The dancer is a woman with long, box-braided purple hair in a bun. She wears a pair of orange goggles on the top her forehead, a gold visor, a yellow and pink turtleneck bra with a keyhole in the cleavage, a pair of black patent pants, a lavender garter belt, and a pair of lavender high heel boots. Her pants flash bright lavender several times during the chorus. During Minaj’s verse, her skin turns black. The dancer herself seen on the TV screens have a different color scheme and are wearing the goggles.
The dancer is a woman on an exercise bicycle. She has her hair up in a braid, while wearing pink headphones. She wears green and yellow workout clothes, a pink fanny pack, and black sneakers.
The routine starts off with a wall that has a circular window which opens up which reveals and takes place at a large, futuristic metropolitan city with tall screens featuring the dancer and another unknown man. The screens closest to the dancer fly away, revealing most of the city, which flashes different colors. While the city is orange, some circular, flashing disco light drones fly around. The platform that the dancer is on flashes pink. When the city turns blue, lightning strikes and blue shields flash around. After a short rainstorm, the screens fly up again. During the chorus, a giant machine with TV screens form then open up which reveal the dancer and unknown man doing different dances, then it flies away after the chorus.
During Minaj’s verse, some black walls close against the city, shielding most of everything and only revealing it through a circular window. Then the buildings featuring the dancer herself and the unknown man start to spin and the window turns transparent revealing what is happening to the buildings behind the dancer until it stops when Ariana's lines come up.
The routine starts with a silhouette of the coach making rainbow swirls as bubbles fly out of it. As the song starts, the silhouette turns into the coach. While she peddles away from the bubbles, a group of sky-blue, yellow, magenta and white circles shrinks into the center of the screen as lines of white dots blink to the beat of the song and move towards the center. The circles then suddenly shrink into the center very quickly and get replaced by thin white triangles that form an imaginary tunnel, with a larger triangle behind the coach making rainbow swirls and bigger bubbles flying into the big triangle. The pink background then turns green near the start of the chorus as the white triangles disappear and the big triangle stays still and shoot out white rays. Pyramids start flying into the big triangle while more white triangles fly to the beat of the song and the background flashes pink and green to the beat of the song.
In Minaj’s verse, the background turns purple and magenta as the big triangle shoots out rays on its sides in the finger-clicking parts. While the coach spins her hands, the rays spin along the triangle in sync with the coach. White triangles and more bubbles then move into the big triangle as the background shines a gold color to the beat of the song.
There are 3 Gold Moves in the classic routine, all of which are the same: All Gold Moves: Jump left and push your hands down towards your hips.
All Gold Moves
All Gold Moves in-game
There are 2 Gold Moves in the Cycling Version routine, both of which are the same: Both Gold Moves: Throw your arms out while pedaling.
Both Gold Moves
Both Gold Moves in-game
Side to Side is the second collaboration between Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj in the series, after Bang Bang.
The lyric "If you wanna menage, I got a tricycle" is referenced in the ESRB rating summary for the game.
The line is actually changed to "If you want a Minaj, I got a tricycle" in-game.
However, in the Just Dance Now version of the Alternate, the line is written as "If you wanna menage, I got a tricycle".
The Alternate routine uses moves from the official music video.
In the Classic routine, during Minaj’s verse, the coach’s skin becomes semi-transparent before turning completely black. After it ends, her skin transitions back from black to semi-transparent white, for a few seconds.
Sound effects like that of rain and machinery can be heard throughout the Classic routine.
Many of the moves in the Alternate routine are not counted. There are only 72 counted moves on all consoles.
The menu banner on 7th-Gen consoles is different from the background in the menu icon.
The braid of the Alternate Routine’s coach does not appear on her avatar.