Scroll To Top

#TBT: Janet Jackson's 7 Greatest Dance Breaks

jj

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.

countdown


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.

lonely 2

Though usually known for her high-octane, hair-whipping, air-chopping, ass-kicking routines, Janet slowed it down for the mid-tempo classic "I Get Lonely"—which she references in her latest single, "Dammn Baby."

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

 

6. "Alright" (1989)

alright 1

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)

rhythm 1

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

All seven of Rhythm Nation 1814's singles were record-setting top 5 hits, including four number 1's. The album itself provided a creative and commercial peak for the 23-year-old superstar and took her into the '90s on a high note. 

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

 

4. "The Pleasure Principle" (1986)

pleasure 1

A noticeably sleeker Janet danced her way into herstory with this classic song and vid.  

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)

scream 1

Finally having escaped from her brother Michael's gigantic shadow, Janet stuck by him during his very public trials and tribulations with their duet "Scream." At a cost of $7 million, the video was listed by the Guiness Book of World Records as the most expensive music video ever made.

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)

miss 1

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.

miss 2

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

 

1. "If" (1993)

if 1

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

'If" is simply the dance break by which all dance breaks will forever be judged. 

Related | #TBT: Janet Jackson's 7 Greatest Dance Breaks

It's scientific fact. 

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

Tags: Popnography

From our Sponsors

READER COMMENTS ()