Jake-Z and Marky Mark

Over the past six weeks there has been a hip-hop residency program at our school, meaning that the kids have been learning hip-hop in gym class.  I was interested to see how this would go since my children have a great love of music and – especially in Mark’s case – dancing.  This great love of music does not translate into talent, however, and so I was greatly amused when they would practice their steps at home.  And by “steps” I mean they mostly crossed their arms and bobbed up and down slightly, with intense scowls on their faces, with the exception of their two signature moves: gorilla and soldier.  Gorilla! they would shout, arms and legs bent, back curved.  Soldier! they would say, standing at attention and saluting.  With that kind of preview you can well imagine that I was eager to see the windup performance yesterday afternoon.

It was, hands down, the single greatest school assembly I have ever witnessed.  I’m not sure what I enjoyed the most: the Grade Ones and Twos who made up with enthusiasm what they lacked in coordination and body control, the Grade Threes and Fours who were enthusiastic AND coordinated, or the Grade Fives and Sixes who had the most coordination and complicated routines, but who had a singular lack of hip-hop joy on their faces due to the self-consciousness of performing a dance routine in front of the school and their parents, ick.  I also much enjoyed my fellow parents who turned into “Woo Girls” at the sight of their children performing their funky moves.  Myself included.  Woooooooo! 

The young male leader of this hip-hop residency announced that there would be something special happening after the performances.  What that was, he said, was something that we parents would surely remember: a soul train dance line!  Now, it’s true that he was much, much younger than all of us, but a soul train dance line?  None of us were actually clubbing in the 70s, so I’m not sure how old he thought we were.  Nonetheless, who can really resist?  It was great.  My own children did their patented dance moves: Jake did a couple of jumping spins and then mostly walked with great funky aplomb, Mark did a couple of John Travolta-esque moves and also, inappropriately, a couple of butt-smacks (his own butt).  Some kids walked grimly and in a deeply embarrassed way, some skipped with their arms waving, and some really got their groove on.  Me, I joined in when the parents were invited, despite wearing the world’s ugliest – yet most comfortable – knock-off Uggs. 

All of which is to say that we’re ready and excitedly anticipating Friday’s Halloween Family Dance.  The boys have even gone so far as to say they hope I’ll join them on the dance floor.  Of course I will.  It will be only a few more years until they are the deeply embarrassed, grim children walking quickly down the soul train dance line.


  1. How fun. My daughter is in a hip hop jazz class right now and she loves it.

  2. The butt smack! Nothing makes a dance recital really shine like a couple of good butt smacks.

    I had no idea what a Soul Train anything was. We only have 2 channels of TV when I was a kid in the north…in the 80s. Hello, teacher! Not that old. 😉

  3. for the record, I own the worst pair of Fuggs…they were 10 bucks and from Ardene.
    And I hope that you caught that on film. Sounds epic.

  4. “Woo girls” — this made me laugh. I love doing Soul Train Dance lines. They strike me as a funky reinvention of the dance sequences shows in Jane Austen movies.

    Are your knock-off Uggs uglier than regular Uggs or just the standard-Ugg ugliness?

  5. Oh, what fun!

  6. Yes, sounds like you will all be tearing it up Friday night… as for the Uggs. I have big feet(size 11) I can not pull off the Ugg look it is just not pretty on big feet.

  7. Laughing my ass off at the Soul Train Dance line.

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