When you're planning a celebration, the most important things to prepare aren't the finger foods or the festive drinks. The number one thing on your list should be making sure you've got the best dance party songs queued up for everyone to enjoy. Organizing the perfect playlist with a variety of songs that'll foster a fun and wild energy isn't a task to take lightly. Thankfully, there's no shortage of great songs from the past sixty years to choose from.
Swing Into the Summer of Love With These 60s Hits
Get into the groove of the 1960s with these funky songs and their brass-driven beats from the mid-century.
I Got You (I Feel Good) by James Brown
Subject to a recent social media revival, James Brown's I Got You (I Feel Good) from 1964 has an immediate horn hook that'll get just about anyone up and out of their seats.
The Loco-Motion by Little Eva
Perfectly suited for all ages, from the littlest tykes to the octogenarians, Little Eva's sugary sweet voice urging you to do the Loco-Motion will get everybody's hips moving towards that choo-choo train lining up on the dance floor.
Surfin' USA by The Beach Boys
If you ever throw a party in the summer, you'd be remiss if you didn't include The Beach Boys iconic summertime smash hit Surfin' USA. Get ready to wiggle your toes in the warm sand along to California's best vocal harmonies in the business.
Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
Build some tension in your dance playlist with Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell's song Ain't No Mountain High Enough. Released in 1967, this duo's smooth vocals and roller coaster rhythm are perfect to toss into the mid-point of any dance party.
Dance to the Music by Sly & The Family Stone
If you want to throw your guests right into the middle of the party, then start off your get-together strong with the multiple voices and loud horns of Sly & The Family Stone's Dance to the Music.
Do You Believe in Magic? by The Lovin' Spoonful
If you want to wiggle your hips and go-go dance your heart out, there's no better song to put on than The Lovin' Spoonful's Do You Believe in Magic from 1965.
Twistin' the Night Away by Sam Cooke
Before his tragic death at the age of 33, Sam Cooke was well on his way to becoming a musical legend. Better known for his saccharine sweet love songs, Twistin' the Night Away is an upbeat track from 1960 that everybody can boogie to.
Catch a Saturday Night Fever With These 70s Songs
Disco days are here to stay with these songs from the 1970s.
Burning Love by Elvis Presley
You'll get your blood pumping by dancing to one of the King's biggest hit singles from the 1970s - Burning Love. Entering his jumpsuit era, Elvis began making music filled with complex layers and strong back beats that could compete with just about any top 10 song on the radio at the time.
Last Dance by Donna Summer
Donna Summer's legendary voice was a prominent feature of the 1970s, and there's no stronger dance track of hers than the late-70s disco number Last Dance.
Bennie and the Jets by Elton John
No dance party can go wrong with an Elton John song, but there's something about the first few chords that ring out from his piano in Bennie and the Jets that can part through a crowd like a red sea and leave the dance floor crashing in its wake.
ABC by The Jackson 5
If you grew up in the United States, chances are very high that The Jackson 5's song ABC was a track that was put on repeat at your elementary school dances. Safe for kids and fun for adults, you can easily bop around to this song and its pre-solo Michael Jackson vocals.
Stayin' Alive by Bee Gees
When it comes to the falsetto, Mariah Carey should step aside for the original high pitch master - Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees fame. Among his band's many hits include the song that launched a dance film that gripped the decade - Stayin' Alive.
Boogie Wonderland by Earth, Wind, & Fire
Earth, Wind, & Fire might not get their due credit from modern audiences, but their song Boogie Wonderland was made to unite a wedding crowd in just a few seconds flat. So, if you feel the party starting to die down, slip this bop on and watch the crowd go wild.
Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry
Get your groove on with Wild Cherry's Play That Funky Music. With a bass that's almost too funky to believe and a cool vibe, this song goes down well at every party, every time.
Dancing Queen by ABBA
ABBA's Dancing Queen. Need you say more?
The Hustle by Van McCoy
Years before The Electric Slide or The Cupid Shuffle took middle schoolers by storm, you could find kids and adults alike twirling themselves around to The Hustle. The Hustle is the song to play if you want to envision you're back in the 1970s and breaking it down on Soul Train.
Celebration by Kool & the Gang
The DJs at every birthday party, graduation, and wedding are obligated to play a round of Kool & the Gang's Celebration. What better way to celebrate that you've made it another day than boogying on down to this song?
