1990s – Vogue, Hip-Hop, Country Western

Significant dances

Vogue was a dance competition incorporating a series of fashion-model poses performed solo. Begun in transvestite fashion shows, it was popularized in music videos by Madonna.

Variations of Country Western music and dance form were popular throughout all earlier eras of America’s history. In the 1990s its popularity migrated from rural areas to the cities. Couple dances were influenced by the swing era of the 1930s and 1940s, and line dances offered group discipline and camaraderie

Hip-Hop was the quintessential style of MTV, performed to tunes by such popular musicians as MC Hammer and Herbie Hancock. African American and Latin influences combined to create dance moves for both the casual dancer and those with athletic prowess and talent. It started as an expression of urban street culture: emerging from the primal power of people standing in a circle: participants come to the center, one by one, to excel with moves that reach beyond the skill of their peers. Hip-hop expresses individuality and alienation as it evolves with a prodigious range of isometric moves and sharp weight changes. Hip-Hop has moved from the streets to mainstream entertainment in theater, TV, and movies.

Historical context

  • US Presidents Bush and Clinton.
  • Iraq annexes Kuwait; the Gulf War occurs with US involvement.
  • Boris Yeltsin is the first popularly elected president in Russia.
  • The Soviet Union collapses.
  • War takes place in former Yugoslavia.
  • Nelson Mandela elected president of South Africa.
  • Oklahoma City Federal and World Trade Center bombed by terrorists.
  • Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed die in car crash.


  • Audio books; megastores drive small booksellers out of business. John Grisham, and Tony Morrison.
  • Self-improvement books.


  • CDs and MP3 players generate copyright problems for music publishers.
  • The charts are ruled by Nirvana, hip-hop, gangsta rap, grunge, Mariah Carey, Spice Girls, Selena, Beastie Boys, Boys II Men, Whitney Houston, Faith Evans, Cheryl Crow, and Tupac Shakur.

Visual arts:

  • Green design, Feng Shui, Martha Stewart, Yard Dog Art, Annie Leibowitz, Bill Viola, and Cindy Sherman.
  • Films: Schindler’s List, Dances With Wolves, Beauty and the Beast, Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan


  • The Hubble Space Telescope is created.
  • Americans and Russians cooperate in space exploration.
  • The first planet outside Earth’s solar system is identified.

Daily life:

  • The Internet revolutionizes communicate and business.
  • Big business mergers, health care, Social Security reform, and gun control are big issues.
  • Economy booms and is stimulated by the technology sector.

Relevant Dancetime Publications DVDs

HISTORY AND CONCEPT OF HIP HOP DANCE: The Street Culture that became a Global Expression: Hip-Hop

DANCETIME DVD! 500 YEARS OF SOCIAL DANCE, Volume II 20th Century: Vogue, Country Western, Hip-Hop

«Back to Social Dance Timeline