ICYMI, Courteney Cox wows the internet recreating Bruce Springsteen's 'Dancing in the Dark' video

Cox put her own spin on the current social media trend: "asking my mom how she danced in the '80s."
Paul Natkin Archive
Paul Natkin Archive / Paul Natkin/GettyImages

"Dancing in the Dark" was the first single released from one of Bruce Springsteen's best albums Born in the U.S.A. The song was the most successful single for the performer dubbed "The Boss," and the music video is fondly remembered for featuring a cameo appearance by actress Courteney Cox.

Released in 1984, "Dancing in the Dark" would earn Springsteen his first Grammy award, and the video, directed by Brian De Palma, won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Stage Performance. Recently, Cox participated in a social media trend that has propelled the video for Springsteen's song back into the headlines.

On June 9, the actress, well known for her role as Monica Gellar (Bing) on Friends, took part in the social media trend, "asking my mom how she danced in the '80s." The video begins with Cox looking uncomfortable as she dances to the synth-pop "Smalltown Boy" by Bronski Beat but quickly looks as if something isn't right. As she unzips her jacket to a record scratch, she unveils a shirt that looks almost identical to the one she wore in Springsteen's video all those years ago.

The music changes to "Dancing in the Dark," and she begins to dance again as the clip seamlessly transitions into the 1984 music video.

Although Cox previously stated she didn't think her dancing was good, it did inspire Alfonso Ribeiro in his creation of "The Carlton" for the character he portrayed on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In an interview with Sam Jones of The Off Camera, Cox shared her audition experience and how she didn't want to be the one Springsteen pulled on stage.

Another interesting fact is that Cox and the group of girls she's in the audience with, as the video was shot at a live show in St. Paul, filmed a larger story that was cut from the video. Listen to the interview clip below.

While touring in 2012, Springsteen added the song to the setlist which prompted audience participation, recreating Cox's scene from the video. Audience members selected danced with Springsteen as well as other band members. At a 2019 concert in the UK, Springsteen spotted the sign of a bearded fan dressed as Cox that read, "Would you dance with Courteney Cox if she had a great beard?" and pulled him on stage to dance. Springsteen family members, including his mother, have also participated by dancing to the song at concerts.