Gimme A Beat: 20 Best Dancers In Music


    Britney Janet Jennifer TheLavaLizard
    Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez

    When The Lava Lizard unveiled our list of the 16 Best Sings of the Last 16 Years, it caused quite a stir and quickly came became one of our most popular articles. Now, we’re back in action with another ranking that will surely catch everyone’s attention: the 20 Best Dancers in Music!

    Without setting a time period for our lineup, The Lava Lizard team considered dancers from across the industry as we determined who should be crowned the very best of the best. From the innovators and trendsetters to the quick-steppers and hip-shakers, we judged them all during one of our most heated debates to date.

    Of course, to ensure that our decisions were fair, we developed a comprehensive point system. After gathering a list of the top 30 dancers from across the musical spectrum, including Rock & Roll, Pop, Dance, Soul, R&B, Hip-Hop and even New Jack Swing, a scaling system was used to define the top 20.

    Each dancer was judged on the basis of 5 categories – their versatility and the range of their styles, the difficulty of their moves, their originality, their ability to perform complex choreography, and their stamina. The selected acts were then scored on a scale of 1 to 5 in each field and ranked accordingly. All ties were broken by discussions amongst the members of our 5-person panel.

    So, without wasting any more time, it is finally time to announce the 20 Best Dancers in Music! See the full list below:

    20. Lady Gaga

    When Lady Gaga exploded onto the music scene in 2008, she was just another stiff Pop star who was trying her best to keep up with simple 8-count routines. However, thanks to the guidance of choreographer Laurieann Gibson and months of dedication toward improving her craft, Gaga has blossomed into a talented performer.

    In fact, Gaga inched Madonna off our list with a broader range of moves that  consist of more than just timely yoga poses. As part of her quest to replace her idol as the reigning Queen of Pop, Gaga has demonstrated that she is truly a better dancer, singer and all-round musician than her older counterpart. She may not be original but she certainly is good at what she does and continues to improve with every performance.

    Notable routine: the ‘Bad Romance’ video of 2009.

    19. Ne-Yo

    Ne-Yo promo TheLavaLizard

    Ne-Yo is a brilliant songwriter and competent singer but he is also a very talented dancer. Although his ability is often overlooked in favour of his higher energy peers, his skill extends far beyond the basic two-steps of other R&B crooners, such as Miguel and Trey Songz.

    Perhaps, what is most impressive about Ne-Yo’s dancing is the fact that his moves remain incredibly sharp while he keeps up with backup dancers and sings live. Handling the double duty of being both a singer and dancer is incredibly difficult, and he does it while flipping and splitting onstage without missing a beat.

    Notable routine: the live performance of ‘Closer’ at the 2008 BET Awards.

    18. James Brown

    James Brown was truly an icon who inspired generations of performers with his slick moves and funky dance breaks. Building on the work of Cab Calloway and Frankie Lymon, Brown developed his own style that continues to be imitated years after his death.

    You know that foot shuffle and glide that Janelle Monae performs in the middle of her ‘Tightrope’ routine? That was first perfected by Brown. Remember the most popular Soul Train dancers of the 1970s? They based their moves on Brown’s work!

    Yes, Brown wasn’t known for extensive choreography or being assisted by a troop of dancers but without his contributions to dance, many of our favourite artists probably won’t be here today. That is the mark of a legend.

    Notable routine: the live performances of ‘Get Up Offa That Thing’.

    17. MC Hammer

    MC Hammer’s success at the top of the Pop charts was short lived but his legacy carries on thanks to two simple words: hammer time! Yes, if you can remember the 1990s then you know all about the revolution of parachute pants and nifty footwork that occurred when Hammer released his monster hit ‘Can’t Touch This’.

    When Hammer hit the stage, it was a game for young children and their parents to keep up with his nonstop movements. Unfortunately that was almost impossible because this man was much more than just a regular dancer; he was a machine. Please Hammer, don’t hurt ’em!

    Notable: the ‘Can’t Touch This’ video of 1990.

    16. Britney Spears

    Before Britney Spears lost her mind and became a heavily medicated shell of her former self, she was a force of nature onstage. Armed with skills in both ballet and Hip-Hop, Spears was reminiscent of a young Janet Jackson, despite the ignorant staff at MTV inaccurately comparing her moves to those of Madonna.

    Sadly, the fiery Spears who challenged even her best male peers to keep up with her tightly knit choreography has been replaced by a shy girl who seems scared of the spotlight. A dancer still lives in the mind of Spears, however, because she learned the steps to PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style‘ after seeing him perform it once for only 10 seconds.

    Notable: the live performance of ‘Me Against the Music’ during her ABC television special in 2003. 

    15. Jason Derulo

    Jason Derulo is probably one of the most hated Pop stars on the planet but that doesn’t change the fact that he can out-dance almost every performer in the industry today. This is a man who continuously pushes himself even at the risk of his own neck. Seriously, he previously broke his neck while perfecting a routine.

    If only Derulo’s music was as good as his moves then he might avoid the slander that follows his name across the blogosphere. On the other hand, he could always get a job crafting choreography for some of his more musically talented peers. His girlfriend, Jordin Sparks, definitely needs some help in that department.

    Notable routine: the live performance of ‘Don’t Wanna Go Home’ on ‘The X Factor (Australia)’ in 2011.

    14. Ciara

    A rock just hit my window and that’s probably because Ciara has been positioned at #14 on our list. So, before you followup with death threats or key my car in the parking lot, give me the opportunity to explain her relatively low position.

    Ciara can bend, pop, lock and drop with the best of them but despite her enormous potential to join the ranked among the greatest dancers of our time, she is redundant and one dimensional. Beyond her usual backbend and buttocks aerobics, what does Ciara do to set establish a lasting legacy as a performer?

