Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 33

Ahh, street funk. Now that’s something I can learn to love! Even the disaster of pole dancing can’t scare me away from this one.

I signed up a few weeks back so I could modernise my groove and get some handy hints for choreographing our cheerleading routines. It is so much fun! I am there hip hopping my way through class with the rest of them.

We vary in age but looking around I think I may be the oldest. I don’t feel it though! I am tapping, sliding, body rolling, ball point changing (that’s dance lingo you know). It’s fantastic. At our first lesson the instructor told us the song we were warming up to was by Justin Timberlake and then she looked at me and said “does everyone know who Justin Timberlake is?” Yes, I may be 40 but I’m not dead yet! Of course I know who Justin Timberlake is …

Dance is an interesting concept. The evolution of dance through my life time has been pretty extreme! From the hocky pocky as a kid, to hip gyrating in the 80s as a teenager (Max is clearly an 80s incarnate), to the transition from rock and roll to “dance” style music like “groove is in the heart” in the 90s, right through to the hip hop and street funk we are trying to master today where body separation can either make or break you. And don’t forget all the group dances thrown in there like the nut bush, the bus stop and the macarena. All in all recreational dancing is a rather odd phenomenon. When I’m at a wedding, for example, watching the dance styles that span the ages I often wonder what an alien would think if they landed in amongst it. Aliens aren’t my usual choice of random ponderings, but seriously, if you were to take away the music during a dance fest, the way we throw our bodies around would look really bizarre wouldn’t it?

I wonder how dancing all started. Was it back in cave man days with Pappa smacking two rocks together creating a beat so intense that Mamma had to bust a move? Maybe dancing came before music? Perhaps one of the tribes folk stumbled on an ants next causing body jumps, twists and contortions so impressive that the clan started to clap thus providing the music to accompany the rhythm. Apparently it did all start in primitive times with dance moves imitating daily activities such as planting, hunting, fighting, loving. The dancers would provide their own music using vocal sounds, but were later accompanied by other clan members creating music with rocks, sticks and animal hides.

That being the case, our modern day version of original dance would include such dance steps as dust the blinds, sweep the floor, clean the toilet. Yes! I can do those steps. Watch me. For dust the blinds put your left hand your hip, pull your body tall, right hand above your head and forward to around eye level and simply do a “tap, tap” motion with your hand as you move your arm from left to right. And sweep the floor is easy! Stand with your right leg straight and your left leg hanging bent and loose (toe rested on ground), with your left arm by your side bent at a right angle have your right hand bent in a V across your chest at 45 degrees, both hands in a fist, and commence the sweeping motion. Woo hooo! That’s it. And finally, for clean the toilet put your left hand back on your hip, bend your body forward to 90 degrees, nice flat back, and with your right hand in a fist push your arm forwards and back, forwards and back in a toilet brush motion. Yeah baby. You got it!

Right now though street funk is where it’s at. I am trying to master the art of body separation so I can get all the body rolls, the hip swivels, head moves and chest thrusts spot on. I wonder if I were to Google the history of body separation as a dance technique what the answer would be. I know where the hip swivel originated from …. a horny blonde Labrador named Max.

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