This trope is FunctionalMagic or some other kind of power(s) that, instead of [[MagicalIncantation vocal recitations]] or [[GeometricMagic drawings and diagrams]], [[RitualMagic require specific body movements and rhythms]] to be activated. More often used by {{Magic Knight}}s than by {{Squishy Wizard}}s, given the more physical nature of its use.

For [[WizardsAndWitches witches]], this may take the form of a NudeNatureDance (at [[WhenTheClockStrikesTwelve midnight]], naturally).

Compare MagicalGesture and MagicMusic. Compare DanceBattler who uses dancing to directly attack enemies; that trope and this one can even be played together. Also see FullContactMagic. May be aided by or result in SummonBackupDancers.


[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* The FusionDance from ''Manga/DragonBallZ''.
** In ''GT'', the [[TerribleTrio Para Para Brothers]] can force their opponents to imitate their (quite silly) dance, leaving them open to attack.
* ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' has all the makings of a MagicalGirl series, except its heroine never engages directly in combat. Instead, she defeats enemies with the power of ballet.
* Most of the [[HealingHands healing]] [[WhiteMagic magic]] used by Konoka Konoe in ''MahouSenseiNegima'' involve dances.
* The demon prince Raid in ''Manga/MagicalCircleGuruGuru'' is a MagicKnight who can perform some potent magic via dancing. Unfortunately, he's BlessedWithSuck as his Magic Dances are all really ''really'' stupid. To a lesser extent, female lead Kukuri occasionally incorporates dancing in the drawing of her [[GeometricMagic magic circles]] and it's implied doing so is a natural element of her magic.
* All the magic in ''Anime/JungleDeIkou'' works this way, including the {{Transformation Sequence}}s.
* Bolorenov in ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' combines this with MagicMusic: His body has holes in his flesh that, when he dances, vibrates the wind going through them, making him a woodwind instrument. When dancing in certain ways, he produces songs that summon things to attack for him.
* A [[DemBones sleleton]] [[OurGhostsAreDifferent ghost]] of a [[TheCaptain ship captain]] in Manga/MarchStory can create [[HavingABlast exploding bubbles]] by tap dancing on the [[WalkOnWater ocean waves]].
* ''Anime/BraveBeats'' loves this concept. The protagonists transform via literal FusionDance, attack using dances for FullContactMagic, and hunt a type of PowerCrystal based on and activated by dance moves ranging from the moonwalk to the funky chicken.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Dionysus of ''Comicbook/TheWickedAndTheDivine'' is a godly raver whose dance magic creates a consensual HiveMind. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome At one point he weaponizes his party to create an army]].

[[folder: Fan Fiction ]]
* In ''FanFic/PowerRangersOceania'', Alex uses a hula as a ritual to beef up her power against a fungi monster spreading decay at an accelerated rate. [[DanceBattler She does it in the middle of]] ''[[DanceBattler fighting]]'' [[DanceBattler the monster.]]

[[folder: Film ]]
* One of the more common complaints about ''Film/TheLastAirbender'' was that the elemental bending was portrayed in a way that less resembled martial arts like in the [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender original show]]'', and more resembled interpretative dance.

[[folder: Literature ]]
* Alfred, and indeed all his fellow Sartan, of Creator/MargaretWeis & Tracy Hickman's ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle''. {{Justified|Trope}} that the Sartan use magic runes, and drawing them on the floor by dancing them is a viable means of spellcasting.
* ''Magic Steps'', the first in Creator/TamoraPierce's ''[[Literature/CircleOfMagic The Circle Opens]]'' books, is about a boy whose powers are related to dance.
* The serpents and falcons in Amelia Atwater-Rhodes's ''Literature/KieshaRa'' series started with the ability to use magic by dancing. The serpents lost this ability after their schism with the falcons, but the falcons are still able to harness magic in this manner.
* In ''The Witch of Portobello'', by PauloCoelho, Athena's witchcraft involves dances.
* In P.C. Hodgell's ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath'', the senetha, the ritual dance of the Kencyr people, is used to channel the energy emitted by Kencyr temples and can be used for powerful magical ends, including the reaping of souls on a grand scale.
* [[TropeOverdosed Naturally]], this has made an appearance in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. The MagicalNativeAmerican Listens-to-Wind used dancing as a catalyst for spells against [[spoiler:the [[EldritchAbomination skinwalker]]. And [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome proceeded to "kick [its] ass up between [its] ears"]].]]
* ''Literature/TheHeraldsOfValdemar'' has this included after a fashion. At least one character uses dancing to help cast a spell as part of a big group casting.
* ''Literature/TheChangeling'' by Zilpha Keatley Snyder has Ivy Carson, who is obsessed with dance. She is always making up [[ dances for magical ceremonies and rituals]], part of the elaborate "Land of the Green Sky" paracosm she shares with her friend Martha and sister (and possible ChildMage) Josie. Dance is an important part of the culture of [[GreenSkyTrilogy Green-sky]], which Snyder extrapolated from the little girls' game.

