There’s nothing better than dancing with your friends to some awesome tunes at a wedding reception! When planning your wedding reception, it’s essential to make sure your DJ knows how crucial good dance music is to make your guests feel comfortable and have fun.
The best DJs know how to read the crowd and change their sets based on their reactions. They also have an arsenal of tricks up their sleeves that’ll ensure everyone feels like they’re at the hottest club on earth instead of just sitting around eating dinner or awkwardly mingling with strangers all night.
The 1980s were a great time to be alive. We had Madonna and Michael Jackson, but most importantly, we had some of the best dance music ever written. If you want to relive this amazing decade, here are some favorite songs from back then:
The 1980s Greatest Hits
Some of the greatest hits from the 1980s were dance songs. Here are our favorites for your wedding reception:
- “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John
- “Eye of The Tiger” by Survivor
- “Flashdance… What A Feeling” by Irene Cara
- “Jump” by Van Halen
- “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen
Here’s a closer look at one of the best songs to come out of the 1980s:
“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson
“Billie Jean” is a 1982 song by Michael Jackson. The song was written and composed by Jackson and released as a single from the “Thriller” album. It is one of Jackson’s most recognizable hits, charting at number one for seven weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and reaching number three in the United Kingdom’s pop charts.
Dance Music is Fun for Everyone
Dance music at a wedding reception is fun for everyone. It brings people together, creates a party atmosphere and can be a great way to get to know your guests. Whether you’re looking for something to help you get on the dance floor or want some background music during dinner and cocktail hour, dance music is an easy way to make your guests happy!
You want to make sure that your music is appropriate for all ages at your event, so you need to think about what kind of songs you want to play during different parts of the evening:
- Dinner Music (or Cocktail Hour) – This is when you need something that won’t distract people from conversations but also gets everyone excited about the party ahead! Research popular dinner music styles like jazz standards or classical pieces if you don’t know where to begin.
- Dancing Time – Once people have eaten their fill and had a few drinks, they will be ready to hit the dance floor! Find some upbeat tracks like the ones we have listed in this article to really pump up the jam.
More 1980s Classics
Here are some more of the best dance songs to come out between 1980 – 1989:
- “Wild Thing” by Tone Loc
- “Thriller” by Michael Jackson
- “Love Shack” by B-52’s
- “Rapture” by Blondie
- “Situation” by Yazoo
- “Walk Like an Egyptian” by The Bangles
- “More Bounce to the Ounce” by ZAPP
- “Let It Whip” by Dazz Band
- “Ride On Time” by Black Box
Another Classic: “Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire
“Let’s Groove” is an upbeat love song by Earth, Wind & Fire. It was released as a single from their 1981 album “Raise” and has been considered one of the group’s signature songs.
The Best Dance Songs Performed by Men in the 1980s
- “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder
- “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” by Michael Jackson
- “Give Me the Night” by George Benson
- “Get Down on It” by Kool & The Gang
- “Beat It” by Michael Jackson
- “She Blinded Me with Science” by THOMAS DOLBY
- “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie
- “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson
- “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince & The Revolution
- “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins
- “Who Can It Be Now?” by Men At Work
- “Super Freak” by Rick James
- “Rockit” by Herbie Hancock
- “Relax” by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
- “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran
- “Bust A Move” by Young MC
One of the 1980s’ Greatest Hits: “Kiss” by Prince and the Revolution
This song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart but also performed well internationally, reaching number one in Canada and Belgium.
The 1980s Girl Power Songs
- “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa
- “Let the Music Play” by Shannon
- “Our Lips Are Sealed” by The Go-Go’s
- “Upside Down” by Diana Ross
- “Walk Like an Egyptian” by The Bangles
- “Jump (For My Love)” by The Pointer Sisters
- “Electric Boogie” by Marcia Griffiths
- “In My House” by Mary Jane Girls
“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston’s dance songs are some of the best in music history. She has a handful of hits that will make you want to get up and move, even if you’re not one who typically dances at parties. Here are some songs with similar vibes:
- “Venus” by Bananarama
- “We Got the Beat” by The Go-Go’s
- “Gloria” by Laura Branigan
- “The Glamorous Life” by Sheila E.
- “Nasty” by Janet Jackson
- “New Attitude” by Patti LaBelle
- “How Will I Know?” by Whitney Houston
“Material Girl” by Madonna
“Material Girl” is a song that was released in 1984 by Madonna as the lead single of her eponymous debut album. Peter Brown and Robert Rans wrote the track.
“Material Girl” became one of Madonna’s most successful songs of all time — and earned her a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 28th Annual Grammy Awards.
These songs are also worth adding to your playlist:
- “High Energy” by Evelyn Thomas
- “Love Sensation” by Loleatta Holloway
- “The Loco-Motion” by Kylie Minogue
- “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul
“Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves
This is a mid-tempo song that was released in 1983. It was the second single from the album “Waking Up With The House On Fire” and it became Katrina and the Waves’ only number-one hit in America.
Check out our other favorite wedding songs for your big day:
- Best Last Dance Wedding Songs to Get Everyone Dancing
- Best Wedding Dance Songs from the 2000s
- Best Pop Punk Wedding Songs
Best Slow Dance Songs from the 1980s
The slow dance is one of the most classic wedding traditions. It’s been around for years and it’s not going anywhere. It’s a ritual that brings couples together in a beautiful way. Slow dances are an important part of your wedding and you should include them in your ceremony and reception.
Slow dances are a great way to connect with your partner. You can feel the music, the mood and, most importantly, the love between two people who care about each other. Slow dances make it easy for both partners to hold each other close and reconnect during a hectic wedding.
Here are some of our favorite 1980’s inspired slow dance songs:
- “The Power of Love” by Céline Dion
- “Baby, Baby” by Amy Grant
- “Feels Like Home” by Chantal Kreviazuk
- “The Search is Over” by Survivor
- “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinéad O’Connor
- “Rain” by Madonna
- “With or Without You” by U2
- “Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt
- “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star
- “Don’t Let Go (Love)” by En Vogue
- “Always” by Atlantic Starr
- “2 Become 1” by Spice Girls
- “Strong Enough” by Sheryl Crow
- “Baby-Baby-Baby” by TLC
- “Angel of Mine” by Monica
- “Head Over Feet” by Alanis Morissette
- “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood
Get Ready to Pump Up the Jam at Your Wedding with 1980s Dance Songs
And there you have it, the ultimate list of the best 1980s dance songs. These songs will get people on the dance floor in no time.
One of the most important things to remember is that dance music can make your wedding reception an unforgettable night. It will create memories for a lifetime and make this celebration last forever in the minds of everyone there.
But what makes for great music? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for: if you want to create a party atmosphere and have people dancing all night long, the ’80s are a great place to start.
As a multi-passionate creative and a self-proclaimed frequent flyer of weddings, Kiara combines her love for the wedding industry and experience as a professional wedding photographer with her writing abilities to share tips, tricks, and helpful information with couples. She is the owner of Switech Studios a popular wedding photography business. With tons of insider information from behind her camera lens on how to have the best wedding possible, Kiara’s in-depth knowledge is sure to put you on the road to wedding planning success.