Robert Webb looks at S Club 7's routines with former member Bradley McIntosh, plus master the pelvic thrust for Eric Prydz's Call On Me, and breakdancing dance-offs.
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Hello, I'm TV's Robert Webb and we're here to catch up with some of pop's greatest dance crazes.
Now, I've been watching your attempts at dancing,
and I must say
they are complete rubbish!
What are they?
ALL: Complete rubbish.
We were playing ourselves and the TV show was about
us trying to make it, trying to be successful.
I beg your pardon, sonny!
It was one of the biggest kids TV shows at the time.
# Don't stop, never give up... #
You'd wake up in the morning and you'd watch S Club
and they would always dance and they would always entertain you.
You'd watch and have your favourite one and want to copy their style.
Everybody wanted to know the moves.
Like, if you were at a youth club
and you didn't know the moves to an S Club tune, who are you?!
Dance routines are important because we don't have instruments to play,
so you kind of need something else, and we had some really fun and easy-to-pick-up dance routines.
# So don't stop tryin'
# Don't stop, never give up
Hold your head high and reach the top... #
Those moves weren't that hard. Anyone could do it, the iconic S, anyone could do it.
But they did it in slow motion so I had to slow it down
to do it with them.
# Reach for the stars... #
Reach for the stars, oh yeah! Climb every mountain, yep.
Reach for the stars, duh-duh-duh.
And everybody remembers this part.
Reach for the... That was...
I used to do it in the playground with all the bigger girls.
I mean, I got bullied any way, so it didn't help.
Dinner ladies love me.
But even an S club party has to come to an end at some point.
And when they're management brought out the S Club Juniors,
the band must have known their time was up.
# DJ got the party started There's no end in sight... #
I auditioned for S Club Juniors.
They were holding auditions everywhere, and were like, "If you want to be in S Club Juniors,
"come on down, and you have to make a dance routine",
and me and my friends would all practise in the school yards.
When we got there, it didn't quite go to plan.
There was a lot of crying involved.
Dark place. Very dark place.
The original concept of S Club was to leave at 21, kind of like a scouts movie.
# Don't stop movin' Can you feel the music...? #
The Juniors came along, and they were really good.
-Two of them are still doing well. They're in The Saturdays.
-Yes, there's a young Rochelle.
-Ooh, there's Frankie!
-If it wasn't for the Juniors,
you probably wouldn't have two sexy girls that are in The Saturdays right now.
# Don't stop moving to the S Club beat... #
# Let's get physical... #
At number 37 on our countdown of pop's greatest dance crazes,
it's a routine that took us back to the 1980s, with big hair, tiny leotards, and woeful music.
It's Call On Me by Eric Prydz.
As well as being a great way to keep in shape,
it's also a lot of perfectly harmless, well meaning fun.
I find it's best enjoyed with the sound on mute so that you can hear the key in the front door.
The video Call On Me is trying to recreate a scene
from the film Perfect.
It's a pretty hot scene.
And Jamie Lee Curtis is instructing, you know, an aerobics class
and John Travolta's in there getting pretty sweaty and watching her
and it wasn't until I got on set and they handed me my outfit,
and it was literally a leotard, and I was like, "Is there anything else to go with it?"
and they said, "Oh, yeah, here's some leg warmers and a sweatband", and I'm like, "Brilliant".
They've got the neon colours on,
they've got the leg warmers on the go, they've got the really high-cut leotards.
There was some serious waxing in that video. Those leotards were verging on indecent, I would say.
No, I'd say decent.
I love that video. I think most guys do love that video.
That's what we want to see.
Come on, they weren't wearing clothes. That's great!
That's how I normally work out in the gym.
Like that. Just do that.
That looks disgusting.
Well, I think the move that stands out the most in Call On Me
is obviously the pelvic thrust,
so what you need to do for that
is take your legs very wide, get down really low, and then
just pelvic thrust.
There's what I like to call the peeing dog which is this one.
Where we do lots of leg raises up here.
This one here which actually is very good for the butt.
I don't remember the dance routine so much as the bottom of the woman doing the dance routine.
If you want someone to look at your dance routine, then don't wear a G-string leotard.
Technically, Call On Me didn't spawn a dance craze
which is why I demanded it be disqualified,
but millions of men admired the...choreography online,
and Tony Blair said it made him fall off his rowing machine,
so I allowed it to be reinstated.
# Call on me... #
That bloke has clearly discovered the best gym in the world
and he's not letting on to his mates. He can't believe his luck.
He gets his little running shorts on every week, gets in there, and he's like, they're still all here.
He enjoyed it, that's for sure, and I think there was a lot of men out there that were quite envious.
I'm surprised he didn't have to wear sturdier shorts in the situation he was in.
I think it made a lot of 14-year-old boys extremely happy.
I was 15. I had a tape and I recorded it on it.
So my mum wouldn't know, I put the Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air on it.
-Oh, dear, Jack.
Slow. Slow... OK, right.
Hi, guys. As you can see, I've been skateboarding my whole life,
and so it'll come as no surprise to you
that I'm actually an expert in the next dance craze, break dancing.
