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How to Do the Percolator Dance

The percolator is a Charleston-like dance made popular by Madonna in the early 2000s. It can be done to any fast-moving music with a consistent beat, and since the basic step is quite simple and involves only the legs, it is easy to embellish the percolator by adding hand, arm and torso movements. You're most likely to encounter this sort of dance at a club or party.

Warm up by doing the following dance moves slowly before you try them quickly. This helps to prevent injury.

Put on a piece of music with a strong, fast, continuous beat.

Shift your weight forward to the balls of both feet. Don't lift your heels; just shift your weight.

Bring your knees together and stop them just short of knocking together. As you do this, your heels will rotate out.

Swing your knees out—your toes should rotate to point out, too.

Repeat the previous two movements rapidly, swinging your knees in and out while rotating your toes in and out at the same time. This is the percolator dance.

Embellish your percolator dance or adapt it to your own personal style—see the Tips section for ideas.


Try using a "wax on, wax off" circular hand motion in conjunction with your percolator dance. This can be done either horizontally at waist level or on a vertical plane in front of your body. Kick your heels up and out to the sides as in the Charleston dance, which the percolator dance greatly resembles. Add a ride-the-cowboy or drop movement to make your percolator more interesting.

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