Is It Really Time For The Percolator? 11 Of The Most Random And Ratchet Dances We Did Back In The Day

September 10, 2013  |  
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From the cry baby to the stanky legg, some of these dances were just absolutely terrible, but we learned them and pulled them out like it was the Kid and Play at every club and house party. Unfortunately, the hype for these moves died down with the quickness, and I’m sure if you tried them now, someone would give you the side-eye…

The Cry Baby Dance

The cry baby, if you’ll recall, consists of laying down on your stomach on the ground, tooting your behind up, and pounding your right fist on the ground all at the same time. The end result is supposed to look like a baby having a tantrum, but of course, the dance comes off more sexually suggestive than anything childlike. I hate to admit it (in public), but I was one of many back in the day at house parties trying to get on somebody’s dirty floor to booty pop. When the ground was a little too sketch looking to do so, you could always try the dance on the wall, but alas, it was ratchet on either surface…



First of all, when will we come to a unanimous decision about what the damn percolator is!? Some claim it’s a form of the spongebob, some pull out an up-and down arm pop, others put their hands together, bend down and move their body in a circle like an almost slow version of the bankhead bounce, and then the alleged original is just rapidly moving your legs and popping your butt at the same time. All in all, the song will always get folks loose, but whatever the dance is, and it depends on who you ask, its time has come and gone.



The Motorcycle Dance

You could really only do this dance the best when acting a fool to Yung Joc’s “It’s Going Down.” It was the laziest dance of all time as it required the least amount of energy, but it definitely had folks splashing drinks on people in the club in an effort to throw their arms and up and do it when the chorus dropped.



Blame it on St. Louis, but the in the early ’00s, somebody was at a party damn near convulsing…aka, doing the chicken head. Prop your arms up, bend your knees, turn your face up and make sure you do the step in a circle. That way, everyone will know you’re not playing with your chickenhead. Chingy’s “Right Thurr” offered plenty of examples of the dance with women in velour jumpsuits, jersey dresses and Baby Phat. The major fashions of the time…



Maybe we were just doing this big time in the Midwest for a short time, but the pancake would have folks sweating big time in the club. Paired with the lean-with-it-rock-with-it dance, the technique included moving your hand like it’s a hot skillet that you’re flipping a pancake in (get it?). Whenever you’ve exhausted a certain arm, you could flip the pancake in the air and catch it in slow motion before executing the same hand movements on the other arm. If you’re tired, feel free to throw the invisible pancake to a willing friend…



Look, there could only be one leg dance in the mid-’90s, but folks were trying to make more than one work. What was the difference between the butterfly and the Tootsie Roll? Well, one was done winding one leg at a time (and you bring said leg up) while the other was done with two legs at a time. Because the Tootsie Roll had an actual song, it was more official. Sorry butterfly.


Bankhead Bounce

I don’t know about you, but as a young’n, I learned the bankhead bounce from watching episodes of Moesha. But for most, folks could see pseudo-famous individuals bankhead bouncing at crazy speeds in Atlanta. The dance became so popular in the mid-90s that Michael Jackson even broke out some moves while performing at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards.


The Soulja Boy, aka, The Superman

Despite the fact that the song was really referencing a sexual act (a woman having a man ej*culate on her back, and then put a sheet on her back so it looks like she has a cape…), everybody from suburban kids to hood-nificent ladies and gents were trying to do the dance. It encompassed everything from foot slapping to leaning and rocking wit it, and eventually pretending to fly at the end. It was the absolute most…and everybody was doing it.


Chicken Noodle Soup

While we could get with the Harlem Shake all those years ago (the ORIGINAL, not that mess white folks tried to claim as the Harlem Shake this year), the chicken noodle soup from Harlem? Not so much. It’s like a mix of jazz hands (the “Let it rain” part) and kicking up your feet one at a time. It was definitely an energetic step, but it was just a little too involved for most people outside of Manhattan.


Stanky Legg

You did it. Don’t front. Best done when combined with the actual song “Stanky Legg” (pay attention to the use of more than one g), it required you to act like you had a broken leg. You would bend down and then wind your leg in and out. If you were really committed, you also put your finger up to your nose to let folks know your leg was the stankiest in the crowd. It was cute for a minute, but the hype definitely died down fast. But hey, somebody got a check!



