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The Single Ladies Dance is a viral dance sequence stemming from the music video for the 2008 single Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) by Beyoncé Knowles. Much like Crank That Soulja Boy and Thom Yorke’s Dance remixes, Beyoncé’s dance moves from the music video have inspired an enormous amount of parody videos.
The original music video was directed by Jake Nava, and choreographed by Frank Gatson and JaQuel Knight. The video was made on a small budget due to the large amount spent on Beyonce’s video for the title single If I Were A Boy. Knowles premiered the music videoson MTV’s Total Request Live show on October 13th, 2008.
The video was first uploaded to Vevo’s YouTube account on October 2nd, 2009, gaining over 75 million views within the first month of upload. The video has over 100 million views as of June 2011:
The format and choreography were inspired by Gwen Verdon’s performance of Mexican Breakfast on the Ed Sullivanm Show in 1969:
On November 15th, 2008, the very first parody sketch of “The Single Ladies” dance aired in an episode of Saturday Night Live that Beyoncé hosted. The music video features Beyoncé with Justin Timberlake:
Soon after the SNL parody sketch, many YouTubers responded with similar parodies throughout the month. One of the first viral instances was a video of a young girl performing the dance uploaded in December of 2008:
In January 2009, American singer songwriter John Legend’s crew took a video of President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle performing part of the “Single Ladies” routine, which was subsequently posted via hip hop magazine Vibe and MTV.
On April 20th, 2009, one hundred dancers wearing leotards performed the “Single Ladies” choreography in London as part of promotional campaign for Trident’s “Unwrapped” gum.
On June 3rd, 2009, Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers posted a parody video of The Single Ladies on YouTube, where it has gained over 26 million views (as of June 2011).
Search queries rose quickly after the video’s release in October of 2008, and peaked in December that same year. The keyword “single ladies” experienced a notable resurgence in October 2009, when the music video was uploaded onto Beyonce’s official VEVO channel on YouTube.
More can be found in the video gallery below.