Wednesday, February 27, 2008

guilty pleasure

Hey, it is still February and many of us are still trying to hang on and make it through. That extra day is a bonus, but it might be better if it came in October—my favorite month. Why not make the most of the long gray days with a guilty pleasure or two? I have already covered the Jane Austen series, now for something even less cerebral—the urban dance movie. Rough kids from the streets make good by learning discipline and respect through dance. YouTube has practically every great dance movie highlight, urban or otherwise. And, now that I’ve wasted many, many minutes picking one, here is one of my all time favorites.

Pure candy, like a lollipop. These aren’t truffles or fair trade chocolate. This is a simplistic, pedestrian peek into a magical land where I might have rhythm, moves, and a whole lot of game. When I was working with youth in North Philly’s toughest neighborhoods, I would often reward collective good behavior with music at the end of homework time. Summer was even better, nothing like being on the blacktop with a basketball bouncing, jump ropes twirling, and Miss Bethany pounding out the newest dance in the corner of the schoolyard…WHAT? Ha! My kids hated to see me try to get my groove on. Seriously. It was painful for them, hilarious for me. I wasn’t even faking it; I was sincerely trying catch on. Same thing with rap lyrics. Nothing but moaning and choking arose from the room when I would bob my head, bite my lip, and shuffle from side to side while belting out along with Nas, Jay Z, Timbaland, and Ludacris. Ah, Philly.

At least I am not alone in my appreciation for the dance flicks. Dearest S (who I used to take dance with in the early days—as in 8 year olds) and I have spent many a fine hour in the theatre or in our dorm in college (ok, even last week) enjoying them. Urban or not, here’s some from our list:

Dirty Dancing
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
Billy Elliot
Strictly Ballroom
Saturday Night Fever
Singin’ in the Rain
Take the Lead
Step Up
Step Up 2
Center Stage
You Got Served
Mad Hot Ballroom
Save the Last Dance

Enjoy the last days of this dreary month!

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