5 viral dance moves which took Malaysia by storm

Nothing brings people together better than viral dance moves. Generally Malaysians have accepted viral dance moves with open arms and sometimes with a lot of sense of humour.

But of course, some of the viral dance moves that came were not without controversy. That being said, here are five viral dance moves which took Malaysia by storm over the past couple of decades:

1. Panama

2018 became the year for the Panama Dance Challenge. “Panama” is a catchy 2013 Romanian pop song by Matteo.

The basic moves include drawing a ‘Z’ in the air, doing the hula twice and then a twerk. (Can you tell I’ve tried it?)

Various Malaysian agencies created their own videos including Perlis Road Transport Department, Selayang Hospital and Hulu Selangor Health Department, showing a lighthearted side to these government departments.

Some religious leaders came out against the dance, however, citing the mixing between the sexes and the dance moves were against Islamic teachings.

2.Harlem Shake

Harlem Shake is more of an Internet move rather than a dance move.

The remakes of Harlem Shake videos usually consist of costumed people dancing to Baauer’s “Harlem Shake”.

The original Harlem Shake dance comes from Harlem, New York in the 1980s involving a street and hip hop dance.

As for this viral Harlem Shake, it starts with one costumed person dancing alone to the obliviousness of a whole room full of people. When the bass drops, the entire group starts shaking throughout the rest of the video.

In Malaysia, NuffNang group, Hong Leong Bank, the hitz.fm teams all posted their own versions back in 2013.

3.Gangnam Style

The horse dance of “Gangnam Style” by Psy took the world by storm back in 2012.

This viral dance move even had world leaders such as the former British Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon jumping on their feet.

Jumping on the bandwagon, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak even invited Psy to perform in Penang back in February 2013.


Before there was Despacito, the most famous Spanish song in Malaysia was “The Ketchup Song” or “Asereje” (2002).

Who can forget the signature dance move which consisted of waving your hand over the other, then tossing the thumb over the shoulder?

After the dance went viral, the song became controversial with rumours stating it had references to Satanism.


The trailblazer of all famous Spanish songs in Malaysia is none other than “Macarena” (1993) by Los del Rio. (And this is without the help of the Internet.)

If you have lived through the 90s, your body will automatically remember this dance move which involves alot of criss-crossing of arms from your head to your hips, ending with a hip shake and a “Hey” before you turn to face another direction. It’s easy, and the steps are slow enough for people of all ages to learn and follow.

“Macarena” is the name of a woman, which in Spanish means ‘Mother of God’. The song itself describes how Macarena was heartbroken when her boyfriend left to join the army. So in retaliation she went out to dance with other soldiers, which is why everybody in the song is dancing.

Cover photo: “Gangnam Style” literally put this district on the map for the global audience. You’ll find this statue at the East Gate of Starfield COEX Mall in Gangnam, Seoul. Not only that, when you stand below the hands, “Gangnam Style” will be played. -Photo credit Gangnam Tourist Information Center 

Patricia Hului is a Kayan who wants to live in a world where you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight.

She grew up in Bintulu, Sarawak and graduated from the University Malaysia Sabah with a degree in Marine Science.

She is currently obsessed with silent vlogs during this Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to her obsession, she started her Youtube channel of slient vlogs.

Follow her on Instagram at @patriciahului, Facebook at Patricia Hului at Kajomag.com or Twitter at @patriciahului.

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