Recreating Rosie Perez's Do the Right Thing Opening Dance, 30 Years Later

As of June, Do the Right Thing will have been out for 30 years, but Spike Lee’s masterpiece feels just as relevant now as it did in 1989.

The film still serves as a searing commentary on gender and race relations, starring Lee himself as Mookie, a pizza delivery man navigating the consequences of gentrification, racism, and police brutality while tensions boil over the course of one hot summer day in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.


Everything about the movie is iconic, beginning with its four-and-a-half minute opening credits sequence, which features Rosie Perez (in her big screen debut) slaying a dance set to Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.” What makes her legendary moves even more impressive is the knowledge that Lee apparently changed the song from “Cool Jerk” at the last minute, before filming the sequence for eight hours straight.

Jezebel decided to celebrate Do the Right Thing and Perez’s killer moves by trying our hand at recreating her credits dance, with varying degrees of success. Watch the video above for the results.

producer, jezebel



Lol, did anyone not notice the intensity of her facial expressions while doing this? She wasn’t playing and I’d be shocked if anyone not on her level could attempt to put in that, or maybe even half that effort and not pull some type of muscle. My lower back would’ve gave way and glutes seized up not even a quarter of the way into this routine.

And if asked my thoughts about how I expected to feel afterwards, I’d have gone all Clubber Lang with that prediction...