E.T. phoned home, the average salary was just under $16,000 US Dollars (USD), and minivans, video cassette recorders (VCRs), and cable television were modern concepts. The 1980s was a decade of spending, and the newly launched cable music channel, MTV, inspired both the music and the fashion world. Madonna and Michael Jackson were huge pop stars, and along with other influences, they spurred some popular dance styles.
Break dancing was by far the biggest dance craze of the early 80s. Beginning as a street dance of the '70s and evolving into a popular style all its own, break dancing was born of hip-hop influences, and performing most moves required immense physical aptitude. Break dancing often involved standoffs between dancers to see who could out-maneuver the other.
Another dance craze, if one could call it that, was slamdancing. Catching on largely because of the development of new age punk and heavy metal in the '80s, slamdancing, also known as moshing, is nothing more than a group of people slamming into one another and jumping around to the sounds of loud metal music. The mosh pit followed, and relevant music concerts have ever since had a place where fans assault one another under the guise of a dance. Whether it's fun or dangerous is debatable, but slamdancing in the mosh pit looks like it's here to stay.
Nearly anybody who attended a wedding reception in the late 1980s will remember hearing the "Electric Boogie" reverberating across the room and a solid line of people performing The Electric Slide. This dance craze was made most popular by the 1989 re-release of the "Electric Boogie," copyrighted in 1982 by Bunny Wailer.
Though the '80s brought an amalgam of dance moves and styles, many of which are forgotten, there is no question that MTV had a large role in what became popular. Whether it was MC Hammer’s “Hammertime” or Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark”, videos of musicians singing and dancing were available in people’s living rooms round the clock.
One final popular dance of the 80s, and possibly the one that issued in the new decade, was the Lambada. Though it has long-standing Brazilian roots, the Lambada gained worldwide popularity at the end of the decade with the release of the Hollywood film of the same name. The Lambada is considered a very sensual dance, even though it is fast-paced and heated.