    Yes, Ciara is very athletic and the step routine of ‘Gimme Dat’ video was fun to watch but that is where her greatness ends. There are only so many times that a person can “shake her booty from the left to the right” before it gets boring. Well, unless that person is a stripper who gets paid to do it.

    Notable routine: the live performance of ‘Gimme Dat’ on ‘George Lopez Tonight’

    13. Shakira

    Next up on our list is Shakira, who is probably the most unique performer on this lineup. Combining the art of belly dancing with West African and East Indian styles, she moves her body to the beat of her own drum.

    No other artist in Pop music today can emulate Shakira and it is always funny to watch them try. Why do people often get confused by her moves? They wrongfully assume that she is simply shaking her hips without observing her ability to use every part of her body to create captivating illusions. Shakira once said that her hips don’t lie but they do trick people at times.

    Notable routine: the live performance of ‘Whenever, Wherever’ in Dubai in 2007.

    12. Bobby Brown

    Bobby Brown does not get the respect that he deserves. Before Usher and Chris Brown thrilled their fans with their risque dance routines, it was Booby Brown who earned a name for himself as the original bad boy of R&B. However, his skills extended far beyond the thrusting of his groin into the faces of horny women.

    New Jack Swing had a particular style of dance that involved quick moves and buckets of sweat. Nobody understood that fact better than Bobby Brown, and if you look closely at the moves of Hammer, you will see a clear influence. Whitney Houston often referred to her husband as the King of R&B but he was really the King of New Jack Swing.

    Notable routine: the live performance of ‘My Prerogative’ at the 1990 American Music Awards. 

    11. Beyonce

    Why is Beyonce ranked this high? Why is above Ciara? Why is she even on this list? Why am I asking so many questions? Maybe I just enjoy talking to myself but you have to admit that these question caught your attention.

    Beyonce earns her spot at #11 on our list because her ability to adapt to almost any choreography and the diversity of her moves. Although she often resorts to shaking her backside instead of actual dancing during some of her shows, Beyonce has a broad skill set.

    Just watch some of Beyonce’s videos and you will observe her performing African step (‘Run the World’), the Charleston (‘Sweet Dreams’) and the Fosse (‘Single Ladies’). Beyonce is not a one trick pony but I won’t doubt that she probably shaved one down to make her collection of wigs.

    Notable routine: the ‘Run the World’ video of 2011.

    10. Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez went from performing as a Fly Girl on ‘In Living Color’ to dancing backup for Janet Jackson and then launched her own widely successful music career. However, she never lost her passion for dance.

    Switching from sneakers to 4-inch heels while using props during her routines, Lopez is has proven on multiple occasions that she is a very talented dancer. Most importantly, her performances are clean and she never looks sloppy or out of place amongst her team. There aren’t many women who can compete with Lopez once her mic is off and she knows it.

    Notable routine: the ‘Feelin’ So Good’ video of 1999. 

    9. ‘N Sync

    It was impossible separate the boys of ‘N Sync and judge them individually because they are all exceptional dancers, especially JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake. So, here they are as a collective at #9.

    Living up to the name of the group, ‘N Sync remained in perfect synchronisation as they performed their steps during their live shows. You try copying their routines while staying in time with the music and four other people all sharing the same space. If you don’t break your hip in the process then upload the footage to YouTube for some well deserved praise.

    Notable routine: the live medley at the 2000 MTV VMA.

    8. Tina Turner

    Before the invention of fancy pyrotechnics and light shows to entertain concert patrons, artists had to depend on their raw talent and nobody had more than Tina Turner. This legend set the standard for choreography, and influenced her peers across various ethnicities and genres.

    Yet, what made Turner a true great in the arena of dance was the fact that she choreographed most of her own shows, moved with remarkable athleticism and outshone people half her age until she was 70 years of age! If your favourite artist dances in heels and leotard then they owe Turner a cheque.

    Notable routine: the various live renditions of ‘Proud Mary’.

    7. Mya

    Mya is probably one of the most versatile dancers on this list. Having mastered the incredibly difficult art of tap as well as Hip-Hop, vogueing, ballroom and even wining, she is a chameleon.

    Additionally, Mya’s skills have earned her prime roles beyond the music industry, such as in the musical ‘Chicago’. Few people have had their dance ability compared to both Gregory Hines and Janet Jackson in the same sentence, and Mya is one of them.

    Notable routine: the live performances of ‘My Love is like…Wo’.

    6. Omarion

    Omarion is such a disappointment because his desperate attempts at being recognised as hypermasculine figure have made people lose focus of his dance ability. Indeed, his antics have overshadowed his craft and damaged his chances of ever being taken seriously.

    Luckily, some of us remember that Omarion is a very skill dancer whose routines entail extreme levels of difficulty. Just ignore his sex faces while he’s onstage and you’ll notice that Omarion is a technician of the highest order. Now, if only he would get his life together and stop his foolishness. Just put your paws up, Omarion!

    Notable routine: the ‘I Get It In’ video of 2009.

    5. Paula Abdul

    When Janet Jackson wanted to establish her own identity away from her brothers and needed a choreographer to teach her the right moves, she turned to none other than Paula Abdul. What exactly did Abdul teach her young friend? How to be ‘nasty’!

    Abdul is basically an older version of Mya with slightly more refined moves. Well versed in tap, Jazz and ballet, there is little that she can’t do on the dance floor. Even today, at the age of 50 years, she is still among the best in the business. Dear Ciara, please give Abdul a call.

    Notable routine: the ‘Cold Hearted’ video of 1989.

    4. Usher

    Usher has a fantastic voice but his dance moves have always taken centre stage. Channelling Cab Calloway, James Brown and Michael Jackson, he is the definition of smooth, minus his scruffy hairstyle.

