However, producer Allen Reynolds was adamant about a single release for “The Dance” and campaigned for it directly with label head Jimmy Bowen, but Bowen turned him down. Allen said, “Would you just do me a favor and go see Garth sing it live before you make your final decision?” Bowen went to one of Brooks’ concerts, and when Garth sang “The Dance,” the crowd went wild. Jimmy came back to the office and gave Reynolds a “thumbs up” for the fourth single. “The Dance” became Garth’s second #1 hit on July 14, 1990, staying at the summit for three weeks.
A great video was made for “The Dance,” incorporating footage of several American icons and examples of people who died for a dream, including President John F. Kennedy, world champion bull rider Lane Frost, the crew of the ill-fated space shuttle “Challenger,” actor John Wayne, country singer Keith Whitley and Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. At the end of the video, during the piano fadeout, Brooks appears on screen with a statement about how his life was just like the song: that he could have skipped the problems he had encountered while chasing his dream for a career in music, but he “wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”
“The Dance” won trophies for “Song of the Year” from both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music (where it also won for “Video of the Year”), and was also was nominated for a Grammy award. It was the most-played song on country radio that year. Since its 1990 release, “The Dance,” has also become one of the most popular songs played at funerals. Garth Brooks performed it on the final episode of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on February 6, 2014.