I hate the Cha Cha Slide. Like, I will never ever get up and do it at a wedding, graduation party, funeral party or just because it’s Tuesday. I like the Cupid Shuffle more, but it’s still not getting me up in the dancery. Nope. Same with the Wobble. I’m a die-hard Electric Slider. If I have to do a line dance at an event, that’s the one you can count me in for. I don’t know when I learned it or who taught me. I just know that for as long as I can remember, I’ve been getting electric. It’s kind of like my spades journey, since I also have no idea where or when I learned how to play.
What I do know is that I didn’t learn how to do the dance in conjunction with the actual “Electric Boogie” song by Marcia Griffiths and Bunny Wailer. Confession time: I didn’t even know there WAS a song until maybe high school? It’s possible I’d never heard it until college. I blame my parents.
This means that over the vast majority of my life, I’ve been slidin’ to other black cookout pantheon songs like Maze and Frankie Beverly’s “Before I Let Go,” the Gap Band’s “Outstanding” and Cameo’s “Candy.” Even when you talk, it takes over me, ya dig?
Which raises the question, or at least I’m raising the question: Is “Electric Boogie” the actual best song to do the slide to? I don’t think so. And if not, what is?
I will give it all the points for being the actual impetus for said dance, which, according to the internet, white people also do. Slap me silly and call me Tyrone, but I honestly didn’t think white people did the Electric Slide. Though every group of white people Electric Sliding I can find on YouTube looks exactly like white people doing the Electric Slide. There’re definitely raisins there, Karen.
In terms of songs that I actually think are better, for my money, it’s Cameo’s “Candy.” It’s executed pretty perfectly in The Best Man. This is how you know “Candy” can change lives. Just a few hours earlier, Lance was ready to call off his wedding and murder his former best friend, Harper, for smashing his now-wife in college. Then “Candy” comes on and they start Electric Sliding and all is forgotten. You see the requisite amount of blackness, complete with aunties and uncles doing their best shuffle moves instead of steps, and then there’s always somebody putting their own sauce on it (that’s me). Dipping and adding shoulder action, etc.
“Before I Let Go” is probably a legit contender for the black national anthem at this point. It doubles as the perfect cookout song AND the club song that even 18-year-olds recognize means the party is over. The bass line and the swing of the song make it perfect for line dancing. I also acknowledge that it has its own set of line dances that your aunties and uncles know. Still, ain’t nothing like Electric Sliding to “Before I Let Go.” And “Outstanding” is just that—outstanding—and is a perfect cookout line dance song. It just ... works.
I don’t know; I’m partial to “Candy,” but I realize there are lots of options. What say you? What’s the best song to do the Electric Slide to?
(Updated 3/3/22 with new details)