Learn the Electric Slide Dance

Step-by-step guide to the 1970s popular line dance

Teenagers dancing together at prom
Jupiterimages/Photolibrary/Getty Images

The electric slide is a line dance enjoyed by people of all ages at weddings, bar mitzvahs and parties of all stripes. The electric slide craze started in the 70s set to the song "Electric Boogie," by Marcia Griffiths and Bunny Wailer. 

Choreographer Richard L. "Ric" Silver created the dance in 1976 from a demo of the Griffiths song. The electric slide is simply a series of steps that are done in a particular order in conjunction with the song.

The steps are not very difficult, and after a few minutes of practice, most beginning dancers can pick it up.

Tips Before You Get Started

Make sure you have a large room to spread out. Get a bunch of people together willing to dance and have fun. Have a sound system with "Electric Boogie," loaded and ready to play. 

Step-By-Step Guide to the Electric Slide

Once the singing starts, you will begin with a "grapevine." The grapevine is described below. As for the six moves, you can expect to be going side-to-side, backwards, step touch forward and back, pivot, brush your foot against the floor and repeat.

Side-Step to the Right

Once the singing starts of the "Electric Boogie," "grapevine" to the right, which means, side-step to your right, crossing your left leg behind your right to the count of four.

Side-Step to the Left

Then, do the opposite, to the other side, side-step to your left, crossing your right leg behind your left leg to the count of four.

Step Backward

Take three steps to the back (remain facing forward), beginning with your right foot: backstep right, left, right, then together.

Step-Touch Forward

Step forward with your left foot, one step. Touch (tap) forward your right foot, next to your left.

Step-Touch Backward

Step backward with your right foot, one step.

Touch (tap) backward your left foot, next to your right.

Step, Pivot and Brush

Step forward one step with left foot, pivot 90 degrees to the right on your left foot. At the same time that you pivot, brush your right foot across the floor, landing it to the right of your left foot. When you land on your right foot, you repeat from the beginning, starting a grapevine to the right.

Repeat

You repeat the steps over again, this time you are facing another wall. Go right, go left, go backward, step touch forward, step touch backward, step, pivot, brush and repeat. For each repetition, you will rotate 90 degrees to the right to face a different wall.

Substitution Moves

You can add some flare or some jazz to your steps by adding little nuances to your steps. For example, instead of doing toe touches (taps), you can add a knee lift or kick into the air.

Or, when you are doing the side-stepping grapevine, you can bend your knees deeper and add a bounce to your grapevine.

Another option is adding a clap or a snap of the fingers when you to do the toe touch (tap) forward and back. You can also wheel your hands forward and backward as you are moving those directions.