A Step-By-Step Guide to Doing the Running Man Dance Correctly

Here's how to dance like its the '80s again

MC Hammer In Concert
Redferns / Getty Images

The Running Man is a fad dance that was developed during the late 1980s.

History of The Running Man

The Running Man dance was developed by hip-hop artist MC Hammer, and it was originally called "the Hammer." The dance move was performed by MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice during live shows and on music videos. The Running Man is a move that, when performed correctly, somewhat resembles a person running in place.

Difficulty: Easy

Time required: A few minutes

Here's how:

  1. Stand with your feet together, arms relaxed by your sides.
  2. Lift and bend your right leg, forming a 90-degree angle with your knee and the floor. Lift and bend your arms, elbows out to the sides with relaxed fists.
  3. Lower your right leg, sliding your left leg backward and lifting the left heel, while leaning slightly forward onto the right leg. Push your arms down with relaxed fists.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, with the other leg. So you will bend and lift your left leg this time. When the left leg hits the ground, shift your weight onto it and slide the right leg back, before pumping it back up again.
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with alternating legs quickly and smoothly, typically to the beat of the music. 


  1. Be sure to keep your raised foot connected to the side of the opposite leg.
  2. Slide your left leg back at exactly the same moment that your right foot makes contact with the floor.
  3. Keep both feet parallel throughout the dance.
  4. Keep your forearms close to your torso.
  5. Quick, clean movements will give the illusion of running without moving forward.
  6. The Running Man looks best when done quickly. 
  7. Once you master the movements, add your own style and attitude for flavor.

What You Need:

  • Fast-paced music
  • Space to move
  • A bit of energy

More info: Check out the Running Man: Step-by-Step for a visual guide to this radical dance.

More About MC Hammer

MC Hammer was a hip-hop artist who was a pretty big deal in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Some of his hit songs included “U Can’t Touch This” and “2 Legit 2 Quit.” He was known for pioneering “pop rap,” with freestyle music, and also his dance movements and choreography. Oh, and his baggy “Hammer pants,” flowy, loose-fitting pants with a super dropped crotch.