Dance the Night Away by Van Halen
Van Halen might be an unexpected addition to any compilation of great dance songs, but their rock 'n roll number, Dance the Night Away mixes high intensity rock themes with an infectious back beat that's perfect for dancing to.
Be Kind and Rewind to These '80s Bangers
The 1980s are iconic for so many reasons, and just one of the many are the incredible singles to come out of the decade. From strong female vocals to power ballads and jealous pop hits, the Me Generation had to have it all.
It's Rainin' Men by The Weather Girls
The Weather Girls were breaking boundaries left and right with their 1983 smash hit, It's Rainin' Men. For those nights when you're feeling a little lonely, let The Weather Girls update you on their special forecast.
Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield
Jealousy never sounded as good as it does in Rick Springfield's hit song, Jessie's Girl. A 1980s single that's transcended the decade and is still loved by younger audiences, "Jessie's Girl" is a straight up jam that will help you release all of your unrequited feelings.
I'm So Excited by The Pointer Sisters
It's impossible not to get excited when you listen to The Pointer Sisters' jubilant voices ring out in their song I'm So Excited. Great for a serious dance workout, this high intensity song will make sure you hit all of those rings on your Apple watch in no time at all.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston
There's no dance partner like Whitney Houston's song, I Wanna Dance With Somebody. The single that put her on the musical map, I Wanna Dance With Somebody is the perfect pop song to dance to while cleaning, chilling in your room, watering your plants, hosting a party, and so much more.
Physical by Olivia Newton John
Get your legs pumping and dust off your sweatbands for a round of Olivia Newton John's 80s hit, Physical. While she's best known for her role as Sandy in Grease, this post-Grease bop reminded the world of how working out could be fun and sexy at the same time.
I Love Rock 'n Roll by Joan Jett
If you've ever needed to really cut loose and rage on the dance floor, then Joan Jett's famous song I Love Rock 'n Roll should be at the top of your playlist.
Into the Groove by Madonna
Relive your parent's 80s fantasies with Madonna's Into the Groove. Take inspiration from her signature dance style and shimmy your way around your living room with banana clips and fingerless lace gloves on full display.
I Would Die 4 U by Prince
Perhaps the greatest film soundtrack of all time, Purple Rain is truly a masterpiece, and its pièce de résistance is I Would Die 4 U. Breaking out his best hip popping dance moves and guitar licks, Prince's ending performance in Purple Rain was made to make you want to dance.
Stomp and Holler to These Country Chart Makers
Don't be afraid to stomp and holler at these country chart makers that span the breadth of classic country music to modern country hits.
Gunpowder and Lead by Miranda Lambert
An early and bombastic country hit by Miranda Lambert, Gunpowder and Lead is every angry southern woman's calling card. Fan the flames of your own fire with her down and dirty musical narrative in this 2007 single.
Man! I Fee Like a Woman by Shania Twain
Shania Twain was the It Girl of country music in the 1990s, and no song put her on the map quite like Man! I Feel Like a Woman. Southern women everywhere will get down in a heartbeat to the song's opening chords.
Don't Rock the Jukebox by Alan Jackson
This slower tune from Alan Jackson is a fun ditty to keep a party going, but give your knees and hips a bit of respite.
Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) by Big & Rich
Their biggest hit to date, Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) is a song that puts Big & Rich on every country dance playlist out there. A frantic fiddle contrasting with a pop-esque rhythm encapsulates this song's weird hybridity, and it's this unexpected mishmash of influences that makes it such a fun time.
Louisiana Saturday Night by Mel McDaniel
Made for the nights when you want to sway around but don't want to break a sweat, Mel McDaniel's Louisiana Saturday Night is the best kind of classic country tune.
Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show
Old Crow Medicine Show's Wagon Wheel is in competition with Oasis' Wonderwall for being a song that every person, no matter their music taste, will know right away. The twangy guitar and bouncy backwoods feeling makes this bluegrass song great to dance to.
Boot Scootin' Boogie by Brooks & Dunn
Brooks & Dunn were one of country music's most prolific and awarded acts of all time, and it should come as no surprise when you hear songs like Boot Scootin' Boogie. Unapologetically country, this song will make you want to line dance across a crowded bar's dance floor (or your empty living room floor).
9 to 5 by Dolly Parton
National treasure Dolly Parton doesn't know how to not make a hit record, and her single 9 to 5, which served as a tie-in to the eponymous movie that she starred in, was a smash when it first came out. Still played incessantly by modern audiences, women will jam to this song the minute it starts playing.
