Wednesday, August 17, 2005

HumanityCritic's Dance Moves

I went out the other night to some fancy-smancy club that I felt highly uncomfortable at. As I looked at all the people who thought that their shit didn't stink, I stood around and conversed with my friends as I stared at an empty dance-floor. The club was packed but no one was dancing, did Goodie Mob have it right when they said "They don't dance no more"? As soon as I thought about how sad it was that people didn't dance anymore, a young lady approached and asks me to dance. To be honest, even though I was asking myself why people didn't cut a rug like they used to, I really didn't feel like dancing. Did this new culture of "I'm too fucking cool to sweat" infect the cerebellum of the HumanityCritic as well?? I decided to dance with the young lady for a few reasons. 1: Because I hadn't danced in a long time. 2: The young lady in question looked like a young Pam Grier, and lord knows what kind of blacksploitation type role playing I might be able to get her to do in the future and 3. I haven't been asked to dance since the fucking Clinton administration. She grabbed my hand and dragged me to the dance floor where we started dancing. "Feet don't fail me now!" I thought, as I wondered if they even worked any more. I started doing the classic "2 step" which is what everyone pulls out of their bag to buy time until they can pull some real funky steps out of their arsenal. She immediately starts grinding on me when I started to immediately "Pitch a tent", "OK, I'm glad that still works", I thought as I try to be subtle about "adjusting" myself. Then I busted out a barrage of oldie but goodies that not only made the woman in her early 20's laugh, but exposed my age for anyone within a 100 foot radius. It just got me thinking to the various dance-steps throughout my life.

The 70's- When I was a kid I just remember just jumping around like I was having a seizure, delighting my parents because of how foolish I looked. Specific dance-steps of this time period escape me, except for "The Bump" where while dancing you touch asses to the beat. I remember doing this dance with one of my parents' friends when she propelled me into a table where the table broke into a million pieces. She said something like, "I guess I don't know my own strength", you know you have a humongous derriere when you propel toddlers in a single bound. But this time period is special because I recall waking up on various Saturday mornings to the sounds of Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, and a plethora of other soulful masters as I went downstairs and danced with my parents. My parents didn't have the best relationship, but at a early age I realized that music, albeit momentarily, could bring people together.

Fun HumanityCritic fact: The first record that I begged my parents for and they bought me was "Rappers Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang in 1979, I was in kindergarten. I remember coming home, playing it, and my dad saying "The music is good but all those motherfuckers are doing is talking on it!"

The 80's- The first dance that I recall learning was "The Robot", which I was good at, but kids would clown me because that's all I would do. I even remember this girl named Brandy saying, "Here comes HumanityCritic, watch him do the robot the whole time!" She was probably jealous of how well I imatated a robot, even making robit-like sounds. (Maybe not)That's when I realized that I had to step my dance game up, then break-dancing hit the scene. I always will love and respect that art of the legendary "B-boy", but to be totally honest I was the worst break-dancer imaginable. I mean, I could pop my ass off, do the snake, the worm, but my groundwork(i.e Spinning on my back, doing the flare) was atrocious. My best break-dance move was when I would pop, bring it down where I would expose my stomach and roll my stomach downwards, then bring it to my legs then bring it back up. That move was awesome, the first thousand times I did it, but people quickly tired of my "signature move". This is embarrassing, but I even called myself the "Camouflage kid", where I would go to various dance contests wearing camouflage. I remember my boy getting all philosophical on me one day by saying, "Isn't being called that limiting, being that that's all you can wear? I mean, people would openly wonder if you even washed your clothes man!" Me, never lacking the witty comeback or clever diatribe, answered back by saying, "Fuck you Kenny!!"

Later in the decade I really hit my stride dance wise, especially when I would bust out with "the cabbage patch" in front of people. Dances like "The prep" went smoothly while Eric B and Rakim played in the background. But my dance, the one that personifies mid to late 80's Hip Hop to me personally was "The Wop". That dance is so significant to that time period that I would like to make that a new form of greeting between people who like Real Hip Hop. At that point in my life I felt like a hip of version of Gregory Hines or Fred Astaire, but in all actuality I was more like Denny Tarrio.(If you even know who that is YOUR ASS IS OLD SCHOOL!)

Fun HumanityCritic Fact: My mother always said, "Don't spin on your head, I saw on the news where a kid broke his neck!!" I always told her that those tales of kids breaking their necks were "lies" and to "not worry about it". About a week later my best friend at the time, Kenny, did indeed break his neck.

