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Dancing Royalty

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"Doesn't talk very often, kind of shy and uncertain
Everybody seems to think she's a bore
But they wouldn't know her little secret
What her Friday night would have in store...
Nina, pretty ballerina
Now she is the queen of the dancing floor..."
ABBA, "Nina, Pretty Ballerina"

There are some people that are masters in many things that others find impossible to learn; painting, singing, and other things in the creative arts. But these masters aren't always the masters of everything. They can hardly attract the attention of strangers with their skills and others don't find them really impressive.


That's not the case with members of the Dancing Royalty.

These are the usually the characters that suck at everything else in life, but really come alive on the dancefloor. Their moves wow the crowd and leave them in a stunned silence, who dare not to defy them.

Expect the Dancing Royalty character to receive special treatment in the nightclubs or discos: free drinks, courtesy of either other customers or the bartender himself; DJ requests with no hesitation; and the dancefloor to be cleared for them to have their center dance solo, no questions asked.

The Dancing Royalist, whatever gender, can attract everyone's attention — usually because their dances are the envy of their audience. This can make the Dancing Royalist the target of adoring fans in and out of the nightclubs — whatever kind; the entire strip may know of this person and will also give them special treatment, even though the Dancing Royalty only goes to one specific club.


Also expect the character to be hated by many. This can lead to many patronising nicknames, like "The Master of Dance" or the "Dancing King/Queen" that the person may/may not like. In some cases, they may only have one hater, who might dare to challenge them to a dance-off, much to the annoyance of the Royalist's audience.

The Dancing Royalty themselves can have certain personalities. They can be modest about their talent and just blame it on being Graceful in Their Element, but are flattered by the attention — especially from attractive fans. Outside of dancing, they might be terrible at everyday things, or they might have no social skills or very shy, or might be very clumsy.

On the flip side, the Dancing Royalty can be self-centered, obnoxious and smug about the attention. Although the crowd jealously watch on, they might live in fear and only give them special treatment to be nice and not get on the wrong side of them. This kind of Royal is more likely to be the tyrant who bullies others and shamelessly dares others to have a dance battle, knowing that they'll easily beat them.


You're most likely to find this character mostly in music, typically the disco-era, but it can be found in other media too.

The trope namer and codifier is ABBA's "Dancing Queen". It doesn't refer to dancers who also happen to be royalty, although an example may also play the royalty part of the name literally in addition to fulfilling the actual trope. Contrast Graceful in Their Element, which is sort of the same similar idea.


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     Anime and Manga  


  • In the Step Up sequel The Streets, Andie arrives at the nightclub she frequently visits. There she meets Tyler, the protagonist from the last movie, who is immediately recognized by the crowd, gets an immediate song request offer from the DJ, and the crowd quickly clear the dance-floor for him to have his dance battle.
  • Tony in Saturday Night Fever is one of the most popular dancers at a nightclub in New York — to the point of having the dance floor cleared when he's due to jump on — but in the daytime, he's just a normal person with no specified talents.
  • Karin in Two-Faced Woman is an unintentional one. In her disguise as Katherine, she tries to convince doubters that she's a dancer at a nightclub. She gets on the dancefloor, improvises moves to a stunned audience and soon enough, everyone watching is enthusiastically imitating her, turning it into a flash mob.


  • Swedish music group ABBA have the song "Dancing Queen" from their Arrival album. It tells the story of a seventeen-year-old girl who wows the crowd on the dancefloor in clubs and attracts the attention of other men.
    • ABBA also made an obscure song of the same topic earlier in their discography with "Nina, Pretty Ballerina" (the page quote), which was about a seemingly-boring woman named Nina with a lack of social skills, who was ignored at work but would go out to a nightclub every Friday and clear dance-floors with her amazing talent. Then, on Monday, it's back to the office, "living in a dream".
  • "He's The Greatest Dancer" from Sister Sledge has the band spot a good-looking man dancing on the dance-floor.
  • "That Boy Could Dance" by "Weird Al" Yankovic is about a homely jerk who made it big because he was an incredible dancer.

Alternative Title(s): The King Of Dance, Dancing Queen


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