When I Move, You Move

Dance circles are a phenomenon of the highest order.  Like: a single person singing that  somehow turns into a full blown sing along,  people running when they hear gunshots, or strangers stopping to look at a guy on the ledge of a high rise building. Whether they’re saying “jump!” or “don’t jump” it’s still an organic unplanned gathering of people with a single focus.

A while back I had the pleasure of being the catalyst for the most rare form of dance circle.  The “something from nothing”  dance circle that forms instantly when people in the room weren’t even dancing. I had a co-conspirator in this endeavor.  Although neither of us really conspired to have a party breakout around us.  I was in Portland at the Bridgetown Comedy festival.  All the shows were done for the evening and all the strange people who do stand-up and the even stranger people who follow us around were standing around talking and drinking.  Music was playing but it was being treated like white noise.  One of my good friends and biggest dance rival, Baron Vaughn happened to be there.  Baron is the only comic I can very begrudgingly say can dance as good as me.  The last statement really hurt but I think it suggests growth.  Anyway, Baron and I were not dancing.  When in Portland…

Then a really good song came on.  Baron, who’s also Black, and I locked eyes.  It seemed the dance off we’ve been threatening to have for the last few years was about to really go down.  We started pop locking and within 10 seconds a massive circle had formed around us.  I think I know what it’s like when a revolution breaks out or a riot or anything else that was bubbling under the surface but just needed an inciting incident.  Baron and I doing our best “re-run” dance sparked a movement.

I think Baron and I shared another unspoken agreement.  We both became a little uncertain about the implications of two of the only black guys at the festival being in the middle of a dance circle surrounded by hipsters.   Not sure of the implications, we agreed, without words, that the dance off would have to wait.  With a wave of his hand Baron invited the others to enter the circle.  What had been no dancing was suddenly, within half a song, a room with everyone dancing. A full blown party.  Baron and I, our work being done, actually dipped out of the party shortly after with the party now in full swing.  I didn’t need to see the party through.  I knew it would jump for the rest of the night.  Bridgetown,  you’re welcome.

Flash mobs, while impressive, are planned.  They’re not a simultaneous action agreed upon by many people without a word being spoken.   Wedding receptions don’t count either by the way.  A dance circle at a reception is obligatory at this point.  It’s basically planned but everyone acts like it just happened.  Kind of like Justin Bieber’s meteoric rise.  Phenomenon’s don’t have marketing plans.  All Baron and I had was Electric Boogaloo and a dream.

Some other blog entries about Dancing:

Dances for Wolves

Ain’t No Party Like a Dubai Party…

Icing Like Tyson

3 thoughts on “When I Move, You Move

  1. me!

    I would have loved to have seen that.

    Although it is firmly cemented in my mind that Baron would have been dancing ironically. For some reason, I always have difficulty imagining Baron Vaughan doing things unironically. Please correct me on that if I am wrong, Dwayne, since you actually know that guy and I do not.

    Lean back!

  2. Administrator

    I would say it’s ironic that Baron can dance so well but in his actual dancing he’s not begin ironic. It’s actually dope that he can dance and seems to really care about being good. He could hold back so as not to mop the floor with others but on the dancing front I think he’s proud of his prowess. Sometimes black men in Baron and My position have to be careful so as not to step on toes, on all fronts, but Baron loves to dance and owns it.

  3. me!

    Thanks for the insight! For those of us whose only exposure to a particular performer is their performance style, it is sometimes tricky to delineate how much of their on-stage persona is their base-line personality and how much is the enhanced version. Obviously any performer derives the onstage persona from who they really are, but obviously there is also a process of selection and augmentation.

    Glad to hear Baron tears it up for real. Sounds like you guys had a blast.

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