Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Evolution of Dance

I have a friend who likes to add validity to his statements by prefacing them with, "If there is one thing I know, it's..." Sometimes it is legitimate, like "If there is one thing I know, it's Carolina basketball." But most of the time it is ridiculous, like "If there is one thing I know, it's interior design." Or "If there is one thing I know, it's plaid shirts." Keeping that in mind, you can interpret this next sentence however you feel most appropriate. If there is one thing I know, it's how to start a dance party.

With last week's death of Cali Swag District member M-Bone, a whole bunch of videos surfaced of various celebrities doing the group's signature dance move, the Dougie. This got me thinking about my favorite dances/moves and just how many good ones there are! At my previous job, we had a company satellite radio station that would play the same 100 songs on repeat every day. So, I started coming up with a weekly dance move that we would all do when our favorite song came on. I think my best work was definitely the Fan Man, which consists of planting your feet firmly on the ground and then flailing your upper body about as if it were independent from the rest of you. Like those big blow up men outside of sporting events with the fans under them that blow hither and thither uncontrollably. I would encourage all of you to put on your favorite song and try this right now. Or at least imagine walking in on one of your co-workers doing this as mine tended to do frequently.

Now it's just a guess, but I would bet that the Fan Man probably isn't going to catch on any time soon. It's like all great art - not appreciated in it's own time. But there are quite a few greats that will continue to make it into dance routines, dance parties, and dance offs for many years to come. Here's a list of a few of my favorites. Feel free to participate in your desk chair.

The Macarena - What a classic. It's fun, it's got that sexy hip swivel thing, the arm moves take a bit of practice so not just anybody can jump in and do it. And there is the added mystery of the lyrics. Is it a dance, it is the girl's name, if you play it backwards does it say "Paul is dead"?!

The Hand Jive - Probably most famous from the movie Grease, who doesn't wish they had a high school dance competition to go to later? It's fast and wild and it doesn't really matter what you are doing as long as you are throwing some combination of fists and thumbs ups around.

The Harlem Shake - If I had a genie, my first wish would be for Beyonce to be my friend. My second wish would be to have the physical ability to do this dance without looking like an idiot.

YMCA - I am still perplexed as to why anyone would ever write a song about this. But it's still awesome. I can't embed it, so you have to click here to watch it, but I swear on all things sacred it is worth it.

The Dougie - It wouldn't be fair to leave out the dance that started this post. I'm a big fan of hip hop dances that you don't have to be a rap super star to know how to do. Example, here is Barbara Walters doing the Dougie.

And if you are still feeling uninspired, watch this. I promise it won't disappoint.

Hopefully this has brought back some memories for you and made you ready to come dance to all our bands at the Fun Fourth! I'll be there. Doing the Fan Man. You can't miss it.


  1. Wait, wait -- you've left out so many! Where's the Chicken Dance and the Electric Slide? How about the newer ones like the Cupid Shuffle and the Wobble? Hope I'll see you bustin' a move with these, in addition to the Fan Man, at Fun 4th!! You go, girl!

  2. You left off the Hokey Pokey -- an all time favorite!!