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#TBT: Janet Jackson's 7 Greatest Dance Breaks


Got the message? Good. Let's dance.

My prayers and numerous blog posts have finally been answered as Janet Damita Jo Jackson has announced a new album and world tour. So all your faves can just go home. Mom's back.

I'm not sure what direction Ms. Jackson will take -- though the hashtag #ConversationsinaCafe leads me to think we're in for a Rhythm Nation 1814 moment -- but there's an entire back catalogue of hits to keep us sated until she two-steps out of whatever Middle Eastern palace she's been hiding in with her hot billionaire husband.

As stated previously, no one does a dance break better than Janet.

Related | #TBT: Janet's "Rock Wit U" Video

For reference, a dance break is just that -- a moment when Janet says, "Everyone shut up, I'm going to turn it the fuck out for a minute."

So in celebration of the Queen's return, here are her 7 greatest dance breaks. Count me in, JJ.


7. "I Get Lonely" (1997)

lonely 1

Though usually known for her high-octane, hair-whipping, air-chopping, ass-kicking routines, Janet slowed it down for this mid-tempo classic from her 1997 masterpiece, The Velvet Rope.

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Gonna break it down, break it down...and whip 'em out.

6. "Alright" (1989)

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Janet brought in old school hoofers Cab Calloway, Cyd Charise and the Nicholas Brothers for this tribute to musicals of yesteryear.

alright 2

In such prestigious company, Miss Jackson was not about to half-step, as can be seen with this bit of intricate hanky-panky.

5. "Rhythm Nation" (1989)

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There are actually multiple dance breaks in this landmark video, but Janet saves the best for last -- unleashing a flurry of flawless choreography unto an unsuspecting Rhythm Nation.

rhythm 2

That ponytail whip single-handedly ushered in the 1990s.

4. "The Pleasure Principle" (1986)

pleasure 1

Who hasn't dreamed a dream of breaking into a warehouse and just dancing out your feelings all over it? Throw in a high-waisted jean and Janet's best '80s hair and what else could you want?

pleasure 2

Certainly not any backup dancers. This little sister is doing it for her damn self.

3. "Scream" (1995)

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The fact that this legendary breakdown is only at number 3 lets you know this list is serious. Michael (may he rest) and Janet -- together at last -- had an intergalactic dance-off and the winner was the entire universe.

scream 2

Meanwhile, the smokey eye as a concept has never been better.

2. "Miss You Much" (1989)

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Often imitated -- Britney -- but never duplicated, this epic chair routine was tagged onto the end of the already epically choreographed "Miss You Much" just to drive the point home: we may all be a part of the Rhythm Nation, but there's only one HBIC.

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And so help her she will throw a chair at you if you get out of line.

1. "If" (1993)

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The dance breaks by which every dance break will be judged till the end of time. Here's an experiment for ya: throw "If" on at any dance party anywhere and guaranteed a troupe of gays will appear out of nowhere and start Tutting across the room.

if 2

It's scientific fact.

Les Fabian Brathwaite -- is that the end?! No. Check out dance breaks number 8 to 10 on Tumblr.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Les Fabian Brathwaite