    Over the years we’ve seen Usher slow down a bit but he continues to push himself to improve as he experiments with his dancing as much as he does with his music. To this day, I still can’t figure out how he does that row boat move on the floor while performing ‘U Don’t Have to Call’ or how he manages to perform the glide on his toes without tripping on his own feet.

    Notable routine: the ‘OMG’ video of 2010.

    3. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown is a beast and that is not some unfortunate pun. Packing more energy than a windup toy, all the producers of a show have to do is give him enough room and watch him bounce around the stage without pause.

    Brown can flip, split, do the robot and I bet that he can even do the funky chicken. As he said on many occasions, dance is his life and proves that every time he performs because he brings everything to the stage (except live vocals, of course).

    Whether you’re a fan of music or not, of all the young entertainers in the industry today, there is nobody who can compete with Brown. Also, he is probably the only person who should be compared to his idol, Michael Jackson.

    Notable routine: the live performances of ‘Wall to Wall’ and ‘Kiss Kiss’ at the 2007 MTV VMA.

    2. Janet Jackson

    If you’re a fan of Ciara, Mya, Beyonce and Gaga, then you’re indirectly a fan of Janet Jackson. Second only to one other entertainer, who shall be named shortly, this living legend is the probably the most influential female dancer of our time.

    Janet Jackson is simply an icon. She can move like a B-boy then soften her step and twist her body like a belly dancer. Even her brother Michael Jackson was eager to compete with Janet Jackson at the peak of her career, and admitted that her routines were a source of inspiration for his work. How many other people can say that? The answer is none. 

    Notable routine: the ‘Rhythm Nation’ video of 1989. 

    1. Michael Jackson

    If you thought anybody else would be at #1 on this list then slap yourself and pray for forgiveness. Standing tall above all others was a true giant among men; the one and only Michael Jackson also known as the King of Pop and the King of Dance.

    Michael Jackson learned from James Brown, Sammie Davis Jr, Jeffrey Daniel, Cab Calloway and Bob Fosse but combined their styles with his own innovative ideas to revolutionise modern dance. What results from his work are generations of imitators who seek to follow in his glittering footsteps yet will never replace the King!

    Watch one of Jackson’s impressive routines at the 1995 MTV VMA below:

    • the real xoxo

      Ciara at 14? Im a Beyonce fan and I dont even like Ciara but Ciara is the best female dancer of our time. overall decent list.

      • Nelz91

        I dont think I agree Ciara is the best dancer of our time, why? Because a lot of her moves are recycled you barely she any new moves from her anymore. I dont know if its her choreographer or what but she dont really excite me anymore, except for the beginning of her Black girls rock performance the first 10 seconds that is

        • Jason R

          If you have seen her videos this era, she hasn’t done ANY recycled moves! In “Sorry” she wasn’t even choreographed, she was free-styling, and “Got Me Good” was one of her BEST even better than ‘Gimme That’!

      • MzGoodBadGirl

        Mya is a way better dancer than Ciara. Mya dancing dont look like she’s trying to hard or choreographed like Ciara.

    • Sam

      I disagree. Michael Jackson is not the greatest of all times. That’s my opinion click the dislike button all you want! Janet

      • andre

        I agree that Michael was not the greatest in the whole history of the dance, there are a classical dancers …. but it is definitely the most influential dancer of musical artists.
        ps and Michael obviously better dancer than Janet. lol.

        • ksw

          stop comparing michael to janet; they are different type of dancers

    • ,jsdkj

      hell nah. gaga may be a better singer and musician but madonna is by far a better dancer and overall performer. grannydonna may be all about yoga poses and tit flashing but she could move in her younger days and still does a decent job today. gaga could never. she shouldnt be in this list in the first place

      • DerrickBR

        the dance routines from videos like bad romance, alejandro, judas and marry the night proves that lady gaga deserves to be on this list.

    • musicfan

      Where the HELL is PRINCE!? I don’t know anyone who can jump off a piano into the SPLITS! His charisma, sex appeal and skill as a dancer >>>> half the people on this list! He should easily be in the top 10.

      I’ll never forget that performance of “Baby I’m a Star” from Purple Rain when he was did the splits and humped the floor lol! Prince is the man!

      • ksw

        dancing and doing splits are two different things; however, if this was a 20 best artists post, prince would most definitely be in the top 5

        • musicfan

          Prince incorporated the splits into his dancing. It was his own UNIQUE style of dancing. He was the bomb on stage before he fucked his hip up!

          He’s underrated as a performer/dancer because of how great he is as a artist/musician.

        • ksw

          what dancing?

        • Jane

          LOL 🙂

    • ,jsdkj

      madonna should be here instead of gaga. shouldnt even be a debate

    • Anthony

      yesss for mya!! I loved her in mack is like wo and for bobby brown!! this shows that you really looked at a broad range of artists. Love!!!!

    • Brandy4Life

      Whoa…that’s a lot of JLo love on that poll

    • lisa

      Jason Derulo before Britney Spears?? Beyonce over Ciara? love Bobby Brown but he’s not a dancer! I love you trent but you have this list completely wrong..some of the singers shouldn’t even have made this list

      • ksw

        go on youtube and look at some clips of bobby brown; your opinion about him will change. if it wasn’t for bobby brown, there would be no usher.

        • Mark

          Not quite. Without Michael Jackson, there’d be no Usher OR Bobby Brown. By their own statements, and by the fact that their moves are mostly homage to an original.

      • Jane

        The fact that Jason Derulo is on it at all is a joke let alone over Britney, MC Hammer & James Brown 0_o? I don’t know if I would put him above Gaga unless he has improved since last I saw him a yr or go?

