Britney Spears: Remember when she danced like this?

“I genuinely love what I do,” Britney Spears told MTV last Sunday in a pre-taped special for new album, Femme Fatale.

But lately, it hasn’t been entirely easy to feel that love in Spears’ low-impact live performances (see: Good Morning America) and videos (“Til the World Ends”). Maybe that’s why we found it surprisingly fun, and even a little poignant, to uncover this YouTube flashback (below) of Britney at her turn-of-the-millennium prime:

Rehearsing a routine to The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (which she covered in 2000), a youthful Brit is all smiles and snap-perfect moves, hamming it up, squealing at her own small goofs, and clearly loving every minute.

It’s a time capsule of an era, for sure: It’s impossible to imagine a modern-day pop star like, say, Rihanna, doing steps half as corny as these. But it’s also a sweet glimpse back at a talented teenager who looks like she really would love to dance till the world ends.

Does it bring back fond memories for you too, readers? Are we too harsh on Spears’ dancing today? And what are your own favorite clips of Spears in action?

More on EW.com:
Britney Spears premieres ‘Till the World Ends’ video: Watch it here
Britney Spears opens on top of Billboard 200 albums chart
Kelly Clarkson tears through hits on ‘Ellen’


Comments (114 total) Add your comment
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  • Z

    She is the reason I fell in love with dancing. sigh… yeah I do miss that Britney. But she seems to be slowly getting it back together. On that note, when is that second version of TTWE coming out?

    • Sharlin

      Yeah, it’s no secret her dancing clearly changed after her “imbalance” years and she clearly has not recovered yet.

      • Z

        It’s not even that. It just seems her heart isn’t in the game like it used to be. She used to just KNOW she was the s***. The confidence practically oozed out of her sweaty pores in I’m a Slave 4 U. These days it seems she lost some confidence. I blame the trolls and media’s constant harrassment of her life. Even in her “”I am the Femme Fatale” interview with Sway, he ask’s “Do you feel the need to outdo yourself each time you make a video?” and she responds with an answer akin to “No , Ive already tried my best and now I’m just here to have fun.” It’s great that you want to have fun Brit, but can’t you at least show us you still love and care about the fans you have by bringing back the passion you used to have? We miss you.

      • Kelcie

        Supposedly, based on what I’ve heard some scrutinizing fans say, it’s the drugs to keep her stable that have her lacking passion, but if you look at Usher, his dancing isn’t as youthful and passionate as it was when he was younger either – even in 2004 (with Toxic and Yeah!, respecitivley, they had passion in thier dancing as they got older, but at the same time it’s just hat – they’re OLDER. After all those years of dancing like that you can only keep it up to a high level for so long…

    • Adwina Lambert

      Oh Puhleez EW, you’re such an apologist for this over-rated, over-exposed minimal talent named Sh*tney!

      • Frankie

        If you don’t like her, then don’t bother reading articles about her and certainly don’t comment on them.

      • whatnow

        Haters to the left.

    • Queen Bee

      It does seem to me she is slowly – slooowwwlllyyyyy – getting it back together. “Hold it Against Me” was just dead fish painfulness, but “Until The World Ends” there’s a flicker of a pulse. Physically, she can still do this. She just needs to trust that she can. Meds are probably an issue, too.

  • UGH

    Methinks it’s the meds that have alterered her dancing.

    • UGH

      “altered”

      • Tom

        squealing huh? :\

  • LJ

    Rememeber Brit had a knee injury a while ago, I think that may have something to do with her lack of impactful steps nowadays. I still love her though slightly less. She was someone you could always depend on for a great show, minus the singing of course, but with the water down dancing now it’s like she’s a parody of herself.

    • Anti-Intellect

      Dancers get injured all the time and she certainly has the money to get the best doctors in the world for treatment and rehabilitation. It’s those meds.

    • Marion

      I don’t mind the less powerful dancing, but it’s her eyes that bother me the most now. It always looks disengaged and lifeless. Her new performances always lead me to youtubing her older ones where she was incredible.

      • Joan

        THIS!

        Just watch Britney’s old videos. The dancing wasn’t always flawless but you could see the passion through her eyes. She looks like she just woke up or is on drugs these days. Can’t feel it. She looks bored and i’m bored.

        I’m A Slave 4 U is passion.

