Dance Music Styles

dance music styles

Planning a dance party requires choosing music that will get people moving – this includes disco, house, drum and bass, dubstep, and trance styles among many others.

Electronic dance music (EDM) is a percussive genre of electronic music usually heard at nightclubs and raves. EDM typically features a 4/4 beat and often utilizes synthesizers for creating complex sounds.


Disco was the dominant dance music style during the 1970s in America, blending R&B, funk and international rhythms into its signature sound. Though mostly African American in origin, disco’s appeal transcended ethnic boundaries – some notable performers including Donna Summer, ABBA, Gloria Gaynor and the Bee Gees were among them as were Boney M, KC and the Sunshine Band, Baccara and Earth Wind and Fire were some of its notable artists who popularized disco music at that time.

Disco’s popularity had an enormous influence on many non-disco acts. Rock artist Rod Stewart recorded an updated version of “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” using disco-inspired drums and guitar, for instance. Additionally, post-punk movements in the late 1970s supported punk’s rule-breaking while simultaneously adopting disco elements, leading to Eurodisco–an entirely hybrid genre which combined classical themes of theme variation and repetition into classical music compositions.

Disco became an international cultural phenomenon thanks to its role in representing gay experience. Not only was its music inspiring dancers to move freely without worrying about incontinence issues in public, but its audacious sound sent out a strong mechano-eroticism message to gay men that resonated strongly.

As the disco era ended, faster tempos and simpler backgrounds began to overshadow its signature sound, pushing dance music towards electronic and pop genres such as hi-NRG. Yet its legacy lives on through classic hits by artists such as Blondie and Debbie Harry.

The disco genre also contributed to the birth of a unique dance form called the twist, a fast, groovy two-partner synchronized move that became widely popular at discos and later funk bars; its use has since spread into other dance styles like house, electro and techno music styles that have survived decades.


As its name implies, Afrobeat draws upon African culture and musical traditions for inspiration. Originating in Africa during the 1960s and 70s, this genre blends traditional West African rhythms with jazz and funk influences; including Yoruba music as well as polyrhythmic percussion. Afrobeat was pioneered by Nigerian bandleader Fela Kuti who used improvisational jazz with socially driven political ideas to form Afrobeat; over time musicians have continued adapting the style to suit their individual needs while all keeping its signature beats and high energy sound intact.

Contrary to Western dance styles, Afrobeat does not typically involve syncopated beats; rather it often features complex intersecting rhythms which incorporate drumming and chanting from Africa – creating an intoxicating combination of sounds which has become part of modern African music.

Afrobeat has taken on new meaning in light of its recent Western crossover in music industry. Artists such as Wizkid and Alicia Keys have used Afrobeat’s signature sound in their music; this can be heard through its frantic percussion and deep bass of Gqom subgenre of Afrobeat.

Gqom, or Ghana-influenced Afrobeat music, has gained increasing traction across both America and Europe due to its distinctive African influences and frenetic tempos. The rhythms are unconventional: two or three kick drums played sequentially are often paired with chanting vocals and frenetic percussion for an authentic Gqom experience. Although usually produced for local audiences, its influence can also be felt globally.

Afrobeats is an African dance music genre unique to Africa that blends different musical styles such as fuji, highlife and mbalax into one cohesive sound. This fusion between Western and African music features both sensual vocals with powerfully soulful undertones as well as both Western and traditional African instruments like organ, trumpet and bass guitar to provide rhythmical beats hypnotic enough for dancing.

90s Dance Music

In the 1990s, dance music covered an extensive spectrum of genres to meet individual tastes. Hip hop fans could dance along to it while Eurodance or electroclash lovers found something perfect! And some songs even became international hits!

Though some styles from this decade have faded into obscurity since, others continue to thrive. For instance, the 1990s gave rise to rap artists with hits by Tupac and Snoop Dogg; European music also started becoming mainstream during this period, with songs by George Michael and Robert Palmer becoming international hits.

In the 1990s, Eurodance emerged as a dance music genre, drawing upon influences from disco, house, Hi-NRG, hip hop and other styles such as rock. Characterized by catchy beats and lyrics often performed by female vocalists, Eurodance also included elements from other genres like rock R&B pop making for an eclectic blend that appealed to multiple music fans.

Some of this decade’s biggest dance songs came from artists like Ce Ce Peniston, who scored a number one hit with her song “Finally.” This upbeat tune features strong singing and has an upbeat rhythm; its lyrics focus on finding happiness after having been let down by loved ones. Perfect for any party playlist and sure to get people singing along and dancing along!

“Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch featuring Loleatta Holloway will likely be recognized by most as another classic 90s dance song that everyone knows well. With its upbeat tempo and catchy chorus combining rap music with dance music – which made for an infectious party anthem – “Good Vibrations” quickly became an irresistibly catchy party tune that became the ultimate party anthem.

Los del Rio’s 1996 hit song “Macarena” gave birth to an international dance craze and is still enjoyed today by millions around the globe. With its catchy rhythm and easy-to-follow dance steps, “Macarena” became an instant global phenomenon that remains beloved among many people around the globe.

Electronic Dance Music

Today’s EDM may feature cutting-edge equipment and sound software, but its roots lie in 1970s synthpop and disco DJ mixes from nightclubs across Chicago in the early 1980s. Chicago radio jocks such as The Hot Mix 5 and club DJs such as Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles began mixing older Philly disco tracks into newer Italo disco, funk, B-Boy hip hop tracks from artists such as Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, Jellybean Benitez and Arthur Baker music together into unique reel-to-reel tape mixes by adding effects and drum machines for rhythmic electronic instrumentation.

EDM became a worldwide sensation during the 1990s as rave culture flourished and rave parties proliferated, prompting dance music festivals as well as an explosion of subgenres such as house, trance, drum and bass and jungle music.

Trance’s focus on hypnotic rhythm and dreamy melodies led it down the path toward more cerebral styles such as ambient and psytrance, while house evolved into electro house with its four-on-the-floor beat and synthesized basslines; jungle music took inspiration from southern hip-hop while heavy metal musicians developed its sound.

In the early 2000s, electronic dance music experienced a resurgence in America thanks to artists such as Tiesto, David Guetta and Daft Punk. Furthermore, producers began employing dance-music production techniques in pop and hip-hop songs like Black Eyed Peas’ 1998 hit song “I Gotta Feeling.”

Techno producers in Berlin became disillusioned with the excessive synthesizer sounds and songwriting structures prevalent during the late 1990s and began producing tracks with more straightforward song structures that relied less heavily on synthesizer sounds or traditional songwriting structures. Remixes and mashups, pairing vocal components from one recording with instrumental parts from another, assisted this reductionist trend further.

EDM (Electronic Dance Music) has quickly become the world’s favorite electronic genre, from catchy tunes to aggressive forms. Though originally produced by professional DJs, EDM has since become part of mainstream pop and hip-hop with artists such as The Chainsmokers, Steve Aoki and Martin Garrix teaming up with stars like Selena Gomez, Drake and Taylor Swift for collaborations on projects.