Waving is a mesmerizing dance move that has captivated audiences for decades. This iconic element of funk style dancing creates an illusion of a wave passing through the dancer’s body, resulting in a fluid and hypnotic visual effect. Originating from the streets of California, waving has become a cornerstone of various urban dance styles, particularly in popping and animation. The beauty of waving lies in its versatility; it can be performed with arms, hands, legs, or even the entire body, allowing dancers to express their creativity and showcase their control over isolated muscle movements. As a fundamental technique in funk styles, mastering the wave can elevate a dancer’s performance, adding a smooth and dynamic quality to their repertoire.

Video Demonstration

Dance History

Waving emerged in the 1970s as part of the broader funk styles dance movement in California. While it’s challenging to attribute its creation to a single individual, the move gained significant popularity through pioneering dancers in Fresno and Los Angeles. Boogaloo Sam, founder of the Electric Boogaloos, is often credited with popularizing and refining the technique. The move evolved alongside other funk style elements like popping and locking, becoming an integral part of street dance culture. By the 1980s, waving had spread beyond the West Coast, influencing dancers worldwide and becoming a staple in music videos, movies, and dance competitions.

Step By Step Instruction

1. Start with your arm extended to one side, palm facing down.
2. Begin by lifting your shoulder slightly.
3. Roll your shoulder forward, initiating the wave.
4. As the wave moves down your arm, contract your bicep.
5. Continue the wave through your elbow, keeping it slightly bent.
6. Roll through your forearm, maintaining the fluid motion.
7. Finish the wave by flexing your wrist and fingers.
8. Practice the reverse motion to complete the wave.
9. Once comfortable, try connecting multiple waves in succession.
10. Gradually increase speed and incorporate both arms for more complex patterns.

Tips For Learning

– Start slowly, focusing on the isolation of each body part involved in the wave.
– Practice in front of a mirror to visualize the wave effect and improve your technique.
– Use music with a steady beat to help you maintain rhythm and flow.
– Break down the move into smaller segments and perfect each before combining them.
– Experiment with different speeds and directions to add variety to your waves.
– Incorporate waving into your freestyle practice to make it feel more natural.
– Watch videos of experienced dancers to study their technique and style.
– Be patient and consistent in your practice; mastering the wave takes time.


Waving is more than just a dance move; it’s a fundamental technique that embodies the essence of funk style dancing. By mastering this fluid and expressive movement, dancers can add a captivating dimension to their performances. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced dancer, dedicating time to perfecting your wave will undoubtedly enhance your overall dance skills and stage presence. Remember, the key to a great wave lies in smooth transitions, body control, and consistent practice.

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