The Dance Electric is the first track on André Cymone's third studio album A.C., and, four weeks before the album's release, The Dance Electric was released as the album's first single. This track is the only studio collaboration between Prince and André Cymone during Cymone's solo career following his departure from Prince's band. In 2011, an expanded edition of the album was released on CD, including the Edited Version a.k.a. Single Version of the song.
Basic tracking for Prince's initial version took place on 17 August 1984 (a days before The Screams Of Passion) at the Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse in Eden Prairie, Minnesota (listed on the album as "Paisley Park Recording, Somewhere in Minnesota"). Lisa Coleman, Wendy Melvoin and Jill Jones recorded overdubs the following day, also at the Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse.
Prince reportedly gave the song to André Cymone after Cymone's mother asked Prince for a song (Cymone himself was too proud to do so). André Cymone recorded lead vocal overdubs at Ocean Way Recording, Hollywood, CA, USA in early 1985 with Prince and his dad John L. Nelson present.
Prince also referred to "the dance electric" in the song God, recorded three days later.
In 2001, a 1986 live version by Prince and the Revolution was included on NPG Ahdio Show # 7, but the track was not available separately.
In 2012, a mostly-instrumental rehearsal version by Prince and the New Power Generation, likely recorded in mid-April 2012, was streamed on drfunkenberry.com to promote the forthcoming Welcome 2 Australia Tour; the site stated that "To begin every week of rehearsal, to get the rust off, Prince and the band jam one song for 30-45 minutes."
In 2017 Prince's own version (before overdubs by Lisa, Wendy & Jill) was released as the first track on the From The Vault & Previously Unreleased disc of a Deluxe release of Purple Rain.