Africans are unique for many reasons, one of which is their dance culture. The African dance moves are so unique and vast that they are often replicated and celebrated by Western nations.
Africans display the happiness and wholeness that are found in their vast cultural heritage through the timeless art of dance.
Throughout the years, amazing and interesting dance moves have come out of the African continent, and here are twenty of the best African dances of all time according to research, mass appeal, and overall trends.
Here are the best African dance of all time;
Galala Dance (Nigeria)
The Galala dance is a popular dance step from West Africa, Nigeria. The Galala is often regarded by many as one of the best African Dances of all time. The dance became popular in the early 2000s thanks to Nigerian dancehall singer, Daddy Showkey who is often regarded as the dance and genre pioneer. The Galala dance is a very engaging dance move and it’s one of the zeitgeists of the pre-Afrobeats streaming era.
Azonto is one of the most popular African dances of all time. The West African dance is said to have gotten its influence from the Kpanlongo; a traditional dance of the GA natives in Ghana. Azonto was popularized by West African mainstream acts such as Fuse ODG, Sarkodie, and Wizkid. The dance has been replicated online and offline by millions.
Mopacho (Congo Brazzaville)
Mopacho or ‘Afro Mopacho’ is a high-spirited dance from central African terrains. The dance initially became popular in the early 90s, especially amongst the Ouenze arrondissements(one out of the seven arrondissements in the Congo Brazzaville). Mopacho has recently found its way back into the modern era via Tik Tok trends.
The Bela is a dance move that requires a lot of personality and balance. The dance is beloved in Angola and was made popular in 2018 by the Angolan music quartet- Os Detroia. It involves leaning back while simultaneously tapping forward with your right foot.
Yahooze is probably the easiest African dance ever. The dance was made popular in the early 2000s by popular Nigerian musician, Olu Maintain. Yahooze is a simple dance that involves waving both hands simultaneously in the air- in a graceful fashion. To this day, you will find Millennials consciously or unconsciously incorporating Yahooze into their urban dance routines.
Gweta is a dance move from Francophone-speaking Country; Togo. The dance became popular when Togolese music duo, Toofan released their 2014 international smash hit ‘Gweta’. The dance is highly regarded as one of the biggest dance trends to have ever crossed the Togolese borders.
The Etighi is a Nigerian dance that involves a plethora of hip- movements(like most African dances). The dance was made popular by Nigerian musician, Iyanya in 2013. The Etighi gets its modern infusions from its traditional roots in Akwa Ibom state. The dance was initially only popular amongst the Ibibio and Efik Kinfolk.
Zekethe (South Africa)
Zekethe is a South African dance that is loved by many youths in the country. The Zekethe is one of the best African dances of all time. There is a semblance between the Zekethe and Nigeria’s ‘Etighi’. The popular Amapiano song by Mr. JazzQ, titled, ‘Umsebenzi Wethu’ influenced the dance move.
Although recent, the Miondoko has earned its place amongst the best African dance of all time. The dance was made popular in 2022 by the Kenyan Gengetone music group; Rico Gang.
The Empele is a viral dance from East African Country, Uganda. The Empele took the country by storm when Uganda’s very own Crysto Panda released the single titled ‘Empele’. The popularity of the song followed brought about a new and refreshing dance move that is enjoyed by both the old and the young.
Legwork or Zanku (Nigeria)
The Legwork or otherwise known as the Zanku is a Nigerian dance move. The Legwork is one of the most engaging African dance steps in recent times, and its originality is often credited to popular Nigerian rapper, Zlatan Ibile.
Maplorly (Ivory Coast)
Ivory Coast’s Maplorly is one of the Best African dances of all time. This dance became popular thanks to the contributions of the Late Ivorian Disk Jockey, Dj Arafat.
Vosho (South Africa)
The Vosho is a popular dance from South Africa. The dance is one of the best African dances of all time and it involves the emphatic movement of squatting down while kicking a foot almost immediately. The minimal raw beats of the Gqom music genre inspired this invigorating dance move.
The Chimwemwe or the ‘Shatta’ dance is a popular dance from Zambia. The dance became extremely popular in Zambia from 2017 to late 2018 and its popularity was championed by the Zambian Music group, ‘Ma Africa’.
Gwara Gwara (South Africa)
The Gwara Gwara is a popular dance move that was brought to light by South African DJ, Dj Bongz. A fluid dance that shares similarities with America’s ‘Stanky Leg’, and has been performed by Foreign Mainstream acts like Childish Gambino(This Is America), and Rihanna(60th edition Grammy performance).
Skelewu became very popular due to the song, ‘Skelewu’ by Nigerian superstar, Davido. However, some believe the dance was originally coined by Ghanian artist, 5five in his ‘Move Back’ music visual. The dance remains one of the most celebrated dance moves from Nigeria and as a whole, Africa.
Choco Bodi (Ghana)
The Choco Bodi is a viral dance move from Ghana and it’s also one of the best African dances. It was made popular by Ghanaian hot-stepper, A-star.
The Ndombolo is a popular dance from the democratic republic of Congo. The dance is also popular in East African countries like Kenya and Tanzania. The Ndombolo is a fast-paced move that was made popular by Congolese acts such as Awilo Longomba, Kofi Olomide, and General Defao.
One Corner Dance (Ghana)
The One Corner dance was an absolute virus that plagued many, especially in West African nations like Ghana, and Nigeria. It was made popular by Ghanaian artist, Patapaa.
Shoki is a Nigerian dance that became popular in 2014 through the ingenious wit of Nigerian rapper and songwriter, Lil Kesh. The rapper released a song(with the same name) accompanied by a music video in which he and other people in the music visuals displayed a new dance that soon spread like Wildfire amongst Nigerians and other West African Nations.