Callin' Baton Rouge by Garth Brooks
Just about any song by the legendary country music artist, Garth Brooks, could be considered one to dance to, but Callin' Baton Rouge has such a frenetic pace, and the way that it perfectly builds tension makes it a song that was meant to be danced to.
Y2K Dance Songs to Party Like It's 1999
Honor the late Prince and party like it's 1999 again with these songs from the 1990s. Be careful to not jam too hard, or you'll find yourself stuck with thin eyebrows and frosted tips all over again.
I Want It That Way by The Backstreet Boys
The Backstreet Boys and their pop number I Want It That Way will return any millennial right back to the times that they danced along to this track on their Sony Walkman in their childhood bedrooms.
Wannabe by the Spice Girls
For any teenager of the 1990s, the Spice Girls were the girls' group to idolize, and their song Wannabe was a phenomenon like no other. Even to do this day, besties will dance along to this song as if it wasn't released 26 years ago.
Good Vibrations by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
Before Mark Walburg charmed the world with his performance on the big screen, he was strutting his stuff as the artist Marky Mark. The best known song to come out of his time as a musician was Good Vibrations, a song that still holds up today.
Gonna Make You Sweat by C+C Music Factory
Bringing techno beats to a 1990s pop sensibility, C+C Music Factory struck gold with their song Gonna Make You Sweat. With a hook like "everybody dance now," people couldn't resist dancing to this song, even if they tried.
Macarena by Los Del Rio
The Macarena is a song so timeless that it feels like it has no origin. One day, someone must've plucked it out of thin air. However, this song that launched a funny dance sequence actually came out of the 1990s, and is still added to school dance playlists around the world.
Believe by Cher
Another feature of middle school gym dances, Cher's Believe is just over the top enough to be delightful to dance to.
Mambo No. 5 (a Little Bit of...) by Lou Bega
Another song that seems to have always been around is Lou Bega's Mambo No. 5. Yet, this elevated elevator music still takes the dance floor by storm some 20+ years after its release.
Throwback to These Dance Hits of the 2000s & 2010s
Now that everyone's on the other side of the 2000s and 2010s, it's fun to look back and see just what songs you played on repeat all throughout the past few decades.
Yeah! by Usher ft. Lil John and Ludacris
If you want to see some people in their 30s lose their minds in just a few seconds, play the opening lines of Yeah! by Usher. This was Usher when Usher was the slickest and sexiest singer in the business, and you can relive your precious high school dances with this song.
Get Lucky by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers
Daft Punk's Get Lucky was everywhere in 2013, and while you might have been 'lucky-ied' out, you should have enough distance from the massive hit by now to enjoy its happy and upbeat effect.
Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars is the silent killer when it comes to creating hit records, with Uptown Funk being one of his most lasting ones. The staccato beat is great for anyone, even the most rhythmically challenged, to bop along to.
Everytime We Touch by Cascada
It wouldn't be a moment reminiscing about the 2000s if you didn't put on Cascada's transcendent song, Everytime We Touch. This song's pumping club pace was made with the express purpose of getting people to move.
Problem by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea
Ariana Grande is a modern musical darling with an avid fanbase and a slew of top charting songs, and Problem is one that helped solidify her solo career. It's fun and showcases her vocals in a way that makes you want to ruin your own voice trying to mimic hers.
Low by Flo Rida ft. T-Pain
If you thought millennials could go nuts over Usher's Yeah!, then you've never seen anything like the way they'll drop it down to Flo Rida's Low.
Crazy in Love by Beyonce
Where would Beyonce be today if not for her smash breakout solo single, Crazy in Love? To give thanks to the single that started it all, you can invoke the Queen Bey herself and dance along to this song.
Poker Face by Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is an artist who's impossible to stylistically and musically pin down. From techno club songs to jazz numbers to countrified albums, she can do it all. But, the song that made her a star and made everyone dance along was 2008's Poker Face.
I Love It by Icona Pop
This super fun song with unhinged lyrics will help you let your hair down and embody the rebellious teen that you still have living inside you.
Bust a Move
The score can make or break a film and the same can be said for a playlist being able to make or break a dance party. Curating a strong list of dance party songs to break down to is a skill that you can't take too lightly when you're the one hosting a get-together. Organizing your tunes by theme, energy, decade, and more can give you something to structure your party around. So, get out there and bust a move!