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Ranking the Best All-Time Celebration Dances

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2014

Ranking the Best All-Time Celebration Dances

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    When something good happens in sports, the natural human reaction is to celebrate.

    Sometimes that can just be making some really loud noises to show excitement, while other people might actually resort to dancing around and doing something that should be left in the comfort of one's own room.

    And since so many athletes like to shake it and show off their dance moves, I'm giving you the top dance celebrations we've ever seen in sports.

    These players might not win Dancing With the Stars, but they certainly win when it comes to praising something good happening for them or their team.

20. Kelley Washington

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    Most people don't remember much from former NFL wideout Kelley Washington.

    But if there's one thing that fans probably do think of when hearing the guy's name, it's his hilarious celebration dance, known as "The Squirrel."

    With Washington no longer in the league, I wouldn't be surprised to hear he's choreographing a dance recital, because those are some serious twists and turns.

19. Theo Fleury

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    Former NHL right winger Theo Fleury played 15 years in the NHL, earning multiple All-Star bids and even a Stanley Cup in his rookie season of 1989.

    Scoring 455 career regular-season goals, it was Fleury's celebration following a score in the postseason that earns him a spot on this list.

    Making the horn sound with this goal against the Edmonton Oilers in 1991, Theo went crazy, hopping around and sliding all the way into the boards from center ice.

18. Brandon Mebane

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    I'm not sure why a 6'1", 311-pound guy like Brandon Mebane prefers to belly dance after making a big play, but I'll definitely give him props for trying to own it.

    Seemingly making this his go-to move, Mebane's big belly has become about as common at Seahawks games as the 12th Man causing earthquakes after big plays.

    I can live with the quakes, but not so much with the belly.

17. Merton Hanks

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    Former NFL cornerback Merton Hanks is currently the NFL's Vice President of Operations, but back before having one of the tougher jobs in sports, Hanks had one of the most popular dances in NFL history.

    Letting his entire body seemingly go limp, Merton made the pigeon dance cool, by shaking his neck ferociously on the field.

    Thankfully, he never sustained an injury from doing it.

16. Peter Crouch

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    The only thing funnier than seeing someone trying to be cool by doing "The Robot" is seeing a 6'8" English soccer player trying his best attempt.

    So when fans were treated to Peter Crouch turning himself into a human android following some of his goals, it was quite the sight.

    Sadly, Crouch has stopped performing it. But here's to hoping he brings it back.

15. Chad Johnson

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    I'm not sure how long it took former NFL wideout Chad Johnson to get this down, but seeing how he completely nailed the famous Michael Flatley "Riverdance," I'm sure there were endless nights of practicing in front of his mirror.

    Seriously, for anyone who isn't too impressed with the precision in which No. 85 pulled this off, try it yourself and see how dumb you look.

    Chad owned it!

14. James Hahn

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    Ah yes, the "Gangnam Style" dance.

    Remember how annoyingly popular this thing got last year, when everyone and their mother seemed to think it was hilarious to do?

    As obnoxious as it got amongst friends, I actually sort of enjoyed seeing PGA golfer James Hahn use it to celebrate a putt during the Phoenix Open last year.

    Athletes—especially golfers—are taught to act professional. And Hahn went totally opposite when doing this.

13. Mark Gastineau

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    One of the most-feared pass-rushers in NFL history, Mark Gastineau loved rushing the passer.

    But as feared as Gastineau was by opposing offensive linemen and sitting-duck quarterbacks, the dude showed that he was pretty damn quirky, too.

    And ironically enough, it always came following him hitting the quarterback, taking the guy to the ground and celebrating with his famous "Sack Dance."

    That's right, the former defensive end was so cool that he didn't even need a fashionable name for going as nuts as he did back in the day.

12. Ghanan Soccer Team

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    What makes this dance so good is that it incorporates nearly every single player on the pitch into it, showing that the Ghanan soccer team is united as one.

    The moves have become quite the staple for the team over the years, so here's to hoping soccer fans are treated to more of it in this year's World Cup—unless it's against the United States, of course.

11. Steven Lenhart

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    As my fellow writer Dan Carson so beautifully mentioned last week, there are plenty of athletes who enjoy channeling their inner Miley Cyrus by twerking it.