      • SXiPPY

        Yeah, it is quite tragic how obvious it is that she really couldn’t care less about her career, as though it were a low-income job in retail hell that she felt she could take or leave. The answer is totally in her eyes, that husky Courtney Love voice, and lazy dancing. She smokes, eats the fattest foods, and doesn’t vigorously train on her dance moves; why bother? While I am glad she “genuinely loves” what she does, it is obvious that her mind is elsewhere and she’d be more content being a mom and fading into obscurity. She can’t say that it is because of her knee injury she doesn’t dance good anymore, because both “My Prerogative” & “Do Somethin'” videos followed that injury and she still danced fine in those. She looks tired and older than she actually is, and it shows. She doesn’t have that youthful giddiness she used to or the confidence as mentioned. Maybe with the Justin break-up, that confidence was lost. But, even the defiance of she had from “Greatest Hits” to “Blackout” seems to be missing, leaving her to appear a hollow drone. Poor Britney.

      • SaraS

        @Sxippy: In the My Perogative vid, Britney was primarily in a bedroom – not much dancing there. And what did she do in the other video? She hasn’t really danced since her knee surgery, period.

    • datruth82

      So glad you posted this. I was thinking the exact same thing.

      Knee injuries are no joke.

      And, even with rehab and surgery, depending on how badly cartilage or ligaments are torn, if the injury is bad enough, there’s no fully coming back.

      • SXiPPY

        @SaraS Okay, I can admit to that partly, but she still made the promising “3” video that showed she was ready to tackle dancing again with the drive she had in her youth. Now all of a sudden it seems she went South (pun intended, lame quip, but I took it). Seriously though, I am not saying the knee injury didn’t take its toll on her (if the symbolism of her punching her own knee in the “HIAM” video is to be perceived accurately), but she still has it in her to dance at Janet’s skill level. It just seems like she doesn’t care to.

  • PDT

    She’s heavily medicated. I don’t think the fact that she’s not as sure or quick on her feet now as she was when she was 20 means that she doesn’t love what she does.

    That said, I’d be willing to bet she’d rather be chilling at home with the kids.

  • deedeedragons

    Think you hit the nail on the head there PDT, completely agree with everything you said.

  • jp

    She’s had two babies, for cripes’ sake. It changes things. Give her a break!

    • Lauren

      Madonna had two babies, she’s in her 50’s and still dances like she did in her 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. Unfortunately, Britney doesn’t have the discipline to keep a healthy mind and body in order to maintain her performing skills. That’s the problem. She’s not well.

      • Flip

        Phuck that. Madonna is much more of a Type A personality than Britney–that’s why she still does it at her old age. Brit would rather be at home with her kids, and who can blame her? Lauren, choke on a chicken bone and die.

      • True Blue

        @ Flip:

        Lauren should choke to death for stating an obvious fact? I swear, next to Justin Bieber stans Britney stans are by far the worst fanbase to even attempt a rational discussion with. All you guys are good for is name-calling, making excuses, making arguments based on emotion rather than logic, being insanely biased and the like. And for what, I don’t know. I don’t see stans for artists 100 x more talented and relevant behave half as immaturely as you guys. Seriously, grow the f***k up.

      • AN

        Madonna doesn’t dance like Brit Brit does…or did.

      • Yolanda

        Agreed. Not to mention Janet Jackson or J-Lo- both in the 40s and still hitting it. And isn’t Beyonce’ the same age as Brittney- Nuff said.

    • Sharlin

      Having babies has nothing to do with it. Why would having a child make you less active?!

      • SrH

        When one’s rebuttal includes the letter “F” followed by three asterisks I hardly believe the person to be any more mature than those he/she is criticizing. Profanity always dumbs down any argument. Further more, we Britney fans make arguments based on emotion just like any other fan bases their opinions on emotion. Does anyone REALLY become a fan of any musical artists based off of ONLY logic?? Uhmm.. I don’t think so. Britney, above all odds, is still out there doing something regardless of what she’s been through, which is more than any one person should ever be able to deal with publicly, and with that said, that is one of the reasons why we so passionately love her. Anyone who can’t see Britney as a human being, just like the rest of us, has no heart and I think it is disgusting how all anyone can do is degrade her for who she is. We fans love her voice, we love that we can go to a concert and have it sound just like her CD, and we love how she keeps defying all odds against her. To each there own. If anyone doesn’t like her, then don’t listen to her, don’t read about her, don’t judge her, don’t pay any attention what-so-ever to her, and stick to your own musical tastes instead of intruding on ours.

