Friday, January 23, 2009

In Praise of Vernacular Dancing

As YouTube expands as a record of the human condition in the twenty-first century, I have to say that one of my favorite aspects of the site is the way it documents vernacular dance practices in homes, neighborhoods, and public places.

Other Internet scholars might choose to focus on particular patterns among viral dance crazes, such as self-confessed bridezillas or neighborhood kids dancing to OK Go's "A Million Ways." Some critics have even participated by trying to take on dance routines like Soulja Boy's "Crank That" for themselves.

But I have a strong fondness for less choreographed dance performances on places such as military bases and schoolyards. One of my favorite searches on YouTube with tens of thousands of hits with spontaneous performances is "dancing mom." Certainly, it brings up moms dancing to Soulja Boy, but it also calls up female parents in living rooms and kitchens.

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