The 90's- I remember, if I am correct, the dance "The Running Man" becoming popular in the early 90's. I have to tell you, nothing ruined more potential ass for me than doing this particular dance. It wasn't that I was bad at it, actually I was quite good at it, but this is a dance that you could only pull out sporadically. I couldn't tell you how many girls that thought I was an absolute "Spaz" when I would be doing "The Running Man" with the aggression of a serial killer, as she dance calmly to a mid-tempo song. Even though I would constantly get those "calm your black ass down" looks, I didn't care, I was on a mission, a dance mission if you will. That "mission" usually resulted in me going home alone and getting friendly with a bottle of lotion and whatever filth I had at the time.

The rest of the 90's, to be totally honest, didn't have any particular dances that I recall. OK, I know that Reggae had a shitload of dances, but I hate dance-hall, and I would just go to those clubs to score women, so I would just copy whatever everyone else was doing in order to fit in. The rest of this decade just consisted of me going to clubs and dry-humping the shit out of anyone who had female genitalia, crude but true.

Fun HumanityCritic Fact: I hate the fucking "Electric Slide", I just wanted to say that!! I was at a party where I was planning on fighting a dude who had talked shit to me earlier. My friends had talked me out of it and I was relatively calm, until I saw him jump in a "Electric Slide" line, where I tackled him mid stride and started hitting him like a ghetto pinata. Nothing is funnier than seeing horrified electric sliders watching a beating.

2000-Present: Being that I despise most Hip Hop that comes out now, and all the ghetto dances that accompany it, I find myself just doing the old man "2 step", you can't go wrong with that. When I feel nostalgic, I will break out with "The Wop", start popping, do "The cabbage patch", or even do "The prep". I don't do those dances to teach the younger generation an integral part of Hip Hop history, or enlighten them to a more legitimate era in Hip Hop. I do those dances because I sincerely don't give a fuck. That simple.

But there are a few dance moves that I have invented recently, they include the "If you bump me one more time motherfucker I'm going to maul your ass on this dance-floor" two-step, you have the "damn girl you need to wash your hot spots!" shuffle, and my personal favorite the "You are fine and all, but dancing with you is horror because your breath is so bad that I can taste it!" slide. OK, those aren't dances, but Dammit they should be!!!

Fun HumanityCritic Fact: I still hate the fucking "Electric Slide"!

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

LMAO Great post. My "snake" was the shit.

shinjyo said...

You are right people don't dance anymore. It's sad actually.

FantasyFootballGuru said...

LOL @ pic of the "Breakin" cast!

a beer sort of girl said...

I cannot fucking stand the Electric Slide either.

Nikki said...

I love to dance and partake of the chance to do so quite often. Cool post.

Kelly said...

lmao, stupid ass electic slide. I remember on rainy days in the second grade when we couldn't go out to recess the teacher would make the whole class do it. I hated it. What the fuck happened to heads up 7-up on rainy days bitch???

piranha said...

i hope this isn t an all American thing. I don t tell people that dancing is my drug for the fun of it. But people in Berlin definetly dance and hell we have some b-boys and girls here who rock my show. and i guess i am not old school. but i will check those names out. i was just born, uh, in Germany and in the 'wrong' time for that. sad but true.

kissmeimcontagious said...

Haha, dancing is alot of fun.

Instead of all those complicated dance moves, I'll just stick to my swaying of the hips while kind of waving my arms around.

I wish I was a better dancer.

-bon

Nicky said...

ROFLMAO you are really a funny cat. I too hate the electric slide. LOL Great post

DM said...

People do dance, its just that the dances have become so advanced and complicated that you can only do them if you haven't been through puberty. Like the Harlem Shake...I almost slipped a disk with that one. The damn Chickenhead a'la St. Louis is a mix between a seizure and making fun of the disabled. And the line dances are so damn complex, thanks to the steppers and housers from Chicago (or wherever they are from) I often yearn for the simplicty of the electric slide. If you are over 21, you shouldn't be doing any "new" dances anyway. Just try to be sexy, and you will be fine.

Anonymous said...

Donna, I am so feeling you. Maybe b/c I'm from the dirty south, these dances were exclusive to the GA, but these were all very popular- (Bankhead) Bounce, Stomp (East or Westside), and Ragtop (Outkast's BOB has a bridge w/ a beat perfect for ragtop). Even Goodie Mob's "They don't dance no mo'" had a dance called the "Forrest Gump" that incorporated the running man. The 90's were my best dancing times...

bec said...

Too funny!!

U-Liang said...

Remember the "bus stop", definitely old school.

DUKE OF FLUKE said...

i agree about the electric slide-horrible.

Anonymous said...

Where do you come up with shit? lol

Msnhim said...

ROFLMAO... That was too funny!!!!! Oh an I do know who Danny Terrio is.

Garden Fanatic said...

I am another one of your readers that hates the electric slide. Yuck!

helenearth said...

I love this post because it brings me back.

I am Jack said...

LOL Classic. I could dance my ass off in my day.

