JD (jdbracknell) wrote,
JD
jdbracknell

how archie drelled into me that it's ok to dance even if you can't dance

100 Songs That Taught Me Everything I Know, #2


So this whole 100 Things thing has taken off in ways I wasn't expecting. I owe comments everywhere and I haven't even started on the index I was planning to make (I might actually need volunteers to help with that unless I take a week off work), but I wanted to post this anyway.

Song: Here I Go Again, by Archie Bell and the Drells



Lesson Learnt: How not to dance, with élan.

[but every time I see ya, I keep running back for more]

I can’t dance, but unlike many people who can’t dance, I do dance. All the time. At my desk, in the kitchen, in record shops, in the street waiting for the lights to change, if the mood takes and there’s a record playing, I will have a quiet little boogie. What can we blame for this? Northern Soul.

When I was at university, I met a guy in a pub called Pete. He always dressed like it was 1940 – he had bowties way before Matt Smith made them cool – and one night, we had a lot of vanilla gin and we went on to a club, a tiny dive of a place with a beer-slicked floor and speakers that gave you tinnitus after thirty seconds. This song came on, and Pete said, “This song’s mint, would you care to accompany me for a brief shuffle across the parquet?” (because he always spoke like it was 1940, too. Although some weird parallel universe 1940 where everyone just spoke a bit more formally with crap slang)

The music was so fast and upbeat that normally I would have cried off, but I looked at the dance floor. It was full of awkward-looking people grinning their faces off and yes, a lot of those smiles were chemical in origin, but unlike the house clubs where you needed gymnastic ability to make the right shapes with your hands and the indie clubs where you needed Olympic endurance to pogo without succumbing to the stampede and the rock clubs where you needed to be, frankly, crazy as well as have abs of steel to enter the mosh pit, the way they were moving looked attainable, even for someone who occasionally has difficulty staying upright on a sofa.

This, I thought, this I can do. Because all you need to dance to Northern Soul is shoes with a lethal lack of grip that’ll see you on your arse if you encounter a kebab on the way home, and to move from side to side and kick as if you’re knocking a plastic pint glass out of the way with your foot. When you get confident, lean back a bit, and if you really want to give it some, spin, then slide across the floor in vague time with the music. Like this:



So to dance to this fantastic Archie Bell and the Drells record, all we’re looking for is: kick, kick, kick, sliiiiiiiiiide, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, sliiiiiiide, kick, kick, kick, spin, land, kick, kick, kick. If you lose your place, it’s perfectly acceptable to bob up and down on the spot and make a loose windmill with your arms for a bit. So that’s what I did, and I’ve been doing it ever since.


It’s not really dancing in the strictest sense, and maybe it’s just because I’m one of those awkward shuffling folk for whom Zumba is a living hell, but when I’m breaking up the washing up with a quick spin to Donna Summer, in my head, I look effortlessly cool.


Anyone get up and try it? How’d it go? It's fun, right?

100 Things rules // join the 100 Things challenge
Tags: 100 things, video: killed the radio star, warning: obscure music ahead
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Good tune.

Your friend Pete reminds me of Brendan Fraser's character in Blast From the Past. That said, I'd totally like to dress in 40s garb all the time too. :-)
It is one of my favourite Northern Soul tracks (also I have a question: what do you call Northern Soul in America? Does it have a name?)

I loved that movie :D.
Gosh, I have no clue. The term "Northern Soul" is absolutely new to me. Motown? Soul? Motown is such a catch-all name here. Even if artists weren't represented on the Motown label, it still had that sound, so I think a lot of Soul Music got labeled Motown or Detroit Soul.

Or at least that's what the DJs call it on the radio around here, lol.

jdbracknell

4 years ago

scarlett71177

4 years ago

jdbracknell

4 years ago

scarlett71177

4 years ago

I will definitely try this when I get home tonight. :D

Though my friends, whom I don't quite trust to be objective, swear that I have at least a rudimentary degree of rhythm, I am completely crap at any dance that isn't 100% improvised on the spot. So this: one of those awkward shuffling folk for whom Zumba is a living hell--SO MUCH commisseration! (I tried dance workouts in the past, and no matter how much they swore UP AND DOWN that it was for complete beginners and required no dancing skills whatsoever, I still found myself spending most of the tape facing the wrong way, tripping over my own feet, and finally giving up and just jogging in place until the music stopped. :P)
I only attempted Zumba once - I was doing fine(ish) until the random country music line dance section. And then my feet were just like, 'eh?! I salsaed, I mamboed, I can't just leap right into a dosey-do!!!'

This is why I'm really boring and do circuit training - you can't really mess up star jumps and bicep curls with weights, lol.
Ok, now that I've finally watched the second video, I have to ask: is that the song they're actually dancing to? Or does it not really matter? :P

My old gym had a circuit workout I did occasionally--you alternated between different weight machines with a bought of step aerobics in between. I can do step aerobics--I've been climbing stairs successfully for at least 15-20 years now! *is proud. conveniently forgets all the times I've managed to fall up/down the stairs in that period of time*

Anyway: yay, fitness and dancing! (I need to re-join my gym...)

jdbracknell

4 years ago

If you need help, I can pitch in - just tell me what to do, captain. I don't have any pf tasks right now....
Awesome - I'll let you know when I have A System :D.
Can help a bit with index! I spend too much time on the sign-up post anyway! :D

I love your 100 things, and I love dancing! I have no particular talent, but after years of attempts (I did tap dancing in elementary school, weirdly enough; I did ballroom dancing when I was fourteen) and always being the one who's slowest on the uptake, I lost all inhibitions and now hop into the wrong direction with great confidence. I wish I had someone to drag along to the set dancing or swing dancing, which is all the rage around here.
Awesome - I'll let you know when I've devised a system :D.