[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
* In the ''Series/EmeraldCity'' episode [[Recap/EmeraldCityS1E2PrisonOfTheAbject "Prison of the Abject"]], East's funeral rites included much swaying and shivering on the part of Glinda's acolytes and West's employees, as well as some flailing and shaking on the part of West herself. It's unclear how much of this was required for the magic of the funeral ritual to work (Glinda and West only mention "tongue" and "[[MagicalIncantation singing her to rest]]" when they discuss the ceremony) and how much was for show, but why would they bother with the theatrics when the Wizard admitted that he opened the ceremony up to the public to reinforce their prejudice against witches? It's implied not all rituals require this (Glinda looks shocked when West starts to dance), so it may be unique to the specific ritual West performed to [[spoiler:take East's spells from her corpse]].

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has the [[strike:[[SpoonyBard Spoony]]]] [[SpoonyBard Bard]] class, who uses performances to access his arcane magic. One of them is dance.
** Sadly, the performance for spells has to have a sound component.
*** ...But that doesn't rule out TAPDANCING!
** The Kalamar D&D setting introduced a dance-specialized variant bard, specifically to resolve the issues with Perform (Dance) as an catalyst for bardic music abilities.
** The ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms setting also had the Spelldancer, once a favorite of the Character Optimization boards, that could increase the power of spells by dancing for a few rounds.
* ''TabletopGame/SpheresOfPower'' has the Skilled Casting tradition that lets you use any Perform, Profession, or Craft check to cast your magic, This means that you can ''[[RuleOfCool literally breakdance someone to death]]''.
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' includes dance magic as a type of limitation on magery.
* The Masque of Slaanesh in TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}/[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} 40k]] is a daemonette of Slaanesh who angered her master and was cursed to dance for all eternity. Anybody who sees her dancing is forced to dance along, even to the point of dying from exhaustion.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', pretty much any Performance Charm will work with dancing just as well as speechmaking, music, or any other performance. Want to stop an army in its tracks with a waltz? Go for it, and have a [[RuleOfCool 2-die stunt]] while you're at it.
** Also, the [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils demon Stanewald]] has an arsenal of magical dances. The weakest one can make stone walls more breakable. The second-strongest can cause a castle to melt into lava. No mortal has ever seen the strongest one.
*** Don't forget Malfeas is also into dancing, and [[KillItWithFire GREEN NUCLEAR FIRE]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'', shamans perform rituals to gain power. One of the possibilities is the ''dance'' ritual, which can be anything from a couple of minutes to a night-long ceremony with multiples dancers and musicians.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' has dancing fairies that may kill the player if ticked off.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' has the Dancer class that is able to dance for another unit, allowing it an extra move. Especially notable in that regard is Ninian from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade'', who is central to the plot [[spoiler: since she's a half-dragon woman who has lost almost all her energy and powers, only being able to channel what's left through her dances and her magical rings]]. Her brother Nils does pretty much the same thing, [[MagicMusic but with a song]].
** Another ''Fire Emblem'' Dancer key to the plot is Azura from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', who is a major character in the game and whose dancing is so magical that [[spoiler: she dances to perform an exorcism on the King of Nohr]].
* This is the entire mechanic of ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution Mario Mix''.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** The sending dance in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''.
