Alternative dance is a term used for the genre of music combining elements of dance-pop (or other forms of electronic house or techno) and alternative rock genres such as indie rock. Alternative dance music is typically predominantly electronic, with programmed beats from drum machines or sampled drum loops and sequenced synthesizer melodies, and thus musically very similar to commercial dance-pop. The indie element is most prevalent in the songwriting; unlike much dance music, alternative dance typically contains lyrics, and, as in indie pop or indie rock, these are often more thematically complex and/or less polished than those of commercial pop.
Alternative dance was certainly influenced by the Second Summer of Love, when the sounds of Acid House music had filtered through to and influenced the sounds of chart pop. Various people from an indie background soon adapted the equipment and techniques of dance-pop, combining it with a more astute and less populistic songwriting sensibility. Well-known examples of this movement include Saint Etienne and Dubstar. This blend of indie-rock and late-1980s dance music was apparent in the Baggy or indie-dance movement of the time, which included bands such as The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and Jesus Jones. Modern bands inspired by the Second Summer of Love scene include The Rapture, Tom Vek, Radio 4 and Polaroid Kiss.
As both the financial costs and levels of musical virtuosity required to make passable-sounding electronic music drop under the influence of technological improvements, and people who grew up listening to electronic pop take up music, the electronic style epitomised by alternative dance is increasingly becoming the mainstream of independent music, with the once dominant guitar-based form of pop that dominated low-budget independent recordings now becoming just another subgenre. .