How to Do the Boogaloo Dance

The boogaloo is a fun style of dance that got its start in the 70s. It is known for infusing an array of different street dance styles. In this article, we’ll teach you how to do the most basic boogaloo dance moves. From there, you can build your skills and become a real pro!

History of the Boogaloo

The original boogaloo originated in the 1960s as a type of “social” dance for Chicago’s African American community. Its unique movements and rhythm helped boogaloo spread rapidly, especially with the release of James Brown’s Boogaloo, a hit that greatly popularized this dance style. In particular, the boogaloo boomed with Oakland, California’s youth, and it became a common way for school mascots to outperform each other during sports games.

Throughout the 1970s, boogaloo evolved to become the style we’ll be looking at today: a “funk” dance commonly associated with popping and botting.

How to do Boogaloo Basic Moves

When it comes to Boogaloo dancing basics, it’s all in the hips and legs:

  • Start by bending your knees.
  • Now you’ll be “rolling” your legs around. The rolling, circular motion is important.
  • After rolling one direction a few times, reverse and roll in the other direction.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use that bent-leg and rolling motion to actually step from side to side.

Remember

  • Legs bent.
  • “Rolling” motion (kind of like hula-hooping, but more in the legs).
  • Balance on your tip-toes, not your heels.

Watch the Howcast tutorial video above to see how it should look!

How to do a Boogaloo Kick

A boogaloo kick is the next step up from the basic boogaloo. You’ll basically be doing the same type of movement with your legs but with an added kick.

  • Begin by performing the same basic boogaloo moves you practiced in the last section.
  • After doing that a couple of times, add a kick to your movements.
  • This will look like you actually making a “kick” movement with one of your legs, and then “rolling” into the basic motion again once that foot hits the floor.
  • Now, try the kick with your other leg.

The basic pattern to keep in mind here is: kick -> roll -> step. Once you have this down, you can add your own flair to do anything with the kick.

Be sure to watch the tutorial video above to see how choreographer Jarrieth Patterson kicks and to get more advanced kick move ideas.

How to do a Boogaloo Combo

A boogaloo combo is, naturally, a bit more difficult than what we’ve learned so far. But the good news is that there are no concrete rules for how you can perform a combo once you have the essentials down.

  • For example, you can start by doing a kick -> roll -> step, like you practiced in the last section. Do that a couple of times.
  • Now, throw in some pops: Pop -> pop -> roll.

Once you’ve practiced the basics we just outlined, you can try this combo:

  • Step 1: Step forward with your right foot. Bring your foot back.
  • Step 2: Step forward with your left foot.
  • Step 3: Use your left foot for a kick, and start a roll.
  • Step 4: Continue the roll to help you get to the ground.
  • Step 5: Swing one of your legs behind you to turn around.
  • Step 6: Put your other leg outward to help you get back up.
  • Step 7: Roll back around.
  • Step 8: Step to your original position.

Watch the Howcast tutorial video above to get a better visual of how this should look. Then try it out for yourself!

Start Boogaloo Dancing Today!

We hope you feel ready to put your newfound boogaloo knowledge to practice. We know it’s tricky at first, but your diligence and commitment will pay off. For more detailed video tutorials and other useful content on dancing, be sure to explore Howcast’s entire library of dance lessons