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Hi all! Here’s a transcript from yesterday’s #DanceChat. Our topic was “Dancing through Childhood” – where we encountered dance as children and how that shaped our reactions to it/our perceptions of it as adults.

Today’s #DanceChat has officially begun! We’re discussing dance in childhood – where we encountered dance as kids & how we reacted

As a reminder, be sure to tag all of your posts with #DanceChat so everyone participating can read them.

To begin, when did you first encounter dance as a child? Gym class? Dance class? At a wedding? #DanceChat

I first encountered dance in a dance class – my mom enrolled me at age 4, and I fell in love! My brother and I danced with with sing-along videos at home…one time we danced on the coffee table, so my mom got me into a dance class! #DanceChat

@AScho3 my mom always tells a story about me breaking it down on my Aunt’s wedding dance floor. That was super awesome dancing w/out a care.

@NobleDisposal That’s great that you were so fearless! Why do you think you felt so comfortable? #DanceChat

Ian NobleIan Noble ‏ @NobleDisposal

@AScho3 I didn’t have a care in the world because no does at that age. I was pumped up to be dancing!

My elementary school had us dance in gym class – making up dance combinations in groups, and then in a square dancing unit#DanceChat

Kind of a bad way to introduce dance, don’t you think? Making kids dance in front of judgmental peers/pair up in couples at such a young, awkward age? Was I the only one who felt that way? Did anyone have a good childhood dance experience?#DanceChat

@AScho3 I hated dancing because they forced me to do it in jr. high. And it was square dancing…which is lame.

Alyssa SchoenemanAlyssa Schoeneman ‏ @AScho3

@BTyrp I hated square dancing too. I was really good at it, but really awkward as a human so no one wanted to dance with me#DanceChat

@AScho3 How would you recommend schools introduce dance in a less awkward and crappy way?

@BTyrp That’s a great question. I guess maybe include some dance history too. I think boys might enjoy dance more if they knew that it was originally done by men in many cases. Also, maybe introduce some cooler dance styles? 

To clarify, by “cooler,” I mean styles that young kids don’t view as outdated. Introduce different forms of hip hop/funk, maybe.

Or just let kids be more creative with movement at younger ages. Most schools introduce dancing really late in the game.#DanceChat

@BTyrp Do you think your schools could have done anything to make you enjoy dancing more? What if they used better music?#DanceChat

@AScho3 That couldn’t hurt. Cotton-eyed Joe gets old fast. But I think kids just wanna be juking honestly. Not sure if there’s a good answer.

@BTyrp But why do kids just want to be juking/grinding, etc.? For some reason “dance” becomes hypersexual for pubescent teens#DanceChat

@BTyrp And by “for some reason,” I mean because they see sex everywhere in the media. #DanceChat

@AScho3 I think by Jr. HS it’s too late. Kids see juking/grinding as “adult” and cool. Remember TPH—“The Party’s Here”? So gross.
 Alyssa Schoeneman
@BTyrp I would agree with that. I remember jr. high dances as being full of drama, tears and glitter…and the Cha Cha Slide #DanceChat

@BTyrp And songs like “Baby Got Back” and “What’s Your Fantasy”…remind me again why those were age-appropriate?#DanceChat

Let’s talk about the Cha Cha Slide for a second – why was that song so much cooler than the electric slide or square dancing?#DanceChat

Whoops, I guess it is the Casper slide. We always called it the Cha Cha Slide because of the lyrics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSaJ0eFsCW8

So it’s clear why this song was cooler than the other line dances/partner dances we were taught as kids. It is funky.#DanceChat

Case & point. All you have to do to get people to enjoy dance is to play to the other things that they like. In this case that thing was hip hop music. And, of course, getting low (“How low can you go” ,”Hands on your knees”, etc.) #DanceChat

It looks like our hour is up already! Thanks to @BTyrp and@NobleDisposal for participating in this week’s #DanceChat!

What were your childhood dance experiences like? Leave me a comment to let me know!