by Chloe Detrick
There are some artists you can trust to deliver a killer choreo show both on and off stage in their music videos. You know the ones I'm talking about…when they drop the latest video for their single, you drop everything to watch it. Here's our top 5 picks for amazing dance video artists.
As Jazze Pha once said, "The Princess is here…" and may she forever reign. You can always count on this princess of pop music videos to give you the freshest moves in her choreo, while still delivering a performance you love.
"Sometimes you get bored of the same moves, but you know that there are those moves that those fans love," she once told TIME. "And you better not change those moves or you might create a little confusion! It's those key moments that people remember because they mark the special creative moments you shared. It's only right that you give them that thing they've loved from the beginning of the song or era."
Check out this throwback to 2005 where she no less than slayed her "1, 2 Step" choreo:
Which brings us to our next artist…
#4 Missy Elliott
And if Ciara is the princess of pop music videos, Missy Elliott is the Queen. She's never afraid to mix up her style, throw her dancers in outlandish outfits, and rock some creepy cool choreo. From her iconic inflated trash bag choreo shot through a fisheye lens in "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" to her diverse dancers of all ages in "Gossip Folks," you can always count on Missy to throw the unexpected at you. On one of her most recent hits, "I'm Better," she told Fact Mag:
"It fits in a place of now but still [has] a Missy twist. When I listened to it, I immediately saw something visually. That doesn’t happen all the time, there are videos where that hasn’t happened and there are videos where that has happened. ‘The Rain’ was one of them where I immediately saw, visually, what I could do. After I did [‘I’m Better’], visually it just started coming. Before even the dancers got in rehearsal, [I knew] what movements I wanted them to do because I didn’t want them to hit every beat of the track. I wanted it to be art."
Check it out below:
#3 Chris Brown
While we may not agree with all of his personal past decisions, there's no doubt about it this dude can dance. His style is intricate, almost unlike any other artist out there today, and he somehow finds dancers to keep up with him in almost all of his music videos. Brown knows he has the moves too. MTV's Sway Calloway once asked him who would win in a dance-battle between himself and Usher:
“See, I don’t like to be cocky or arrogant anymore, but when it comes to dancing — when you say ‘Chris Brown’ and you say ‘dancing,’ you’re gonna have to bring your A game,” he said before Sway asked, “So you’re saying you wouldn’t lose?”
“Absolutely not,” Brown responded.
While we may never get to witness this epic dance battle, we are left with this "New Flame" collaboration video between the two artists and Rick Ross that certainly didn't disappoint in the choreo department on either end:
And we certainly can't let Breezy talk smack on Usher without awarding him the #2 spot on our list. Similar to Ciara and Missy, if you want to say Chris Brown is the Prince of pop music videos, we think Usher is the King. And where did he get the inspiration for his killer moves from? Usher credits the original King of Pop, Michael Jackson, in his interview with MTV:
"He influenced me in so many ways, more than just music ... as a humanitarian, as a philanthropist, as an artist, as an individual who transcended culture. I wouldn't be who I am today without Michael Jackson," Usher said. "They say if you ever want to be great, you've got to study who the greats studied, so, of course, I studied his moves — studied them down to a T. But there was much more to him than that. Really, he created an eclectic style of life and, throughout the years, from his childhood to his adulthood, he managed to continue to be successful, but also to continue to push the limits and push everyone's expectations."
Check out his fresh take on MJ's style in his 2009 video for "Caught Up":
It almost doesn't seem fair that Beyonce gets to win at life this much, but when it comes to music videos, this woman has it down to an art. Who could forget the December day in 2013 when she not only released an entire 14-track audio album, but also included an 18-track visual music video album to go along with it. When does she sleep? Based on her 2013 GQ interview on how she prepped to perform at the Super Bowl, she seemingly doesn't:
"One of the reasons I connect to the Super Bowl is that I approach my shows like an athlete," she says. "You know how they sit down and watch whoever they’re going to play and study themselves? That’s how I treat this. I watch my performances, and I wish I could just enjoy them, but I see the light that was late. I see, ’Oh God, that hair did not work.’ Or ’I should never do that again.’ I try to perfect myself. I want to grow, and I’m always eager for new information."
And who can forget one of her most iconic choreographed videos, "Single Ladies"? Let's relive the 2009 classic here: