Ah, eighth grade dances: poorly attached corsages, ill-fitting suits and dresses and enough Axe body spray to bring down a large animal. Of course, the best part of these shindigs was the music. Amidst all the Backstreet Boys and “I Kissed A Girl”-era Katy Perry, those nefarious DJs stole quite a bit from our scene. Here are 13 songs that made you get down (but not get dirty—ya gotta avoid detention).
“Dance, Dance” – Fall Out Boy
Even Fall Out Boy knew this song was destined for greatness—and dances. Just check out their video for some good ol’ PG shenanigans—and some very awkward crowdsurfing on Pete’s part.
“In Too Deep” – Sum 41
This probably was less censoring work than “Fat Lip” (not by much).
“Sk8er Boi” – Avril Lavigne
Nothing gets a bunch of middle schoolers lit like singing about lost love. And this is coming from someone who definitely didn’t wear ties over her T-shirts….
“Wake Me Up When September Ends” – Green Day
What is a middle school dance without a hyper-awkward slow song that sends everyone sprinting for opposite sides of the gym!? Plus, this is probably the only Green Day song they could play, since no one wanted to take the time to censor “American Idiot.”
“Misery Business” – Paramore
Let’s be real, it’s our generation’s version of the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”—meaning, whenever this came on, we grabbed every single galpal, made our dance circle and screamed every word.
“Sadie Hawkins Dance” – Relient K
Luckily, the Sadie Hawkins tradition had all but died by the late 2000s, but this banger from Relient K reminded us just how nerve-wracking asking out your crush was.