    But, unlike San Jose Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart, most of them refrain from actually doing it on the field of play, typically doing it to get amped for an event or in front of their teammates in the locker room.

    Not the case for Lenhart, who wanted to show the world that he has no shame shakin' what his momma gave him following a goal against the Portland Timbers last year.

10. Kwame Cavil

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    For some of us late 20-somethings out there—especially Texas Longhorns fans—the name Kwame Cavil might sound a little familiar.

    Playing for the Longhorns from 1997-99 as a wide receiver, Cavil enjoyed a pretty solid career while in Austin.

    But he made a bigger mark when he played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, because he had one epic dance celebration that would have probably earned a hefty fine had it been done in the NFL.

    The way Kwame leaves nothing to the imagine should be applauded.

9. Ickey Woods

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    Although I'm not a Cincinnati Bengals fan, I must admit that it's a bit of a shame that former running back Ickey Woods wasn't able to have a longer career.

    Sure, the guy had a solid rookie season by rushing for more than 1,000 yards and scoring 15 total touchdowns, helping the Bengals get to a Super Bowl—which they lost to the San Francisco 49ers.

    But Ickey—and his famous "Ickey Shuffle"—left us far too soon.

8. Adrian Alvarstein

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    I'm just going to guess that there aren't many of us who know the name Adrian Alvarstein. That's because the bro plays for Norwegian second division team Narvik Hockey.

    Still, he might want to consider taking the leap to backup dancer for Justin Timberlake.

    After his team won a game late last year, Alvarstein busted out some moves that have gotten him more famous than anything he's ever done in hockey.

    Give that man two minutes for excessive booty shakin'.

7. Billy "White Shoes" Johnson

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    He might not have had the moves of a Michael Jackson, but former NFL wide receiver/return man Billy "White Shoes" Johnson sure was slick on the gridiron.

    Showing his personalty each time he got into the end zone, Johnson helped revolutionize the celebration game in football with his wiry legs and dances.

    It's no wonder he's often mentioned as one of the best at doing it in NFL history.

6. South African Soccer Team

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    To this day, the lasting image from the 2010 World Cup is this team boogy performed by the host country of South Africa following the first goal of the tournament against Mexico.

    Just as I mentioned earlier in the Ghanan soccer team slide, these guys work together in doing what appears to be a newer version of the "Macarena."

    I wish more athletes had adopted this as a celebration, because it's amazing.

5. Mark Madsen

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    Sure, white men can't jump, but that doesn't mean they can't dance—or at least try their hardest to.

    While most of these celebrations come following a play on the field or court, former NBA player Mark Madsen wasn't about to have the party end after the final piece of confetti fell after his L.A. Lakers won the NBA title in 2002.

    The big man showed that he may have been the best cheerleader in NBA history.

4. Rasul Chunayev

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    Remember this Rasul Chunayev guy?

    Following a takedown of his opponent in a wrestling match last year, the Azerbaijani wrestler didn't just celebrate by lifting a fist in the air.

    No, like the aforementioned Chad Johnson, Chunayev decided that he'd do his best impersonation of "The Riverdance"—which showed just how nimble the guy really is.

3. The Dirty Bird

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    As a child of the '90s, Atlanta Falcons running back Jamal Anderson and his teammates doing "The Dirty Bird" is still one of my favorite dancing celebrations ever.

    Invented by the bruising back during the 1998 season when the team made the Super Bowl—losing to the Denver Broncos—it's no wonder the jig still inspires smiles down in the ATL.

2. Ogom Chijindu

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    While I admit that it would be a little embarrassing to admit that I just got taken down by a girl, I would have no problem with Lingerie Football League player Ogom Chijindu not only tackling me, but then rubbing it in my face my twerking on me.

    That's right, the L.A. Temptation player has been known to do that to her opposition—which I absolutely have no problem with.

1. Deion Sanders

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    As I mentioned in my biggest trash-talkers piece a few weeks ago, Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders was one of the most brash players in NFL history.

    And a lot of that has to do with how he carried himself when out on the football field—or with a mic in his face.

    Opponents may not have enjoyed seeing Sanders bust out his "Prime Time" dance, but they shouldn't have let the guy beat them.

    Thankfully, current players are trying to make sure this thing doesn't fade away.

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