    • AgSam

      I agree with most of the list but must say why the hell is Ne-Yo and Mya on the list?! And Mya at #7 and above Ciara?!! Booo..Trent, your last ‘top list’ was waaay better. This is one is just off in my opinion.

      • Angela

        Why is Mya on the list? Have you seen her dance? She’s extremely versatile; she can do hip hop, tap, jazz, etc. Ciara is good but she is a limited dancer.

        • stinglikenoother

          Ciara should be in the top ten Omarion at number six that should be Ciara spot! Omarion if you going to put O on this list then Ginuwine should be on here too!!! IJS

      • ksw

        mya is very versatile when is comes to dancing; ciara is not. her dances moves are repetitive.

        • Jasmine

          Ciara can do any a boy… sex magic…get me good.. All different from one another..mya has simple choreo any dancer could do..esp her case of the ex..not impresdive

        • ksw

          when ciara learns how to do tap, jazz, etc, then she maybe better than mya, but until then mya>ciara

        • Truth

          You do realize that every Ciara video/routine you just mentioned is all the same type of dance=Hiphop/street…….thats not versatile like that makes you look kinda stupid

      • Nay

        Sorry but Mya kills,period. Leave it alone. Ciara is over beyonce though. When bey learns to catch the rhythm of the beat i’ll check in. And Jason who???

    • BuhWAIT!

      Chris Brown #3? I mean he is good but….really?

      • Jane

        Yeah really the boy is that good! Did you not see the TUTM video among others. did you know he choregraphs for others? He’s below MJ & Fred Astaire but he is definately next in line for that throne.

    • sdlkjwd

      if rihanna ever took time to learn how to dance she would be miles ahead of gaga, she absolutely has no place on this list.. and over madonna? her exclusion is just plain wrong, she is a great dancer, it was always her strongest point.

    • ML

      You have the top 5 on point…ciara and Britney should he higher. Tina should round out the top 10 and not be as high. James brown should be top 10…Jlo should be a couple of spots higher. I must say that I don’t really have argument with the list but I would say Madonna or Aaliyah should be on the list and Gaga shouldn’t be.

      • stinglikenoother


    • theman

      Mya is a decent dancer, but Ciara is incredible. Usher is artistically better than Chris, his moves flow better. Chris is just very hyper.

      • ksw

        chris can do more than usher, but usher has better choregraphy. mya is more then a decent dancer.

        • theman

          No Chris is just very energetic and hyper. Usher’s moves are more unique, and much smoother in transition.

    • sdlkjwd

      speaking of dance, kelly rowland has the potential to be a great dancer. she was the best dancer in destiny’s child tbh. but shes too busy making shit music tryna book a stage at the bet awards to realise her talent.

    • Seraj

      really surprised you didn’t find a way to work Mariah Carey in here, had to actually double check to make sure.

    • RichiAngelo

      Ginuwine should have made this list. Ne-Yo is not even a factor!

      • ksw

        i agree

      • whnotaskwhy1980

        Yeah Ginuwine should take Jason whatever his name is place. No credit given. Come on Trent:(

    • HEARTS HEAUX!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • larry

      great list but the earlier ones seem a bit mumbled… dont fully agree, but do with top 6

    • Cliff

      hell no, Gaga shouldn’t be on this list, Beyonce should have been lower, Where the hell is Aaliyah ? Ciara is a better dancer than Beyonce. i love that you included Mya

    • Crash

      when we talk about a great dancer, it’s always the skills and technique+ innovation +influence on other artists.
      I would say:

      1. Michael Jackson (his influence on modern dance – huge and unattainable for any other musician. This is not even close)
      2. James Brown
      3. Janet Jackson
      4. Madonna (yes, her dancing is not very impressive, perhaps. But some movements are very iconic.)
      5. Prince
      6. Usher
      7. Chris Brown
      8. Britney Spears (now – no, but a few years ago she was good)
      9. Ciara
      10. Shakira (she has her own style among musical artists)

    • Cliff

      and seriously Madonna should have been on the list

    • why ciara that low on the list u mus lick fiuh head wen u did a write this up i agree with some but bull crap ciara should be top 10 if not top 5……remember the proformance with she and chris brown proformance…….really now she was on target with him keeping up and shit….just to remind u…..

      • R&B LIVES

        also …. check out the 2007 BET performance of LIKE A BOY & THAT’S RIGHT…… that was the greatest perormance of Ciara’s career…..

        Beyonce & Janet cannot even do a chinese split in the air like that… Ciara is in her own league

        • Girl, bye


        • R&B LIVES

          like i said… janet & Beyonce cannot do a chinese split in the air like Ciara…. that is the truth….

          couldnt do it when she was younger either boo

    • sr85

      Trent i would’ve e-smacked u if MJ wasn’t #1! LOL

      I remember that 95 medley like it was yesterday, i kicked my parents table in the living room & broke the glass!

    • ksw

      aaliyah and madonna should be on this list; i would have replace lady gaga and shakira with them

      • stinglikenoother



      Yeeeeeeesssssss the true diva the legend Tina Turner!!! My first idol when I was 4
      I think the list is great overall. Of course everybody would change something but it´s great. And people need to get over it, Trent said it better: Gaga is a better dancer, singer and musician than Madonna. Don´t worry Madonna is the Queen of Pop and for a good reason. Of course Gaga lacks originality at times and she has a long way to go to reach such a status (Madonna´s). In fact it´s probably going to be impossible cos Madonna´s catalogue… wow. But Gaga has lots of years to release music. I hope she doesn´t copy Madonna too much from now on.

    • I’m surprised that Pink was left off this list. She’s actually a really, really good dancer. Check out the MTV Icon performance she did paying tribute to Janet. Also, I don’t think Chris Brown deserved to be in the top 10. His moves just don’t do it for me. Overall, great list. PS: Missy should have been shown some love too.

