What Are Fortnite Dances?

What are Fortnite dances?
What are Fortnite dances? | Courtesy of Epic Games

What are Fortnite dances? These in-game actions are as central to the game's zeitgeist domination as any other factor, as they pull from the popular culture in which Fortnite now figures so prominently.

What Are Fortnite Dances?

Technically, Fortnite dances are a subset of the in-game cosmetic known as an emote. Emotes are gestures and actions players can make their in-game avatars perform that aren't part of the typical gameplay. Examples include making it rain cash, playing a saxophone, or lifting a scorecard.

Dances are just one strain of emotes, of which six can be equipped to a quick-select bar for easy access during gameplay. They can be purchased from the Fortnite item shop using the in-game currency of V-Bucks, or occasionally earned by completing challenges.

Many are based on dances from pop culture, including the game's default dance, which is based on a dance Donald Faison performs in the sitcom "Scrubs."

Epic Games has come under fire in the past for using these dances without the express permission of their creators and popularizers, and without paying them. Questions of who owns these dances as pieces of intellectual property lay at the core of multiple lawsuits against Epic Games.

Five of those lawsuits were put on hold in March 2019, when a United States Supreme Court ruling changed when plaintiffs could file copyright infringement lawsuits. As a result, the copyrighting of dance moves — and the legal grounds for suit as a result of infringement on that copyright — remains unresolved.