I would love to try swing dancing, although I suspect I shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a partner....
Psh, just get them wear sturdy shoes and forgo the stilettos ... or make sure your partner has steel caps. I always did feel guilty about my ballroom dancing shoes.

jdbracknell

4 years ago

zweiundzwei

4 years ago

jdbracknell

4 years ago

This song came on, and Pete said, “This song’s mint, would you care to accompany me for a brief shuffle across the parquet?” (because he always spoke like it was 1940, too. Although some weird parallel universe 1940 where everyone just spoke a bit more formally with crap slang)
So this guy? Sounds like a whole party by himself. WHERE DO I GET ONE.

I decided well before I saw the first "Sing like no one's listening / Dance like no one's watching" T-shirt that the best dancer on the floor is the one who takes the longest to get embarrassed. To compensate for the fact that I can't dance for shit and love to anyway. These songs are totally rad, along those lines.
I believe he's still wafting around the East Midlands :D.

This is very good theory - I have a very low embarrassment threshold which can only be partially negated by vodka.
So I can actually dance. I say this without any particular pride, but for someone who can actually trip over absolutely nothing while walking, it's amazing I can actually keep it together on a dance floor. But the thing I love best is dancing when nobody's around to watch me, usually while doing laundry and trying not to procrastinate. So I appreciate the heck out of these clips, because they are totally my kind of thing. :)

Although some weird parallel universe 1940 where everyone just spoke a bit more formally with crap slang)


Are you sure you didn't just run into Gilbert from Being Human, out of his favorite time period by 40 years or so? ;) I love the idea of a person who is in the 1940s though. Loved the fashions, the music, all the zeitgeist of the era.

(I have to tell you--again--that 100 Things is a runaway success. I think you are probably less than six degrees of separation from everyone on LJ! If you still need a volunteer, let me know. Glad to help).
This entire post is Gilbert fun!
Blogging is SO bourgeoise.
Did you have lessons, or is it just something you could always do?

He was quite Gilberty - he didn't believe modern music had anything to offer, and he'd never been to a supermarket.

(I'm scared to go and look at the sign up post. Every time I do, it's jumped by 100. I'll let you know when I have a system worked out :D.)
Classical dance training (of the Indian variety), six years. I like to think I wouldn't have been any good at the classical stuff if I didn't have some innate ability, but I'm not betting money on that.

he'd never been to a supermarket.


Wow. That would be like "I've never used the internet" in 2012, I guess.

jdbracknell

4 years ago

Every time I do, it's jumped by 100.

It's crazy (in a truly awesome way!), and I'm seeing this all over the place and wondering how people found out. :D

jdbracknell

4 years ago

hrymfaxe

4 years ago

jdbracknell

4 years ago

hrymfaxe

4 years ago

jdbracknell

4 years ago

At work so there is no dancing being done. Though I could use a good dance right now.

Wanted to say I got some news today that made me go a bit



Not even sure that does it justice. I only have a snippet of info too, which makes it even more baffling. So we will need a talk later when we are both awake! Sorry for the cryptic off topic comment!
Is it Warlow news?!
Sadly, no. There would be Emmett dancing all over my journal if it was.

No, you know boy who I was rather partial about who moved to Vienna and who recently got engaged to his long term girlfriend and his parents were going ot visit and were very cagey about any wedding news just before they left? Well, got a text from his sister today saying that he will be home in less than 2 weeks. Before his parents get back from their big trip. She gave me no other information but that. Which is driving me mental. I don't know if it is just because he needs to come home for visa reasons, if things have gone pear shapped with the fiancee and he's coming home, or what!! I obsessed about it for hours after I got her message (which is when you got the comment) but now I have thought about it I think maybe it is visa reasons. THOUGH she did add a "=-O" (which I am taking as super surprised face) after her message.

I am now annoyed with myself that I'm letting him mess with my head yet again!!

Right now I am also very annoyed with being limited to 6 user pics to try and match this comment!

jdbracknell

4 years ago

enomis57

4 years ago

jdbracknell

4 years ago

enomis57

4 years ago

jdbracknell

4 years ago

enomis57

4 years ago

jdbracknell

4 years ago

enomis57

4 years ago

thecheekydragon

April 19 2012, 13:20:21 UTC 4 years ago Edited:  April 19 2012, 13:23:52 UTC

Hey sweets, if you need help with creating some kind of index, you know I'll volunteer :D

(Edit: Maybe you can create a sub-comm/journal and then post an index there? Just a thought. I'd help you with that.)
Me, I'm still feeling shy and awkward and two-left-feet-ish at the thought of dancing. Except maybe if I'm alone. I think jumping around to a nice beat would consist of dancing for me. I couldn't play the video all the way to the end because bah, Internet loading slow, but I don't know. Not really my kind of beat.
I love your stories so much, you managed to make me smile again :D. And I'm rather lucky that my coordination skills didn't fail me tonight, because barely minutes ago I tried to dance to both these songs and managed not to wake anyone up at 2.30 am ^_^