      • anthony

        man what…I still look at that and see how pink slayyyyyyyyyyyyyyed that performance.

    • Alex W.

      Jason Derulo, this must be an island thing. He has one album and he broke his neck while trying to dance. The Usher knockoff would not be on my list. No Madonna…

    • me

      Jackson has only 33% wow!((((((:
      I thought he would have at least 70%
      wow, a lot of people really hate his personality because he’s a great dancer, in this list – the best

    • Bri

      Lady Gaga shouldn’t be on this list… I’m just saying.

    • Corey H


    • ksw

      janet jackson is REALLY underrated; she deserves more credit

      • crash

        More than the second place??
        I would not put her above the third place (after James and Michael). The girl had a wonderful choreographers, but have you seen how she danced in her youth? she was completely wooden and awkward .. Is natural abilities do not matter?
        Therefore, the second place – it is already strong OVERRATING, IMHO.

        • Truth

          Actually Janet’s a way more versitile dancer than James & Michael, but Michael desserves higher ranking because of his influence which was apart of her as well. And clearly you havent seen that many of her early performances because on The Jacksons show when she was 10 she Michael, & Marlon were always the fastest. PLUS asside from the choreographers, Janet co-choreographed ever routine she’s ever done since Paula.

        • crash

          I saw it!!
          And that’s enough!

          And no, I do not think that Janet is more diverse than Michael. Michael has promoted its own style, so focused on it, but his ability is much more serious.
          He was very flexible, very graceful and had a great sense of rhythm from the age 5, he was natural. That’s why he is better, influence made ​​him greater, but it is not the only factor.

        • crash

          I saw it

          Michael was natural, he had dance gift, was very flexible, very graceful and had a great sense of rhythm from the age of 5 years. That’s why he is better, influence made ​​him greater, but it is not the only factor.
          + his skills was huge. but he decided to promote his own style … it was his choice.

        • Truth

          Um……you’re really showing your ignorance because Janet tap danced too, they all did, duh

          And sorry but Janet has Michael beat by the mere fact that she’s done more, it really shows that you don’t know anything about her if you don’t know that. Hell the easiest example that undisputable is her sensual and sexual dance moves that was a area and style of dance Michael didnt do, because he was a man. Duh. You really don’t know enough to even try to dispute this

        • ksw

          @crash what i meant by my comment is that people think paula abdul made her career; people are always comparing her to michael; people are always saying she is madonna’s runner up; janet is janet because she is talented, she was discipline, she sacrificed a lot, she was consistent, and she was dedicated into making herself into a legend/ icon. i just wish other people will see that without having to compare her to michael or madonna.

        • ksw

          but this is a list of dancers and she is the second.
          I agree that Janet underrated as a musical icon outside of the U.S.
          but that’s another story.

        • crash

          oops, I mixed up in the previous post! This was addressed to ksw —- Sorry.

          I have the Jackson Variety.
          I do tap many years, so I showed the video with Michael, it impressed me, he was really very good in his 18 years, although tap dancers usually reach their peak in a fairly mature age. Janet did tap, too, but not even close as good as Michael.
          + if you saw a variety show, how can you dispute the diversity of MJ, he did a lot of different styles out there.

    • WonderLand19

      I was holding my breath cause i thought you were gonna shade Chris Brown and put him outside the Top 10! But no, you did the right thing and put him No.3!!!! Just under The Jacksons, and rightly so 😀 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      HOWEVER, how can you put Britney under Jason Derulo???? Britney was a powerhouse dancer. She should have been above Bey. Also, CIARA!!!!!!!!!! In her new video she is bringing it!!! lol

      Anyways, i’m happy for the top 3! MJ,Janet and Breezy!!!!!!

    • Unbothered

      I’m glad Madonna isn’t on this list. I equate her to Rihanna in terms of actual talent. And the people that disagree with this list are obviously young, because anyone aware of music pre-2005 know that Mya, for example, is a VERY talented dancer. Bobby Brown, also, is a very good dancer. Good job, Trent.

    • Janessa

      Nicole Scherzinger is an amazing dancer, dances and sings better than Gaga.

    • jay

      i pretty much agree with the whole list except for lady gaga… i think nicole scherzinger should have been included tho she’s an amazing dancer, did u see her on dancing with the stars? the chick can move….

    • MC

      Absolutely agree except for Ciara and Madonna should be on the list too….

    • Ken

      Nice interesting read. For the most part I agree. However I question Usher over Omarion. Shakira over Beyonce/Ciara, and Ciara being so far up even though I agree.

      Maybe it’s, if that’s the case Ciara and Omarion need to be switched. Same thing said about Ciara could be said about not only Omarion, but Chris and Usher as well. None of their ( the guys) moves were groundbreaking and stemmed from the break dance, B- boy, MJ era.

      I was having some kind of problem with the Usher, O, & breezy arrangement and I think it’s O and Ciara should be switched or it would seem Ciara would be somewhere up in there with them !

      Good work Trent !

      • Ken

        I meant Shikira > Ciara and Beyonce < Ciara. Even when you follow the criteria Beyonce is no match for Ciara

    • Edgy_Timeless

      I’m a Janet stan and I luv Bey’s work but we all know Ciara needs to be in the top 5 and should not have been placed before Bey. R U serious! All of Ciara’s videos slays anything Bey’s does. Bey has icon stage presence while Ciara has the footwork of a technical street performer. I wish ppl shld stop down-playing Ciara and give her the credit she deserves. She should have been #4. Bey’s RTW is baby steps for Ciara and Janet.

    • Nelz91

      I’m surprised Madonna and her “yoga dance moves” didnt make it on the list. IMO she is a better dancer than Madonna more coordinated.

