’s origins are still up for debate.  The dance itself can be said to have been started by either DJ Dangerous or by students at Prairie View A&M who uploaded videos to YouTube demonstrating the dance at around the same time in 2017.

What’s just as interesting is that the songs associated with the dance have changed over time. In those initial uploads, the song used for the dance was “Hit My Woah” by A1 Steak Sauce ft. Big Duece and Lyric Melody. Nowadays, the arguably more popular song commonly used to represent the dance is “Woah” by Krypto9095 ft. D3Mstreet.

3. Roy Purdy

roy purdy hype dance


Unlike all the other items on this list, this dance comes from everybody’s two-toned glasses-wearing, public-dancing YouTuber, Roy Purdy. Having it named after himself, Purdy is the undisputed creator of the dance move. Or is he? 

Well, the consensus is that he is anyway. For what it counts, I, for one, agree that the dance move comes from Purdy but for a while, it was called by a lot of other names that no one could seem to agree on. It was briefly known as the “Mask Off dance”, after the 2017 song by Future, and even managed to generate some controversy in the form of a change.org petition and a lawsuit against video game development company, Epic Games, when the dance was known as “Orange Justice”.

2. Milly Rock

2 milly milly rock hype dance


Now, as a nice change of pace, the origins of the Milly Rock aren’t so complicated or controversial. Rapper 2 Milly dances it along with his crew in the music video for his song “Milly Rock“. What’s interesting about this is that, unlike the rest of these dances on this list, 2 Milly came up with the dance along with his friends before he had made the song. Once the song came out, they just came out with a definitive sound that they could put to a dance move they made years before.

1. Flossing


Does anybody else remember Backpack Kid? Sometimes, when I’m dancing the moves on this list at a party, in a bar, or just in my room, I get so supercharged with hype that I think back on his story and the potentially limitless possibilities that hype-dancing could have for even the most ordinary of us.

Backpack Kid, whose real name is Russell Horning, created the dance that would eventually be known as flossing and popularized it through a series of immensely viral videos. He even kept a straight face all throughout ensuring that the videos would be extra funny. Sure enough, through the powers of hype and funniness, Horning ended up taking his dance to places like Saturday Night Live in a show-stealing performance alongside Katy Perry. Absolute hype legend.

What do you guys think? Is there any substance to the hype? Can we talk about it the same way we talk about history with names and dates? The next time you’re out dancing in the club, you ought to realize that you aren’t just dancing in a club — you’re being part of history


Related Stories