Life’s A Beach: Best Music Video Dance Breaks On Islands And Beaches
By Rachel George
Some of the best music videos of all time feature dance breaks on beaches or deserted islands. Beyonce had us doing the jiggle dance in Drunk and Love, and the late ever so beautiful Aaliyah had us rocking the boat on a yacht in the middle of the Bahamas. Whether you’re on a beach vacation or a private island, songs like these put you in the mood to dance and have a party.
Here are some of our favorite dance breaks on beaches and islands in music videos.
TLC – “Waterfalls”
Everyone felt TLC’s “Waterfalls” video, especially the late Lisa Left Eye Lopes’ motivational lyrics: “Dreams are hopeless aspirations in hopes of coming true. Believe in yourself, the rest is up to me and you.”
But I bet you didn’t know they weren’t dancing in an actual ocean. They hired lifeguards and had 800 tons of water to create the illusion of an ocean in a lake at Universal Studios. It’s the same lake where they also filmed the movie Jaws.
“We needed the water to come up over our feet a bit to get the right effect and so they had lifeguards in scuba diving gear off to the side of the tank in case one of us fell in!” Chilli explained.
Sisqo- “Thong Song”
Miami, FL (1999)
Sisqo’s “Thong Song” is still a classic twerking song suitable for any girls trip to South Beach. Wearing all white short sets, the Dru Hill frontman and his homies kicked up the sand during their dance break with the beach and the crowd of people serve in the background. Method Man, Redman, and LL Cool J were also there to help him celebrate.
Aaliyah- “Rock the Boat”
The Bahamas (2001)
The video begins with late R&B singer and actress Aaliyah walking towards the camera from the water, followed by a dance breakout scene on a yacht. This was the last video from the singer before she and her friends were involved in a fatal plane crash in 2001, while returning from the Bahamas where most of the video was shot.
Not for nothing, this video is a constant reminder of Aaliyah’s beautiful presence and creative artistry, working with accomplished director Hype Williams and renowned dancer and choreographer Fatima Robinson. Her music and spirit live on, which is why we still appreciate classic music videos and songs like “Rock the Boat,” and “One in a Million.”
Destiny’s Child- “Survivor”
Malibu, CA (2001)
Destiny’s Child survived “Somewhere in the South Pacific,” after being shipwrecked on a deserted island, or shall I say Point Dume State Beach in California.
Empowering lyrics, fist-pumping dance moves and custom camouflage outfits on an island in front of a temple make this music video a classic. A karaoke favorite and you can’t tell me otherwise.
Beyonce- “Baby Boy”
Miami, FL (2003)
“Baby Boy” featuring Sean Paul is crossbred of R&B and dancehall with reggae influences. Beyonce and her quartet shook it like it’s nobody’s business on a beach in Miami with choreography from Frank Gatson. The city’s on and off again relationship with rain made it a little difficult for them to shoot the scene, having to stop and take cover when the water came pouring down.
Pretty Ricky – Grind With Me
A lot has definitely changed since 2005. I’m pretty sure I was way too young to be imagining myself on the beach with Pretty Ricky or relaxing in the pool.
The video opens with a short dance routine from the Florida group wearing orange/red jumpsuits at their beach house in Miami. The sun’s out and the weather is beautiful, hence the car wash and Slick’em and his girl laid up in a hammock. No big memorable dance breakout scene, but back then fine men doing any type of movements on the beach was always looks good.
Rihanna- “If its Lovin that You Want”
Malibu Beach, CA (2006)
Rihanna was technically having a ‘hot girl summer’ back in 2005, hanging with her girls on the beach, riding jet skis, and talking to cute guys like Lance Gross. Giving off the Caribbean vibe, the dance routines were choreographed once again with the ocean as the backdrop. There was lots of body rolls, belly dances and tic toc hip movements, not to mention the quick roll in the sand on the beach in California.
Nicki Minaj- “Starships”
Oahu, Hawaii (2012)
Nicki Minaj brought aliens, body paint, and bikinis together for the ultimate beach-rave. Her single was the energetic pop song of the summer from her Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded album. Nicki and her band of tribals dancers take their routines from the mountains to an all-out beach-themed dance party. Not quite carnival, but you get the jest.
Beyonce ft. Jay-Z – “Drunk in Love”
Golden Beach, Florida (2013)
When it comes to creative visuals at unique destinations, the Queen is unmatched. Beyonce and Jay-Z took a camera crew down to a beachfront at Golden Beach for their Grammy award-winning duet. At the time, they were everyone’s couple goals, on baecation wandering aimlessly with your man on the beach. Beyonce decided to ditch her normal strict choreographed routines and danced freely along the beach doing her iconic jiggle dance.
Janelle Monáe ft Grimes – PYNK
Janelle Monáe damn near broke the internet with her “PYNK” visual, featuring an all-female gang of dancers wearing suggestively pink pants, while performing a synchronized dance in the desert. Fans were once again captivated by Monáe’s futuristic concepts and ability to celebrate self-love, sexuality and the power that is woman. On her albumDirty Computer, Janelle Monáe carefully curated a selection of powerful, funky anthems about sexuality, queerness and what it means to authentically be one’s self.