    • The Truth

      I like this list. I may have put James Brown higher would be my only change.

      • stinglikenoother


    • John

      Keri Hilson and Justin Bieber are not on the list.Lol

    • R@@

      I dont really agree with the list……
      N’sync was good but I would not put them in top ten .I would put Usher over CB due to the fact usher does more choreography ,chris is the better free style dancer and very athletic. Ciara is to high due shes more natural even though she can be redundant also beyonce is a good dancer she’s very trained and she can be redundant at times as well, I need beyonce to give more other styles than jazz and ballet styles. Mya & JLO are beast dancers both are train but NATURAL and versatile Mya does ballet, tap etc JLo does salsa ballet etc those two represents dancers as a whole . Omarion he’s great but I need to see more choreography from him, he is a great free style dancer. Janet is great as well she can kill some choreography and kill free style . I would say Nicole should have been mentioned and Madonna. Nicole is a trained dancer but she is natural and VERY athletic and versatile as for madonna she’s very athletic as well and great at choreography.

    • kurt

      please go watch the dance scene in marry the night. your opinion about gaga will be changed.

    • Jason

      How is DAWN RICHARD not on this list?

      • Jason

        Dawn was the best dancer in Danity Kane, and I believe she’s showing amazing promise as a solo artist. Look at her newest videos the girl is bad…she does the heel toe in 7inch heels that’s crazy…

    • Theman4u

      The biggest omission has to be Aaliyah and ginuine. If mya and Britney made the list Aaliyah should have because they recycled a few of her routines which they all got from Janet. Ginuine is kinda the older version of Chris and Omarian. We all know Ciara should be way higher as no female out today can see her on stage.

      • Jason

        You guys who keep saying Ciara should have a higher rank clearly don’t understand DANCE and its many forms. Ciara displays one style. You say no one can see her on stage SURE THEY CAN ALL AN ARTIST WOULD HAVE TO DO IS SWITCH UP STYLES AND CIARA COULD not KEEP UP. Tap, ballet, jazz etc.. Where is that in her routine? Ciara serves excellence in hip hop and that’s it.

        • Theman4u

          What different styles does Britney display? Or Chris and Omarion? How many on that list do tap or ballet? Ciara could do the same routine as most on the list but how many can do one of her routines?

        • Jason

          Let me BREAK THIS SHIT DOWN BARNEY STYLE FOR YOU! CLEARLY! your having issues comprehending the word VERSATILITY.

          But I will HELP you….if you look at the Gymnastics during the Olympic games you have many events; an athlete can specialized at one event &take win GOLD, which is wonderfully splendiferous! HOWEVER, sometimes you have an exceptional athlete who has VERSATILITY to take GOLD in multiple events if not all like GABBY DOUGLAS did this year. Ciara may win GOLD in HIP HOP BOOTY POP…..but the bitch is far &away from a GOLD SWEEP. This is why artists like JANET, J.LO, MYA, & yes even BEYONCE are ranked ABOVE her. THOSE ladies have displayed a wide range of abilities. IF YOU DONT GET THAT, your whole perspective is WACK! 😛

    • With all due respect, I think you’ve cultivated a great list of performers/entertainers and that’s what this should have been titled. Maybe I’m nitpicking, but I personally think that there are dancers (e.g. Mya) and performers (e.g. Britney) and they aren’t necessarily one in the same. This list featured 5-6 people I’d consider dancers. Sure, you can teach anyone a routine, and it’s the delivery that sets them apart as evident by this list. All in all, it was an interesting read. Keep up the good work.

      • Jason

        EXACTLY…..Lady GaGa being on this list is LAUGHABLE as is Britney Spears…..

    • dmanblanco

      i completely agree with your list well done!, Thanks for recognizing MYA thats my b****!

    • dmanblanco

      would be nice to remove jason derulo and neyo for AALIYAH and Ginuwine!

      • Nay

        Catch it! Again who is Jason??? When did neyo dance? This list has the goods but is not in it’s proper order. And chris needs to be a lil lower.

    • ni

      Trent… Bravo!!!! (clap, clap) on that top 3. Michael is the King, Janet the Queen and Chris is the lil prince. Chris combines Mike, Janet, James & prince and a little ballet (check out Look at Me Now video and Turn Up the Music finale screen with tribute to Gene Kelley/Fred Astaire. That boy when I saw him on Bet Awards 2010 tribute to Michael… definitely embodies Michael moves you would have sworn it was Michael from 1988 grammy’s performance.

    • ni

      i meant “scene”. oops 🙂

    • Troy

      But really!!??! wit ciara being so low tho… her and chris have the most stamina, she has more natural stage presence than janet, and like she can do any of chris usher or omarion choreoraphy easily hile which one gone come do hers…. and you put ppl ahead of her that can be said are “one dimensional” when has chris done tap, jazz etc… he and ciara are the same style but ciara should definitley be top 3 atleast

      • Truth

        LOFL @ Ciara having more of a “Natural stage presence than Janet, you really show you don’t know much about her. When Janet just walks on a award show stage the audience loses their minds sorry, havent seen that happen for Ciara, yet it’s a Janet & Michael trademark

      • red

        chris has done tap in a tribute to james brown in the 07 grammys, and im pretty sure ive seen him do several different styles of dance. whatever dance style you hand him he’ll do it

    • where is Aaliyah & TLC?

    • BlairWaldorf2013

      As I sit here and look upon the King of Pop I have but one question…When’s the LAST time ANYBODY can remember a dancer doing a full 15 minute show on a music awards broadcast? And this is the reason why he will FOREVER be the KING. Just listen to the crowd in sheer bliss over his greatness. CRAZY

    • michael is the king of dance and king of music long life the king

    • Jason


      Let me BREAK THIS SHIT DOWN BARNEY STYLE FOR YOU! CLEARLY! you’re having issues comprehending the word VERSATILITY.