I'd perform a bit for you now, but it'd probably blow your minds so the BBC has asked me not to.
Here's our number 36,
Jason Nevins vs Run DMC, It's Like That.
# And it goes a little something like this... #
I've always wanted to be able to break dance
because I grew up in the '80s, and there was loads of kids with lino,
and you know, going out with the ghetto-blasters and everything.
Run DMC, that video was so cool.
Like, everyone in it was amazing at breaking and dancing.
-They were like...
-Up in your face.
-Up in your face.
When that song came out, it was like, whoa, there's some serious moves
that we are not knowing about that we need to know about.
In 1998, New York DJ Jason Nevins remixed this vintage Run DMC tune.
It's Like That was huge, number one in over 30 countries with almost 5 million copies sold.
The video showed B-boys battling B-girls and introduced a new generation to the dance-off.
And classic '80s breaking moves.
A break dance battle was all about two crews battling each other
with moves to see
who's got supremacy with style and moves,
so you've got different aspects.
You've got power which is like the head spins, the mills,
the flares and all that kind of stuff.
You've got style, which is more the top rocking.
And you've got footwork itself. So it's cool and the gang.
When they're battling, a lot of is freestyle,
so it's all off the top of your head.
Just going with the song,
so everything you're doing is just like...
# ..Street soldiers killing... #
OK, players, we're going to take it down and do some B-boys styles. Let's go.
# It's like that, and that's the way it is. #
That's my boy.
# ..Eating out of a garbage can... #
For me, it was all about that dude with the crazy curly hair.
It was just such a weird style, you know, his top rocking was just shaking his head.
-There was someone in it that looked like me.
-Had hair like me.
He did have my hair.
-I think I told people I was in that video as a laugh.
-How would that have even worked?!
Break dancing is perhaps the least accessible dance craze on this countdown.
Only people like me with real skills can pull off these moves,
but there are many who have tried and bear the scars to this day.
When Run DMC comes on, I think a lot of men think
they can break dance and they will give it a go.
We've had people try to do the caterpillar and open their chin up
so there's just claret, you know, everywhere.
It's hilarious because when that song comes on, a circle immediately develops, and nobody knows why.
It's just a thing that happens.
And for the first two minutes as well, no one get in the middle.
-Everyone's like, "You go.
-You do it.
-You do it."
You'll get like five, six drunken men that can't break dance.
Like, I used to just do a roly-poly.
But as soon as you did the roly-poly, as long as you looked confident,
like, "I did a roly-poly" and I'd go...
And people would cheer.
# Run DMC and Jam Master Jay. #
When pop stars are children, they dream of making music for grown-ups
but when pop stars are grown-ups
it seems they dream of making music for children, which explains why they give themselves baby names like
Dappy and Biffy and GaGa.
The dance craze at number 35 in our chart
is definitely one for the under-fives.
It's the Kings in da Ghetto proving that the UK urban music scene
isn't too cool to embrace a primary school jig
with their take on Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.
Personally, I prefer The Wheels Of The Bus Go Round and Round
by the Wu-Tang Clan.
A brand-new dance is sweeping the nation.
Ladies, let me see you go down low.
# Head Shoulders Knees N Toez
# Head Shoulders Knees N Toez... #
If someone said to you, they put Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes into a song, you'd probably go, "Really?"
# Head and shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes
# Head Shoulders Knees N Toez... #
But until you actually hear it, and the fact that it's on a grime tune, it's cool.
# Heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes... #
But our one is just better.
These enterprising lads made their very own video that they posted online
and their amateur efforts became a surprise hit.
I made the video, we all made the video, but I mean like...
He was the man behind the camera.
I was there walking round asking,
"Can you do Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, please?"
We're just seeing normal people Head Shoulders Knees N Toez
and the whole point of it is to embarrass yourself.
The more you embarrass yourself, the better it looks.
It's not very hard to learn that dance, is it? Heads, shoulders... but they did it in a cool way.
Heads, shoulders, knees and toes.
When that first dropped on 1Xtra,
I couldn't quite believe my ears.
And I was like, is it that simple?
We just literally got heads, shoulders, knees and toes? Amazing!
We all got our own versions. Like, he does it in a specific, like...
Basically, he's like the Mr Motivator of heads, shoulders, knees and toes. Minus the spandex.
-He does it the most stiff.
-He's the stiff one!
And then I do it for the basic, for the people that just can't get down to their toes.
# Let me see you go down low Let me see you go down low... #
He keeps going, "Ladies, let me see you go down low."
And there's a point where you think the ladies can't get any lower.
It doesn't matter if you're at the bar, sitting down, you're gonna come to the dance floor
and then everyone just does it,
and it looks wicked when you see 3,000 people all doing the dance at the same time.
I went to Ayia Napa last year and Head Shoulders Knees N Toez was the one.
When you see everyone do it in unison,
you forget it was ever a ridiculous kiddie tune.
Ladies, you gotta wind down low.
So, that's your lot.
If, like me, you spent the whole show dancing along to each and every song,
then, like me, you probably stink.
Take a shower. Seriously, have a shower. Now.