Revisiting "The Hoedown Throwdown" From 'Hannah Montana: The Movie' 10 Years After Its Release
Somehow, it's been 10 years since Hannah Montana: The Movie debuted, which means the film's signature dance, "The Hoedown Throwdown," is also a decade old. Forget how to pop it, lock it, and polka dot it? No worries. Miley Cyrus' original instructional video for the dance still lives on the internet to remind you how to put your hawk in the sky, and to help you relive your Disney days with feelings of both nostalgia and embarrassment — but mostly embarrassment.
In the 2009 movie, Miley — playing Miley Stewart / Hannah Montana, of course — breaks out "The Hoedown Throwdown" during a barn party benefit meant to save the meadows of Crowley Corners, Tennessee from being bulldozed and replaced with a shopping mall. Following performances of Billy Ray Cyrus' "Back to Tennessee" and Taylor Swift's "Crazier," Miley's country-hip-hop crossover unites the town — and an entire generation — in dance. And, best of all, it comes with that ridiculously awkward instructional video.
"What's up? That's my crew working on 'The Hoedown Throwdown,'" young Miley says to the camera in the video's opening. "That's the big dance number in Hannah Montana: The Movie. They're pretty good, but you know what? I wanna see you guys do it."
Looking back, it's difficult to ignore all of the elements that make the video equally nostalgic and ridiculous. Let's discuss, shall we?
First-off, the on-set styling could not be more 2009. Miley's outfit is so of the era, featuring a thick strapped red tank over a white tee, a belt loosely rested on her hips, and lots of matching bracelets on one arm. Her long, highlighted, flat-ironed locks are pulled into two pigtails, which shouldn't be mistaken as the hairstyle's focal point. That would be the du jour choppy side bang.
Miley's dance crew and choreographer, Jamal Sims, are all dressed in blinding neon colors and really, who didn't do that in 2009? Unfortunately, Sims and one of the background dancers also don fedoras — a hilariously '00s styling choice. That's not to say the sideways ball caps worn by a few others in the video have aged any better, though.
Once you've taken the time to over-analyze everyone's outfits, there's no way you'll be able to hold back laughter while Sims takes you through the dance moves, step-by-step. Remember how difficult this seemed 10 years ago? Yeah, not so much now.
OK, some of the steps still look a bit tricky (looking at you, one-footed 180 twist), but on the whole, these moves probably shouldn't have made you sweat as much as they did back when you were learning the dance in your middle school best friend's bedroom.
As if the dance moves aren't cringe-y enough, a second look at lyrics like "country-fy and hip-hop it" might make you wince again. The song's goal of combining country and hip-hop wasn't too well-received in 2009, with The Hollywood Reporter calling it a "squirm-inducing" attempt to combine "Hannah's contemporary pop/hip-hop sound with the Grand Ole Opry," and About.com saying it was trying too hard to touch all genres.
However, many country/hip-hop collaborations have hit the scene since "The Hoedown Throwdown" was released, such as "Cruise (Remix)" by Florida Georgia Line and Nelly; "Dirt Road Anthem" by Jason Aldean and Ludacris; and "Say Something" by Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton. More recently, there was Billy Ray Cyrus' viral collaboration with Lil Nas X on the rapper's single "Old Town Road", which flooded social media on April 5. Not all of these songs have been hits, but they do prove that "The Hoedown Throwdown" just might've been ahead of its time.
Reminiscing on this movie track might feel a little jarring (10 years, really?!), but there's so much to appreciate about "The Hoedown Throwdown" and where it came from. For O.G. Hannah Montana fans, the song will always have a special place in our hearts — and our arsenal of memorized line dances.