      But I will HELP you….if you look @ Gymnastics during the Olympic games you have many events; an athlete can specialized @ 1 event &win GOLD, which is wonderfully splendiferous! HOWEVER, sometimes you have an exceptional athlete who has VERSATILITY 2 take GOLD in multiple events if not all like GABBY DOUGLAS did this year. Ciara may win GOLD in HIP HOP BOOTY POP…..but the bitch is far &away from a GOLD SWEEP. This is why artists like JANET, J.LO, MYA, & yes even BEYONCE are ranked ABOVE her. THOSE ladies have displayed a wide range of abilities. IF YOU DONT GET THAT, your whole perspective is WACK! 😛

      • Ken

        I don’t get that with Beyonce. Her foot work in Run the world when half of the artist on the list mastered that skill years ago ? Single Ladies when everybody and their momma, daddy, sister’s, brother’s and cousins literally could do and DID that dance. Does that make all those youtube people including kids exceptional. I’m no Ciara fan but let’s keep it real. Beyonce was put higher than Ciara for controversial- reasons only.

        Has the list changed ? It doesn’t seem as off as it was at first.

      • troy

        dead @ you acting like you specialize in dance… where is your credibility… and if its versitilaty why is omarion, usher ranked higher….

    • R&B LIVES


      I think Ciara is very versatile ……. Beyonce ain’t touchin CiCi as a dancer ……. and Ciara is not a one trick pony ….check out her performances of …….


      Ciara is a natural like Janet

      1. MJ
      2. BOBBY BROWN
      3. CHRIS BROWN
      4. CIARA
      7. JLO
      9. BRITNEY

      I’ve heard Britney, Ciara & Jlo sing live but not Paula so imma leave her out since this is a singer/dancer category.

      • Truth

        LOL @ Ciara & Chris being put before Janet, that says you don’t know a thing about versatility, originality & grace, Ciara & Chris cant do anything better than Janet, singing dancing or acting= FACT

        • realist

          any sings better than Janet. Her vocals are very weak and in most songs she just whispers! Fact!

        • ksw

          @realist WRONG!!!! anything ciara is trying to do, janet has already did. when ciara gets 18 consecutive top ten hits in 9 years, let me know. until then janet>>>>>>>>ciara. and janet may have a thin, weak voice, but she can hold a note and carry a tune. she can write, arrange, produce, and play the piano. HAVE A GOOD DAY!!!

        • Truth

          @”realist” Actually thats a plain lie, she only majority whispered on her last 2 albums….out of 10…that makes you sound really dumb. Janet has 3 octaves, Ciara has 1, Janet has rock songs where she’s yelling the whole time (and 1 went #1) Janet can hit the whistle note as shown in 2 of her songs, and Janet can stay on key, Ciara could NEVER on her best day sound as good as Janet= Fact

        • realist

          I dont care for Chris and Ciara. both are weak singers.
          but only the absolute fanatics of Janet Jackson might consider her a good singer, her voice is very weak and it’s true!

        • Truth

          Actually it’s not very weak shes proven that, if it were very weak it wouldn’t be 3 octaves, so that makes anyone who says otherwise sound like an idiot, and here you are, I’m sorry you don’t know anything about Janet, you’re probably 12, you proved right away that you’re completely ignorant about her when you said she only whispers, when again she only mainly did for her last 2 albums, out of 10, thus showing your strong ignorance.

      • deadatyourlist

        dead at bobby brown being higher then janet
        dead at madonna even being on this list
        she has no technique or skill
        dead at ciara higher tehn janet
        dead at madonna above jlo
        just dead at ur list

    • Music-Doc

      Great list! I completely agree with this list.

    • Jason

      I cant tell you my FRIEND you have NO IDEA about DANCING!!!!! IF YOU THINK “GIMME DAT” “RIDE” “PROMISE” & “GET UP” are difference styles of DANCE! Your really making yourself out to be an IDIOT as far as choreography goes anyway!!!! If you dont understand the genre of dance PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!! CIARA has NEVER in the history of her LIFE switched dance styles!!!!!! AND I QUOTE CIARA HERSELF from the Evolution album’s INTERLUDE “THE FIRST DAY I BEGAN WALKING I BEGAN DANCING, THE CLOSEST THING TO ANY DANCE LESSONS FOR ME, WAS STREET DANCING!!!!!! ONCE I LEARN THE BASICS I TRIED TO TAKE IT TO A WHOLE OTHER LEVEL” THE HUSSY tells you herself on her own album shes not formally trained in dance, but you still wanna ACT like shes the BEST!!!!! GET YOUR FUCK n LIFE!!!!!!!!! If CC is the best why cant the hussy give away an album????She could not even open for BRITNEY SPEARS without getting FIRED!!!!! ONE TRICK PONY is she;;;;;;; get over it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • evin

      National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame

      Fred Astaire
      George Balanchine
      Agnes de Mille
      Isadora Duncan
      Katherine Dunham
      Martha Graham
      Doris Humphrey
      Lincoln Kirstein
      Catherine Littlefield
      Bill “Bojangles” Robinson
      Ruth St. Denis
      Ted Shawn
      Charles Weidman
      Busby Berkeley
      Lucia Chase
      Hanya Holm
      John Martin
      Antony Tudor
      Jerome Robbins
      Alvin Ailey
      Merce Cunningham
      Bronislava Nijinska
      Paul Taylor
      José Limón
      Anna Sokolow
      Barbara Karinska
      Arthur Mitchell
      Robert Joffrey
      Trisha Brown
      Alwin Nikolais
      Nicholas Brothers
      Léonide Massine
      Edwin Denby
      Igor Stravinsky
      Arthur and Kathryn Murray
      The New Dance Group 1932
      Bob Fosse
      Bill T. Jones
      Peter Martins
      Tommy Tune
      Marge Champion
      Suzanne Farrell
      Edward Villella
      Frankie Manning
      Michael Jackson
      Frederic Franklin
      Oliver Smith
      Ben Vereen

      this is the greatest dancers in history.

      your list – it’s just musical artists who know how to dance: better or worse.