Krumping as a whole is pretty awesome (and yes, I’ve seen the movie Rize), but there were way too many people who were NOT professionals trying to do it in the early to mid 2000s. Do it right and you have a highly energetic set of movements (including stomping and chest popping) that can help one let out a lot of aggression. Do it wrong, and you’re bound to pull something in your neck, and possibly hit somebody else. So if you’re not from LA or you’re not Chris Brown and Columbus Short, this dance is NOT for you.

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  • Laverne

    Shoot…the percolator is STILL hot!

  • Jeanette

    I did ALL of these…never was bold enough to do the crybaby in public tho..ahahahhahaha…..What a FUN article!!!!

  • sammi_lu

    You can’t put the chickenhead on here and not shout out the equally horrid Laffy Taffy lol!

  • Cocolicious

    The chicken head? we called it the ‘pork chop’.

  • MsTighteyesisbackb!tches


  • yagurlgg

    this was dumb. the only dance that was ratchet was the cry baby and maybe that pancake dance u just name a lot of fad dances. then you could say the harlem shake or the twist or the swim or the mash potato was ratchet. why aren’t those ratchet? i think there needs to be a clear definition of ratchet.

  • yagurlgg

    this was dumb. the only dance that was ratchet was the cry baby and maybe that pancake dance u just name a lot of fad dances. then you could say the harlem shake or the twist or the swim or the mash potato was ratchet. why aren’t those ratchet? i think there needs to be a clear definition of ratchet.

    • Kaho’olawe

      There already is a clear definition of ‘ratchet’

      1. A mechanism consisting of a pawl that engages the sloping teeth of a wheel or bar, permitting motion in one direction only.

      2. The pawl, wheel, or bar of this mechanism.

      • yagurlgg

        congratulations on being todays smart azz

  • Tee Elyse

    LMAO I’ve done all of these, especially the pancake!!! LOL!!! That was my dance in 2005!!!!

  • TT

    lol i’m mad i’m guilty of every single dance except for the pancake (wtf is that lol ) LMBO

  • Quoi

    The butterfly is an official dance with an official song. It was out BEFORE the tootsie roll. Look up 90s Jamaican dancehall.

    • Trisha_B

      Patra was the queen of the butterfly lmaooooo

    • Tee Elyse

      School em!!!!!!! & YES @Trisha B, Patra sho was!!!!

      • cutie

        Dat dude doin da perculatin gave me the vapors. Then I looked at his page and gave him side eye.

  • Leslie Rene Anderson

    twerking is like the waltz compared to what these kids are doing now. just google “yiken”…miley will be doing that next year…

  • Maile00

    The Perkulator is the ish!

  • kickash

    As a kid in STL, the chickenhead was huge. that was the dance every girl at the sixth grade dance was doing lol and the pancake

    • Lee

      The only one I never heard of was the pancake. It must have been more local… not so much a national thing. Sorry, but I can’t believe anybody did that. lol

      • Shae Shae 83

        The pancake is also known as footworking in the Chi

  • BAshley

    That’s Bobby V. and a Ying Yang Twin in that bankhead bounce video lol. Ive never heard that song, seen the dance though…

  • Kaho’olawe

    Why is everything ‘ratchet’ to Black people now?

    • Gigi

      Yep. I’m not sure any of the dances listed deserve to be considered ratchet especially if they are not particularly sexual in nature. Krumping is actually a respected dance form on So You Think You Can Dance.

      • Kaho’olawe

        Krumping was a respected dance form before SYTYCD even existed. The material on this site is whack.

        • Lee

          True. But you can’t deny it’s more well-known now because of SYTYCD.

    • Pull yo pants up

      U took the worlds right out of my mouth. Black Americans have no pride in their culture AT ALL that’s why its so easy for other to jump on it and claim it for themselves. If AA always talking negative about everything they do, thats ratchet, thats ghetto, and the new one I heard on TIa and Tamara show (on style network) thats so Compton (because Tia LOL in a restaurant) then EVERYONE else (other races) will pick it up and associate the negative in it and make a fool out of AA culture ie Miley Cyrus(at the end of the day she can clean her self up and detach herself from the “ratchet” but along the way she reinforced that this is what you are about AA)

  • HoneyDipp

    I’m ashamed to say that I am guilty of doing each of these dances at some point in my life. SMH. Oh well! The memories…

    • Haddess32

      мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­

      You can’t put the chickenhead on here and not shout out the equally horrid Laffy Taffy lol!