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"!