What Does Bust A Move Mean?

To Bust a Move Meaning

Definition: To dance.

Origin of to Bust a Move

This expression first appeared in the 1980s. A rapper named Young MC popularized this expression in a song, which had the same name: “Bust a Move.”

Oftentimes, people use the expression dance move as a noun for different body movements that form the parts of a dance. Another meaning of bust is break.

Break into dance is another common expression. Therefore, it makes sense that these words would be combined into this new expression.

Examples of to Bust a Move

meaning of bust a moveIn the below dialogue, two friends are discussing their weekend plans.

Tina: Hey, Keanu. Come dancing with me!

Keanu: No, thanks.

Tina: How come?

Keanu: I actually don’t know how to dance.

Tina: There’s no way that can be true! You’re a great surfer, so I know you’re in good shape and have good balance.

Keanu: I can surf, but those skills don’t really transfer to dancing.

Tina: Come on. I’m sure you could bust a move if you tried! Just think about it.

Keanu: I’ll think about it, but no guarantees.

define bust the moveIn this example, two friends are discussing their plans for tomorrow.

Jonah: Hey, are you going to the free salsa class after work tomorrow?

Tatiana: I don’t know, Jonah. I’ve been really tired this whole week. I’m not really in the mood to bust a move.

Jonah: You’re not in the mood right now, but once you hear the music you might change your mind!

Tatiana: Maybe.

More Examples

This article excerpt uses the idiom to describe an app. This app helps you exercise while also playing a game, trying to escape from zombies. This example is a little unusual because the expression doesn’t mean dance. Rather, it has the more general meaning of get moving.

  • Forget the Walking Dead. With this entertaining option, you need to bust a move to escape the zombie apocalypse. –Chicago Sun Times

The second excerpt uses the idiom to describe that teachers started to dance during an event.

  • The dance theme persisted throughout the show when the benches emptied at halftime and then remained as the clock wound down in the final quarter when the teachers on the court were asked to bust a move. –Chicago Tribune


People often use the expression bust a move in informal settings to talk about performing dance moves.