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Ten Things You Never Want to Hear Your Dance Partner Say

Dance floor chatter is usually limited to stuff like “Nice moves” and “Hey, have you seen Ian?  He was my ride.”  But there are certain things you never want to hear your dance partner say.

1.  “I love dancing.  It really makes me forget about my STD’s.”

2.  “So, is that roofie kicking in yet?”

3.  “You’re so strong.  I told the bouncer you could kick his ass no problem.”

4.  “You’re dancing?  I’m sorry.  I thought you were having a seizure.”

5.  “I’ll get the bartender’s attention.  Just let me fire off a few rounds.”

6.  “If you’re not homeless, why are you dressed that way?”

7.  “Hey, let’s go meet my mom.  She’s at the table behind you!”

8.  “I hope you have sex better than you dance.”

9.  “I told the DJ to play some more Miley Cyrus!”

10.  “Let’s get out of here after this song.  The fire I set should probably be spreading by then.”

Think you can do better? We know you can! Leave your terrible dance convo one liners below!

To Twerk or Not To Twerk? A Short Analysis

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Ever since Miley Cyrus jerked her latex covered behind all over Robin Thicke dressed as Beetlejuice, the media has been abuzz with the concept of “Twerking.” Some people like it, some people think it’s the dance from the devil himself. But how is it different from other booty type dancing? Where did Twerking get its start? Can anyone Twerk? Let’s examine all that and more!

Question #1: What is Twerking and where did it come from?

Ms. Cyrus, as many have already deduced, did not in fact invent Twerking. While it may have its roots in some African dances, specifically the Mapouka, Twerking manifested in the early 90s out of the New Orleans-based bounce music scene,  a hip-hop genre that focuses on call-and response vocals. The first recorded reference to Twerking was found in DJ Jubilee’s “Do the Jubilee All” where he encourages dancers to “Twerk baby.” It stayed as a bounce music idea for the rest of the 90s, being mentioned by Cheeky Blakk in ’95 and DJ Jubilee again in ’97. Finally after the turn of the Milennium Twerking began to hit the mainstream, and was mentioned throughout the first decade by noted artists like the Yin Yang Twins, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, and Wacka Flocka Flame. According to legend, Miley herself learned to Twerk in New Orleans, and once video of her popping those hips went viral, the rest is history.

Urban Dictionary’s most popular definition defines Twerking as “the act of moving/ shaking ones ass/buns/bottom/buttocks/bum-bum in a circular, up-and-down, and side-to-side motion.” The word possibly comes from a hybrid of the words “twist and jerk.”

Question #2: How Do I Twerk?

Now that we know what it looks like, thanks to Miley, and where it came from, how does one actually “Twerk it.” I will try to describe one way with words, but the best and most helpful way to learn is to watch our short instructional video. We made this video before the term twerking came into vogue. But you get the idea:

If it’s more helpful to you to see steps written out, you can try these simple instructions:

First, put your feet more than shoulder width apart and bend your knees. Make sure your feet are turned outward and your knees are over your toes. Also make sure your back is arched

To start, try placing your hands on your hip bones, thumbs at the back.

If you want your hips to thrust forward, you push your thumbs on your butt bone. Press your hips forward.

If you want your hips to thrust backward, pull your hips back with your front fingers. Thrust your hips backwards.

Once you have that motion down, you can squat down further, move your hands to your knees, or even go with no hands at all! Just go for it: backwards or forwards, or both alternating, to the beat. This is quite a workout for your whole lower body, and your core!

Question #3: Can I Twerk?

This seems to be a question that sparks much debate. There seems to be some people of the opinion out there that one needs a certain type of posterior in order to actually Twerk. Well, it is of the opinion of this reviewer and this website that anyone capable of using their lower limbs can therefore shake what their momma gave ya, regardless of size, shape, or nature of your behind. That said, Twerking is surprisingly physically trying, so those with lower back problems might want to take it easy for their first few attempts.

Question #4 Should I Twerk?

This can only be answered by looking deep inside yourself. Only by exploring within can one know if one holds the true Twerk spirit. Try having a couple cocktails and listening to some bouncy music, and you will find the answer: You’re a born Twerker, like all of us. As a famous Sith Lord once said, “Search your feelings. You know it to be true.”