      James Brown should be much higher on this list. In top 3 at least.

      • Bee

        …hence the list is called best dancers in MUSIC. No one is discussing best dancers in history. That’s a whole other level and category light years away.

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      • evin

        in music …. well.
        1. Michael Jackson
        2. James Brown
        3. Tina Turner
        4. Janet Jackson
        5. Usher …. maybe!

        Ciara, Chris can dance. but so far have not proved enough to be in the top 10
        Madonna, Prince, Elvis Presley have some very iconic moves and poses, but as the dancers they are not much impressive.
        Britney and Gaga can pull choreography, but it is not what I mean by the words “great dancer”
        Bobby Brown, The Temptations could dance, too, but have left nothing in the history of dance.

        • Jane

          WHAT Elvis Presley was NOT A DANCER he merely moved his hips from side to side! The stole all of Chuck Berry the true King of Rock N’ Roll and gave them to him! Since you want to discuss history. Prince YES! Madonna was a scripted dancer pretty much like you see Lady Gaga (1, 2, 3, turn, 2, 3, 4, dip etc). I disagree about Chris and Ciara they really are the young versions of MJ & Janet IMO!

    • Kayla

      I agree with the top two. I got a little sad thinking of MJ and the impact that he left in us. I remember when Jay Z said that Beyonce was the greatest entertainer of our time behind MJ and I immediately thought to myself, really? The entertainer second to MJ was his sister Janet Jackson, hands down, period and the end. I’m glad that someone with good cents agrees me. I hate today’s culture they just negate the efforts of past icons as I’d they don’t mean anything. You have to know your past in order to know your future. RIP, MJ.

      • Kayla

        I meant to say sense and not cents! Lol!

      • KilliousBey

        Firstly, Janet isn’t of our time, she was yesteryear.
        Secondly, as an overall entertainer Beyonce is better than Janet, entertainment doesn’t consist of only dancing, it’s singing as well. Now we all know Janet can’t hold a tooth pick to Beyonce when it comes to full vocal entertainment. I think that is where Jay-Z was coming from.

    • BreezyStan_

      People are really pressed bc Chris is umber 3 … lmao.. He is one of the best dancers out there!

      • BreezyStan_


    • Mya is my Fav. Ciara shoulf have been top 5.

    • sexicaliswagg

      trent i cant believe james brown is not in the top ten, without him there would be no michael

      • cory

        James was a very original, very fast dancer, his footwork amazing.
        He was the idol of Michael, and he used a lot of elements of James.
        as a dancer, I prefer Michael, but I would go so far as to say that James Brown should be number 1 on this list, MJ – number 2
        other artists a little behind.

    • MJLover

      Michael Jackson is the best and the sexiest dancer and man EVER!!! <333

    • ni

      I wish Trent could put up video’s of his choice…like side by side so people can see why. James Brown will always be the Grandfather of Dance but Michael dance is beyond phenomenal words can not describe. Even James had to bow to Michael during a tribute to him.

    • ni

      good lawd!! i just realize this video of Michael he was 37. Wow!!!

    • musicfan

      My BABY PRINCE has been unfairly SNUBBED.

    • Amy

      Why didn’t rihanna make the list ?? …………….. LOL

    • Jane

      Michael Jackson
      Fred Astaire (he was a singer-dancer)
      James Brown
      Janet Jackson
      Chris Brown
      Britney Spears

    • MC

      Damn at Trent getting these hits!

    • ncjjk

      ciara stans need to sit.. shes below beyonce because shes been pop locking and dropping for the past 7yrs. until she taps into her potential then she wont be remembered as a great.
      same way beyonce is a better SINGER than xtina even though xtina has the superior voice she has been screaming and yelling for the past 12yrs. until one explores their full talent they will not be high up there with the greats. that majority of the reason beyonce wins. these other chicks just wont go deep and use what they have.
      still mad about madonna not being on this list tho. gaga who?

    • Lola

      MJ Is Right Where He Should Be. Along With Janet And CB, Usher And Omarion BUT, Where Is AALIYAH And JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE?!!?!?!!

    • The_Glam_Guru

      This list is TRASH!!!!

    • KilliousBey

      Personally I think Chris Brown is a better dancer than MJ, he just isn’t as passionate and original like MJ. Also MJ like Beyonce experimented with different types of dancing that’s what made him a BEAST, and the best of all-time. King MJ

      • no

        No he isn’t. Chris Brown is just really hyper and energetic, MJ could dance like no other and his dances were iconic.

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    • holydance

      if Michael Jackson’s career ended in 1974, after he popularized the robot dance, it would have earned on the 1st place in the list.

      Only he and James Brown (who deserves to be in the top 2) will enter the history of dance forever, the other people on this list – singers with good choreographers.

    • Tranet

      Janet Jackson ? Mwah ah ah ah. Absolutely not biased top…
      Janet Jackson is OVER and has been since 2002. Her dance moves are robotic at best but her only claim to be the queen of anything is of lipsynchin or nepotism. If this fatso was not Michael Jackson’s sister nobody would have ever given her a record deal and since she divorced Renée Elizondo whom is responsable for her best songs her career has gone so downhill that it may explains why she looks chinese since her latest facelift.