Maglet said...

"I couldn't tell you how many girls that thought I was an absolute "Spaz" when I would be doing "The Running Man" with the aggression of a serial killer, as she dance calmly to a mid-tempo song. Even though I would constantly get those "calm your black ass down" looks, I didn't care, I was on a mission, a dance mission if you will."

A dance mission?! Holy hell... that's about the funniest thing I've read of yours in like... 2 days! The Electric Slide makes me angry--don't people know it's over?

Dancing is my thing, but I can't say I've ever done the Running Man with that much intensity. LOL! You're a nut!

kev fan said...

As a fat white guy with no rhythm I have to say that the cabbage patch was the easiest mannuever for a fat ass like myself. I still bust it out when I want to get "jiggy". lol

Mistachuck @ Yahoo said...

Nice touch providng that Tribe album art representing the "90's" I knew there was a reason i liked you

kelli said...

Why all the hatred for the elctric slide? It isn't that bad is it? It gives people who can't dance a chance to think that they are actually doing something. Hee-hee

babc said...

The snake was my favorite dancemove, it's basically the only dance move I know.

I am Jack said...

kelli, you actually liked that dance? urrrgh!

Rob said...

I love your site, man. Awesome stories. Couldn't help but laugh when I picured you doing the agressive running man to a mid-tempo song.

Keep up the great writing.

Oliviasmommi said...

I must say that the running man was also one of my dances of choice back in the early 90's. But, of course I was doing that Janet Jackson, Rhythm Nation 1814 version with that stutter step and then the change in direction. I can still remember my little brother and all his little dorky friends asking me to teach them how to dance in my Dad's basement before one of their little Junior High dances. Thanks for the walk down memory lane...

Anonymous said...

Great post man!

Johnnydanger said...

The running man story was priceless, the imagery was amazing.

BITTER IRONY said...

How you broke down decades with dance was entertaining.

Bob Smith said...

I'm not familiar with any of those dances but I stilll do the "twist". Now THATS old school!

JAYBE said...

I hate it when you go to a club and fools start slam dancing. I want to punch them in the face.

CLEO said...

Nice, very nice.

PETER STRANGE said...

I have been reading you for a while and I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog.

TJ said...

I'm glad so many of you hate the Electric slide as much as I do. If you don't do that or step in the name of love, people want to revoke your ghetto pass with the quickness.

And btw- my sisters/cousins and I used to break our necks trying to outdo each other with the Wop, side-of-the-head ponytails swinging all over the place. If you were really good at it, you could take it to the floor and back up, without breaking the rythm.

As for reggae dances, yeah there were alot, but you have to to give honorable mention the Butterfly and the Bogle.

Thanks for bringing back memories. :)

Brotha Buck said...

All I can remember about the 70s is sneaking into this disco that didn't ID when I was about 12 and my mom thought I was safely spending the night with so called trusted friends. And oh yea, I can't stand the Electric slide thing.

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Brando said...

Can't go wrong with a Dance Fever reference....

BLESSD1 said...

Dawg...I go to a club, and see the asinine dance the younger crowds do, and can only ask myself, "Man...whatever happend to the Wop and the Cabbage Patch?" LOL! Great post man. Excelsior

Toya said...

man why you hate the Electric slide/Bus Stop/Cha Cha, Ghetto (Cchicago) slide? (they're all the same dang on thing?) whats wrong with it? even the country folks got their own line dance, lol...i'm mad that you was doing the running man like that...

Anonymous said...

Definitely feeling this post.

Jackie said...

The imagery is so tight with you, i could see you dancing with your parents early on a saturday morning.

Anonymous said...

Too funny.

I am Jack said...

Oh..The cha-cha slide was equally horrible.

sherry said...

I want to marry you, you brought me back.

bec said...

The cabbage patch was my favorite dance.

Anonymous said...

I uised to come home evry day and watch MTV Raps and copy dance moves daily. Nice Post.

kevin.

PBCG said...

I wasn't that big into dancing until I got to be considerably older. I guess I am kind of backwards.

natalix said...

It seems to be a clean sweep! WE should beat up the person who invented the electric slide!

olive said...

Good writing, thanks for checking out my site the other day by the way.

Dave Riley said...

How about the Roger Rabbit? That was a good dance, or the "sprinkler"?

msjaim said...

ha ha ha Once again, reading ur blog, i had no choice but to LOL!!!!.. im in Chicago, the home of the electric side & stepping & i despise them both!
I used to break my ass ff (old school B-girl here).. i wig folks out when i feel like clowning and bust out w/ an uprock.. in stilettos & a dress...lol..my older sister used to pay me to do the running man to Soul to soul back to life..lmbao!

arieschick said...