This guy Twerks better than Miley

This guy Twerks better than Miley

 

 

 

Overcoming My Dance Floor Phobia

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Flashback:

Middle school dance. A group of girls huddled together dancing. A group of guys huddled together, nervous as hell, but laughing and punching each other’s arms to pretend like they’re not nervous. One guy walks up to one of the girls. They dance. Another guy walks up to another of the girls. They dance. Dancing never looked so awkward and fidgety, but they were doing it. They were dancing. One-by-one the boys and the girls paired up, but there were still a handful of us left. Just walk on over and take one by the hand. It doesn’t matter what she looks like – nor does it matter what I look like. It’s not hard to move. You move all the time. But something in me made it impossible. I was nailed to the hardwood of the basketball court. Is it a lack of courage? I was shaking like I was about to charge out of a WWII foxhole in the face of machinegun fire. Is it a lack of aptitude? Perhaps, but this was the 90’s and they were playing the Macarena, for Christ’s sake. Anyone can do that. This is a benign school function amongst thirteen year olds! What was there to fear? Yet the ferocity of my heart thumping against my chest cavity indicated some deeper implications to all this…dancing. There was something separating those dancing and those standing with their buddies picking their noses – those sad chums running off to vandalize the school bathroom instead of taking some shy girls hand. Something was happening in that gym that would separate the doers from the non-doers for the rest of our lives…

Fast forward:

I’m on my fifth drink with a girl at some dimly lit hipster joint in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It’s a decent enough spot: a pint of craft beer for $5; cocktails for $8; 90’s hip-hop you can bob your head to (i.e. Busta Rhymes, Dr. Dre, A Tribe Called Quest). We order a sixth round. I pluck the orange peel from my old-fashioned and toss it on the bar. Sipping at her vodka tonic my date asks if I’d like to go dancing. I instinctually resist.

“How about we just stick to getting drunk instead.”

Let’s go dancing.” No, she’s not asking. It’s a demand. And though being demanded of things can be pretty hot for a closeted sadomasochist such as myself, a wave of nervousness comes over me. The more she persists the more nervous I get until I’m on the verge of uttering “middle school dance,” like Charles Kane uttered “Rosebud.”

My date slams her drink down. Apparently she is excited by my reticence. “We’re going dancing,” she declares, and drags me to a nearby club.

If I wasn’t feeling down about things already, the bass-rattling force of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” makes it much worse. What DJ in good conscience would choose this song?

“I can’t dance to this shit!” I scream to nobody. It’s too loud to hear my supplications. My date flings herself directly on the dance floor, and my palms go clammier than a New England chowder. She throws her arms in the air, cocks her hips and wriggles like spaghetti.

“You’re a grown man now,” I tell myself. “Perhaps not a man exactly, but some kind of sophisticated boy. You went to Canada once. You’ve seen the world. You went skydiving – although there was a professional skydiver fastened to your back. You’ve experimented with unidentified drugs. You’ve spent a night in a drunk tank. You can do this!”

And so with Miley’s computer generated voice imploring me, I move hesitantly to the dance floor. I listen to the lyrics:

I’m noddin’ my head like yeah
Movin’ my hips like yeah
I got my hands up,
They’re playin’ my song
I know I’m gonna be OK
Yeah, it’s a party in the USA

That’s it. Nod your head. Move your hips. Throw your hands up. Yes, Miley! Thank you! Everything will be OK!

I repeat these steps over and over, ignoring the urge to run to the bar for another drink or vandalize a bathroom stall – I’m not focusing on anything really. Just grabbing, flailing, swinging and sweating. And after a song, then two, then three, the momentum of continued movement makes it impossible to stop. My date twirls under my arm, pressing herself against me, looking into my eyes. There are certain moments when you know you won a girl. And this is one such moment. Not because I’m the next Fred Astaire, but because…well I’m not exactly sure. But something happened.

To dance is to momentarily unleash oneself from the bounds of self-imposed limitation, achieving a strange but true freedom. Perhaps she saw this. And the boy I once was, the shy boy of the middle school dance, watched in awe.