Many modern popstars, whether ‘self-made’ or ‘manufactured’, are talented in areas outside of music and singing; they can also be great actresses, caring philanthropists, dedicated activists, accomplished authors and, perhaps most importantly, brilliant dancers. When you think of the most successful female pop artists of all time, names like Madonna and Britney Spears come to mind. These women are just as famous for their incredible dancing skills as they are for their songwriting, vocal range and live performance expertise.
In the modern technological age, artists must work harder than ever before to stand out from the crowd. One way in which they can do this is by training hard and perfecting their dancing skills; this, in turn, can lead to more adventurous music videos and live performances.
The online generation are always on the lookout for new forms of entertainment, whether that means blockbuster movies produced by Movie Studio, popular games made available at PokerStars Casino, or special music videos accompanying tracks on the Spotify app. Every performer and the management team behind them is looking for something to give them the edge over the competition. Often, a ground-breaking dance routine can provide that advantage.
Let’s take a look at some of the young female popstars using dance to their advantage.
Ariana Grande has come a long way from the slightly stiff dance steps that accompanied her first number 1 single, ‘Problem’. Whilst this track introduced her signature 60s style and represents the moment that she really arrived on the global pop scene, she has only continued to grow in confidence since then. She’s clearly been working on her flexibility over the course of her immensely successful pop career, and now shows it off with moves that even a professional dancer would be envious of.
Although close in age, Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande could not be more different in terms of music and dance style. Billie has received professional training in contemporary dance and regularly wows audiences with her idiosyncratic moves. In particular, both the official music video and SNL performance of her hit single ‘Bad Guy’ showcase her obvious talent for dance and her signature loose, joyful style. Although she is not so perfectly choreographed as Ariana, she still manages to make an impression, whether rolling around on the floor, jumping up and down, or simply clicking her fingers in time to the beat. With Billie, it’s her eccentricity that makes her stand out.
After her breakthrough into the mainstream back in 2016, Lizzo has received three Grammy awards, headlined three sold out tours, and appeared in blockbuster movie, Hustlers. She is well known for her infectious energy and cheeky personality on stage, treating fans to stand-out performances at Coachella and the MTV Music Video Awards. As an accomplished dancer herself, she has opened up the industry to a more diverse range of performers, hiring dance professionals and amateurs to accompany her on stage who wouldn’t ordinarily have had a chance. The inclusive attitude taken by both Lizzo and her choreographer has ushered in a new age of diversity, showing that successful popstars and dancers don’t have to look just one way.
FKA Twigs, real name Tahliah Debrett Barnett, began her career as a dancer at the young age of 17. Since then, she has gone on to find international success as a singer, incorporating her love of dance into her music videos and live performances. Twigs is a great example of how dance can be an integral part of a popstar’s performance, vying with the music itself to be the most important aspect of an act. She continues to push the envelope, even directing a dance film titled Soundtrack 7.
It’s impossible to talk about dance in pop music without mentioning k-pop. This genre of music has become a global phenomenon in recent years, leaving its origins in South Korea and spreading around the world to find further adulation and fame. The most successful female k-pop band at this moment in time are BLACKPINK, who formed in 2016 and are currently riding the wave of global success. An integral aspect of k-pop groups is highly choreographed dance routines, usually performed by all members simultaneously in order to have the maximum visual effect on the audience. BLACKPINK recently finished an ambitious world tour, where they performed flawless dance steps in front of enormous, appreciative audiences. As with most k-pop bands, they are recognised as much for their dance skills as they are for the other parts of their performance. Lisa Manoban is known as the band’s best dancer, releasing content on social media and with other artists to showcase her superior skills.