      • SrH

        P.S. My comment is in response to True Blue who seems to think that their profanity is justified in an argument geared toward the immaturity of someone else for saying something equally, if not more, uncalled for.

      • True Blue

        @ Srh:

        Just like a typical Britney stan, instead of addressing the point at hand, you skate around the issue and instead choose to focus on something completely trivial.

        I’m immature for using profanity, but Flip is mature for telling someone to die for stating a fact, eh?

        And FYI, you can be a fan of someone and still be reasonable, objective and logical. But thank you for further proving me that Britney stans cannot be ANY of those things.

      • MC

        I don’t understand some of the anti-Brit rants on here. They basically just go in a circle and repeat each time they post but claim that Britney fans are somehow unreasonable because they are passionate? I am a huge Britney fan from the beginning, and I can say absolutely that she has changed very much. Her body isn’t the same, her dancing isn’t the same. No matter how you want to attack fans and claim they are making excuses, you can’t deny the fact that age and life issues does effect a person’s attitude and performance. Some people age well and can still push themselves to be amazing at the age of Madonna or Janet (btw, no…Madonna has never danced like Britney. Madonna puts on a very different show and the dancing is not the same. I would say Janet is closer to Britney as far as dance style) but others just can’t do it like they used to. It is disappointing, but I hardly can understand why they should be slammed for being made the way they were. She’s still entertaining as hell and puts on a good show. Bottom line: No, she doesn’t dance as much as or as well as she used to. But her music is still fun and she still entertains, so she continues to be successful. That’s reasonable to any normal person I believe.

    • windrider2

      @An You’re right. Madonna doesn’t dance like Britney because Madonna is a professionally trained dancer. She studied with the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Company. Make all the excuses you want, but Britney is not dancing as well as she once did even though she’s much younger than Madonna. Britney stopped going to the dance studio more than a year ago. She stopped dancing. She’s lost all her sharpness and strength and technique. The reason doesn’t matter but the reality does: she is not dancing well. Madonna is. And you can’t blame it on age.

      • SaraS

        Who cares about Madonna!? She’s a superhuman psycho. Have you seen her veiny arms? I bet that lady doesn’t even eat and just works out for 6 hours a day. I would never want Britney (or anyone) to take after Madonna.

  • tony

    I took my wife to see Janet Jackson in Dallas last week, and at 44, JJ still dances her ##s off. I’m talking quick, tight choreography for almost two hours!! Doesn’t JJ have almost 20 years on Britney?? Well, I never thought Britney was that good a dancer anyway…and to hit the wall this soon??? What a no talent.

    • mjsmoke

      I saw Janet her in CT and your right, she danced her frickin’ @ss off!!!

      • Valerie Va-Jay-Jay

        Yeah Girr, my cousin’s best friend’s boyfriend’s brother’s baby-mama went and saw Janet at da Mohegan Suns’, and she said dat J-Jax danced as tight as a tit ready to bust out during a Supa Bowel Half-Timed Show wit JT!!! Dat trick Britney ain’t gots no excuse other than bein’ lazy, as to why she be dancing like she on the rag and got no pad fo’ it!

    • Chichi

      THANK YOU! I too went to a Janet concert recently and also a Madonna one a while back and they give you ENERGY and they hit their marks, HARD! Britney was never an amazing dancer. I don’t know who put that out there.

    • John

      When you have kids, what was once your focus and passion switches to them.

  • Stacie

    It seems like she’s not into it. So if she isn’t, why should I be?

    • kelsey

      I concur with this point.

  • Jim

    She looks to be heavily medicated and has no civil rights as a 29 year old woman because of the c-ship. Instead of bashing Britney’s dancing, how about bashing the illegal c-ship that continues to this day. Yeah she can’t handle her own personal affairs according to the courts but she is okay to be a worldwide pop star that looks to be touring this summer? Makes no sense whatsoever. I think Britney has no idea what’s going on yet no one in the press is actually fighting for her right to live her life how she chooses. And that is what is sad.

    • Flip

      Agreed!

    • Ben

      Is the use of ‘c-ship’ just laziness on your part or an inability to spell?

  • lian

    I’ve seen more passion in BS during her Gimme More days than this new Femme Fatale “comeback” era

  • justin

    You all are so quick to judge. Sad really.