** The Songstress in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' uses dance-type moves to causes status effects on enemies.
** Mog of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' has dance as his special skill, which he uses to cast a variety of [[GeoEffects terrain-based magic]]
** So does the Dancer class in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' and other class-based installments. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI's'' Dancers are able to be ''TheMedic'' with their dances, oddly enough.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'', the Dancer class is given only to [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII Penelo]]. Her dances all revolve around wrecking the enemy's status, as a foil to Hurdy's [[MagicMusic Bard]] class, which improves status. Both of these are {{Call Back}}s to the original ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' classes of the same name, with similar abilities.
* The ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series has a few abilities that are this trope. Depending on the game, they are usable by the player or are enemy-only.
* ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Brawl]]'' has Luigi's final smash, done by confusedly spinning in place.
** Peach also dances during her Final Smash, putting opponents to sleep.
* ''VideoGame/SpaceChannel5'' has a "Simon Says" version of this. ''Everything'' is done by dancing.
* This is Peppita's battle style in ''VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime'', accompanied by InstantRunes.
* A 2008 April Fool's joke for ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' claimed that a Bard class would soon be added to the game using this trope (manifesting in a VideoGame/GuitarHero-style minigame). More to the point, some of the ingame holidays allow players to perform dances for special benefits (such as the Ribbon Dance during the Midsummer Festival, which boosts the performers experience gain). [[ See here for more details]].
* The Dancer class in ''VideoGame/RagnarokOnline'' can cause a number of effects this way.
* Jean from ''VideoGame/LunarEternalBlue'' is introduced as a dancer, and discovers that she can adapt her dance moves for combat. Only later do we learn she's a martial artist with a dark secret.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', [[WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas Jack Skellington's]] limit ability "Applause, Applause" actives the technique "Dance Call" which features he and Sora unleashing various magic attacks while performing an intricate dance.
** The Necho Cat and Frootz Cat dream eaters in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3D'' can dance to heal their allies, or create harmful music notes. There's also their Rhythmic Groove link attack and the nearly identical Tail Groove link attack used by the Ducky Goose and Drak Quack dream eaters, which both have Sora perform a dance show with the associated dream eater (Music, lights, and cheering crowd included). This hurts things. Somehow.
* There are a number of non-contact moves in Franchise/{{Pokemon}} performed by dancing. Some raise or lower stats, such as Swords Dance and Feather Dance. Some create things to attack opponents with, such as Petal Dance and Fiery Dance. One of them, Rain Dance, changes the weather. One character in ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'', Tierno, aspires to be a dancer and fittingly enough specializes in these moves.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'' introduce "Z-moves," which are activated through the use of special crystals and dances taught to the player by various other characters.
* In ''Videogame/UtawarerumonoItsuwariNoKamen'', Maroro uses thaumaturgy through a chicken dance to invoke fire magic, by the time of the sequel he upgrades to using simple hand gestures.
* ''VideoGame/Persona4DancingAllNight'': The world of the Midnight Stage inherently negates all violent actions. The Investigation Team is still able to make their way through by using dance to reach out to Shadows and expel them away.

[[folder: Webcomics ]]
* In ''{{Webcomic/Erfworld}}'' some units have the "Dance Fighting" special ability, which confers a bonus in combat if they dance beforehand. Through magic it is possible to give any unit, or whole groups the Dance Fighting special ability.

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* The Literature/WhateleyUniverse's Fey used an ancient MagicDance to ''seduce'' some fire elementals into helping her, during her Christmas story.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Aang and [[spoiler:Zuko]] perform a dance-like fire bending ritual to summon two of the last dragons. It turned out this was a part of Aang's fire-bending training. [[BadassNormal Sokka]] then proceeds to mock them going through an entire episode's adventure for dance lessons.
* Most of June's special abilities in ''WesternAnimation/LittleEinsteins'' are based around dancing.
* Gems from ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' can utilize a FusionDance to merge together into a stronger form. Whether they succeed depends in equal part on how synchronous the dance moves are, as well as the participants' mental states and emotions.