Generally defined as uptempo music with a danceable or dance-centered character, catchy songs with an easy pop-based structure and strong emphasis on beats, grooves and rhythms. It’s a genre that has a wide appeal and is well suited to contemporary pop radio.
In the 1960s and 1970s, a lot of popular pop music used real instruments but in the 1980s synthesizers started to replace drum machines, giving dance-pop its distinct sound and giving artists like Madonna the ability to produce hit songs that were both danceable and suitable for mainstream radio.
Popping is a street dance style created by the young gangsters of East Oakland and Los Angeles in the 70s. The dance is characterized by jerky movements that result from flexing of the muscles in parts of the body, hence the name “Popping”. Dancers that perform popping are called poppers and the style has continued to evolve over time with new moves such as air poses, crazy legs, strutting, floating and even a pose inspired by Spiderman!
The 1990s saw a surge in popularity for dance-pop with artists such as Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, Spice Girls and the Backstreet Boys dominating pop charts worldwide. During this period the genre began to incorporate influences from R&B, House, Trance and Techno and eventually included elements of dance-rock, new jack swing and funk in its formula. In addition to this, the use of Auto-Tune processing, an audio processor that changes pitch, became a common feature in pop music and is often associated with dance-pop.