    • Flip

      Totally agree!

  • Jen

    It could be the meds, but she’s also not a kid anymore. I could dance in my teen’s and 20’s, but now I’m 35 with two young kids, and today I can barely walk 20 feet without tripping. Bodies change, gravity isn’t kind, and I think it’s unfair to think this woman can do the tricks she used to do when she was barely out if her childhood years. If you want to see dancing like this, go to a local dance studio recital. Most teenage girls who’ve taken lessons since they were toddlers can perform Spears’ old moves.

    • Flip

      Completely agree!

    • AN

      So true! I was a cheerleader until college. I’m only 30 now. I still work out and am fit, but I can’t do the moves I did 10 years ago.

    • windrider2

      The professional dancers I know and/or have worked with dance well into their 40s and 50s, barring a career-ending injury. But they take dance class several times a week, and give themselves warm-ups and workouts every day, 7 days a week. Even those with children. Britney quit taking dance classes over a year ago, and consequently she’s lost of skills, strength, techniques, and kinesthetic abilities. It’s not her age. It’s lack of effort for over a year and she’s paid the price for it. There’s no flow in her movement, and she dances as if her hips and torso are welded together. No, she’s not a kid and I don’t expect her to have the physical flexibility she did at 16, but her age is not the reason she’s dancing so poorly these days. And other than one knee injury that was repaired and completely rehabbed, she’s not had any other injuries that would impair her dancing to the extent that it is.

      • M

        Exactly. Gene Kelly made “Singin’ in the Rain” when he was in his late 30s. The reason he was able to do all that dancing was because he never stopped dancing and he took care of his body. I danced five days a week until I was fourteen. I stopped because I didn’t love it anymore. I’m only 20 now and I can’t do what I could do then because I stopped dancing and lost my technique.

  • mjsmoke

    Did anybody ever mention that she is trying to dance in heels!?!?! Really, I mean obviously she needs to go back to the flat sneaker/boot footwear she used to wear for some sure footing, because this dancing in heels is making her look lazy and sluggish…

    • True Blue

      Lame excuse. How many female artists dance in sky-high heels with no problem? And Britney has never danced exclusively in flats and sneakers. So why would footwear all of a sudden affect her dancing abilities?

      • mjsmoke

        yeah, true…

      • jennie

        Cant blame the heel’s , Beyonce dances her @$$ off in heels all the time. And she is the same age as Brit

    • windrider2

      Tina Turner was dancing in sky-high heels in her 60s. A lot of artists dance in high heels while singing live at the same time. Both of these things seem to be beyond Britney’s abilities.

  • True Blue

    I wonder that if this were any other artist, would people be so quick to defend and make excuses for them.

    Think how hard (and rightfully so, we shouldn’t accept mediocrity) people would come down on GaGa or Beyoncé (and I’m not trying to start a stan war by bringing them up, I’m just making a very valid point) if they were to ever be so sloppy and lazy in their performances.

    • Mark

      Please, Britney is the most scrutinized celebrtiy ever.

      • True Blue

        Perhaps from a personal standpoint, but from a purely artistic standpoint this woman has gotten away with far more than any other artist would ever be allowed to.

      • fancypants

        No she isn’t.

    • mark

      what does she get away with? not writing her own songs? songwriters are coming out prasing brit for not asking for song credit like many do, auto tune? check out the top ten,

      • Britney

        Only 1 songwriter praised her for not taking credit on the songs she wrote for Britney, but that’s not the case with others. Those who worked on Mannequin actually said she did nothing on the song, yet got writing credit.

  • Mark

    I think her manager should hire Mark Ballas or Derek Hough and have them train with Brit like she is on DWTS. Then come out and do a show and blow everyone away.

    • David

      Britney has Brian Friedman, one of the best choreographers in the business working with her these days. Clearly she’s just not able to do complicated routines anymore.

      • windrider2

        Brian is still trying to choreograph for the 16-year-old Britney. A GOOD choreographer would take whatever movements she’s still capable of doing and making it look Great, instead of trying to force her into movement that doesn’t look good on her. Laurieann Gibson calls it ‘choreographing to her greatness’. In fact, Gibson would be my choice of a choreographer except that she’s very demanding and expects 200% effort from her dancers. I question whether Britney would be that committed.

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