Michael Jackson, More than Dance.

Great performers are hard to come by , but dancers who inspire other people to dance are rare. That is one of the major problems in the current dance world. Michael Jackson, a great performer and dancer help shaped our dance culture. Today he is still inspiring people to dance. Michael Jackson used ballroom styled moves in his dancing along with a fusion of break dancing moves. He combined both styles to give him the swag we know him to have today. The move Michael Jackson is most famous for is known as the Moon Walk.

[Google Images ]

Michael Peters was Michael Jackson’s choreographer and he had a specific style of movement. He choreographed to the sounds of the instruments he didn’t use established dance steps or rhythms. Together the pair would create and popularize other dance moves seen in today’s culture. Beat It 1983 introduced a new dance the Worm, also choreographed by Michael Peters. It is not the traditional worm we say today that break-dancers do, which is an undulating movement on the ground on your stomach creating wave-like movement, but a standing undulating movement that travels backward. Which you can see at 3:57 in the video below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRdxUFDoQe0&ob=av2e

In his music video Beat It you can also see jazz dance influences, like fan kicks, Ballroom styled movement, which you see him effortlessly glide along the floor and break dancing movement where he balances on the tips of his toes. That pose became one of the many symbols that represent Michael Jackson and dance.

Michael Peters most famous choreographed piece for Michael Jackson was the dance in Thriller. Each movement Michael and the zombies dance to is on the sound of the instrument the very basic steps forward with the head tilting is on the sound of the drum which is emphasized. Thriller incorporated so many different styles of movement that it created the perfect blend. It has hip rolls, glides, fan kicks, spins, toe stands and the famous crotch grab all combined into sharp clear movement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOnqjkJTMaA&ob=av2n

Michael Jackson was a large force in the popularization of break-dancing and dance. He has influenced many generations and his legacy lives on today though his music videos, movies and even his dancing game the Michael Jackson Experience. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009.  He has left the torch to everyone waiting on someone to pick it up and influence the dance world. Who is up to the challenge?

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One Bump and Grind Too Far

Social dancing through the generations has changed and not for the better! Today when you walk into a nightclub, school dance or party all you see is bumping and grinding. Bumping and grinding has changed since 1990’s. Dance has always represented cultural and societal issues like oppression, women’s rights and sexuality.

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( Google Images – Freak Dance)

Throughout the decades generations have been more open and comfortable with their sexuality and the dances have been increasing sexually. We went from the Charleston in the 1920’s, to Swing in the 1950’s moving into Disco in the 1970’s to back to front dancing in the 1990’s. Since then dancing back to front has shifted about 180 degrees. The only difference between sex and what is occurring on the dance floor is that they have clothes on, barely.

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(Google Images- Grinding Dance) 

It is not okay, it is not cute and it is disrespectful. What is responsible for this? First society and media then lastly the latter part of hip hop movement. Society has been making women sexual objects in history for a long time. Media used women and promoted them as sexual objects to sell products and that influenced society’s views.

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(Google Images -1950’s Ads)

Rappers today use women as sexual objects and belittle them by calling them vulgar names like bitch and hoe. To top it off their music videos are full of women in thongs and tiny bras shaking their butt in all different type of position. What message does that send to the youth? It lowers girl’s self-esteem and sense of worth. It causes young women to think that they need to dress and dance like that to get attention. It tells young men that it is okay to treat women that way and that shapes their expectation.

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(Google Images – Nikki Minaj)

 

 

 

 

 

In order to change these views we must take a stand. Stand up for yourself and demand respect. It is not respectful and no good names can be attached to a person when dancing like that. Make the change; make society change their views, change dance for the better.