'doing "The Running Man" with the aggression of a serial killer, as she dance calmly to a mid-tempo song.'..too funny

The Princess Herself said...

Oh, HC..you forgot "the ROCK" OMG!! How fucking funny was that dance? ummmmmmmm. er..maybe you don't remember it..it was like 1975/1976 ish...
As for the electric slide take down..LMAO..

CaffeineDiva said...

LMBAO!!!
I also HATE the electric slide...
and damn I must be old school, because I do indeed remember that Dance Fever Guy! ha ha
And the Running Man, I dated a boy who would do nothing but the running man... I stopped appearing in public with him!

glory said...

i don't mess with that dancehall mess either. ain't but so much winding you can do fore you get a damn cramp anyway.

i miss when there were actual dances. now i know that's why most men don't dance anymore. i was so born in the wrong decade. being party age in the sixties and seventies had to have been so much more fun than now.

Amadeo said...

As someone who will initiate dancing and may break out the Kid N Play joint from House Party...My first rule is no electric slide...hell no line dancing period. EVERYONE needs a good two step.

Zeezy4Sheezy said...

Whatever happened to Shabba Doo and Bougaloo Shrimp from Breakin? I remember being 5 and could pop and lock with the best of em.. And to the Anonymous person who is from GA ,you forgot to mention the popularity of The Get Out, and also the pop and lock offspring called tickin' which was the dance of choice during the mid 90's. But then Atliens started listen to 3-6 Mafia and A little known DJ named Lil Jon put out "Who You Wit" and Throwin Bows and Gangsta Walkin (Black folks version of slam dancing) became the thing to do.. Ahh those were the days

. said...

Dang man you made me blow tea through my nostrils from laughin' so hard.

Adding you to my Blogroll.
Ted

Girl With An Alibi said...

I tried for the longest time to boycott the Electric Slide; but you can't get black folk together in a large family gathering without somebody breaking into the 'Slide'.

I finally gave in. It's like the chicken dance at weddings, stupid but everybody does it.

BTW did anybody notice that when that dumbass Achey Breaky country dance came out that it WAS the electric slide with a butt wiggle thrown in. Did ya'll know that the brazen bitch choreographer who "invented" this pre-existing dance got paid $30K for all her "hard work." That just burns me. Maybe I'll co-opt the Hustle and throw in a hand wave or something for some quick cash.

Serenity23 said...

I missed a couple days of reading and I come back to catch up and I swear every post has something about you fighting someone in it. What's up with that?

Brother OMi said...

you pitiful bastard !!!
a har har har har

oh you forgot the east coast stomp in the 90s.

FROM THE UNIVERSAL MAGNETIC B-BOY

Butta said...

Let the right song come on and I will bust a move with the wop, the prep, the Reebok, the happy feet, the snake, and the whip...for starters...LOL I haven't been out dancing in so long and I'm the main one who would live on the dancefloor back in the day--sweating out my relaxer on the regular.

Denny Terrio...Dance Fever, man! What other old school trivia you got?

Treifalicious said...

You know, Humanity Critic, I wrote a post about the Electric Slide and what it says about people who do it in my blog. The post is called "The Psychology of Social Dance" at: http://treifalicious.blogspot.com/2004/02/psychology-of-social-dance.html

aquamego said...

rock on with your wicked moves. thanks for checking my blog out, and likewise.

peace.

aquamego
p.s. gotta love mos def.

Havic366 said...

Hey, okay what is the Reebok? I know so many dances but don't know the names. Remember the "GAnsta Walk" (Hammer did it in 2 legit to quit) what's the "Smurf"??? is that what aaliyah does in the "Hot like fire" video when Timbaland does dah dah dah dah.... And what's "The Prep". Okay I found out what the "Bird" was cause Morris DAy has done it since Purple rain. what's the other one he does that everyone did. New Kids on the Block did it for Right stuff and Milli Vanilli did it. If you watch the movie Chicken Little he does it. (You grab belt buckle and you kick the left leg to the left then the right leg then you you hop on both feet then do it again, 1, 2, 1 and 2, 1, 2, 1 and 2. thanks hit me up.

Anonymous said...

what's the move called where he holds one ankle (with bent knee) and the opposite had behind head (with bent elbow) and then hops while contracting middle and bringing opposite elbow & knee together??!!

Anonymous said...

I am laughing hysterically. But let's be honest, that 'running man' dance maneveur was nothing but pure gold! Plus, it was definitely my dance of choice to Montell Jordan's, 'This is how we do it' and...still is? Yeah, I said it. No shame. None. ;)

p.s. Thumbs up 7-up was the dumbest game ever created. You know everyone cheated in that damn game too. And where the fuck does the 7 come into play? Am I missing something? Because if it's just for the rhyme...that's just horrible.