ENJOY THE GENIUS 7: Dance Dance Revolution

DANCE! Nothing left for me to do but DANCE off these bad times I’m going through! Just dance! Got canned heat in my heels tonight, baby!


Yeah, I know it doesn’t connect to the lyrics like these ETG intros usually do. But it’s my blog and my rules, so fuck it.

In this installment of ENJOY THE GENIUS, we’ll be taking a look back at some of pop culture’s most memorable dance crazes. No, you won’t be seeing stuff like the Twist or the Charleston or the Electric Slide or the Hustle. Come on, people. It’s an ENJOY THE GENIUS post. What do you think you’re going to see?

You’ll find out after the jump. And no, I don’t mean this kind of jump…

(By the way, what’s with the boob scanning? Is Patrick Jumpen some kind of early Terminator prototype that they tested by having him scan girls for nice boobs just to see if the processors were working properly? I can scan boobs just fine on my own, thank you very much. I don’t need some kind of computer chip in my brain to tell me when a girl has a nice rack. And if you’re at work and hate your job, just click that link and you’ll be fired in no time!)

So let’s get this party started, shall we? And because I love you all so much, I’ll start things off with this all-too-familiar celebration of promiscuous girls and arm movements. It doesn’t even matter whether or not you were alive in 1996. Chances are, you’ll still know this song.

See, the nice thing about the Macarena is that even though the dancers in this video are making it look really cool and complicated, you barely even have to do anything at all. You can just stand there like a damn statue if you really want. All you have to do until the end of the dance is just move your arms. Then you jump a quarter-turn to your right and start the whole thing over. If you really wanted to, you could start doing the Macarena now and keep doing it for the rest of your life. The dance only ends when you (or the DJ in charge of your party) decide it’s time to end it. You can try to resist all you want, but unless your will is strong enough, once the Macarena has you in its grasp IT WILL NEVER LET YOU GO AND IT WILL MAKE YOU LIKE BEING UNDER ITS CONTROL. The Macarena is Big Brother and back in 1996 we were all Winston Smith. We had won the victory over ourselves. We loved the Macarena.

It still amazes me to this very day that this dance and this damn song ever became as popular as they were. Fascism is never cool, not even when it’s got a catchy beat and girls singing about threesomes with their boyfriend’s buddies (listen to the end of the second verse).

If the Macarena is too difficult or evil for you, fear not! Here’s a dance that is so easy to do that inanimate objects could probably learn how to do it. I give you the Rockaway, or as it’s also commonly known thanks to the song spawning it, the “Lean Back.”

Lean back, lean back, lean back, lean back… that is literally all you have to do. How does this even qualify as a dance? I guess they figured they had to come up with a novelty dance that anyone can do, whether they’re newborns, comatose, handicapped, elderly, or morbidly obese. Even dead people could probably do this dance. Truly, Fat Joe is the world’s great uniter.

Also, I think it speaks volumes about our country’s recovery from the trauma of 9/11 that just three years after the worst terrorist attack in history, a group calling themselves Terror Squad was allowed to top the charts and teach kids across the country how to tilt their bodies backwards in time to hip-hop beats. Truly, Fat Joe is also a symbol of American resilience. You may take our lives, but you’ll never take our dance parties!

Moving on…

Guys, have you ever wondered what you would get if you were to set lyrics from “Rapper’s Delight” to Latino pop music and somehow combine all this with that Hand Jive dance from Grease? Then it’s clear to me that not only do you need new things to wonder about, but you also don’t remember this…

What any of this has to do with ketchup is beyond my understanding, though I don’t know enough Spanish to translate the verse lyrics. For all I know the song actually could be about putting ketchup on things like hamburgers and french fries and hot dogs. But if I can’t be bothered to learn enough Spanish to understand what Bradley Nowell is singing about in “Caress Me Down,” then why the hell would I ever try to learn the lyrics to “The Ketchup Song”?

And speaking of stupid food-related dance crazes…

First of all, this song basically exemplified everything I hate about popular rap that doesn’t involve Soulja Boy. They didn’t try to write any clever or interesting lyrics to “Chicken Noodle Soup.” In fact, they didn’t really try to write lyrics at all. They didn’t even try to explain exactly what you’re supposed to do in order to successfully perform this dance. And the beat is this minimal drum-and-bass loop with a loud and annoying siren blaring in the place of actual music.

As for the dance itself, all I can really say is that it kind of reminds me of a sped-up version of this. You’re just kicking your legs around, maybe waving your arms a bit, and looking like a complete fool in the process.

And speaking of the devil, where would we be without the one and only Soulja Boy and that stupid dance that helped make him famous? The guy even made an instructional video teaching people how to “Crank That.”

Oh, Soulja Boy. I’m sure someday you’ll figure out a way to make music without getting under my skin. Allow me to suggest resigning from the music industry and playing with your Fruity Loops in the privacy of your own bedroom where nobody else will ever hear your creations.

Anyway, I’m sure there are plenty more stupid dance crazes where that came from, and there will be plenty more in the future for guys like me to make fun of on the Internet. Thankfully, we have comment threads for such discussions. So until next time, keep on enjoying the genius.


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