Download e-book Shut Up and Dance!: The Joy of Letting Go of the Lead-On the Dance Floor and Off

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Reading books is the best way of self-development and learning many interesting things. Today, paper books are not as popular as a couple of decades ago due to the emergence of electronic books ebooks.

Ebook is a book in a digital format. It can be both a book itself and the device for reading it.

One of the advantages of ebooks is that you can download by Jo Fitzpatrick Reading Strategies That Work pdf along with hundreds of other books into your device and adjust the font size, the brightness of the backlight, and other parameters to make the reading comfortable. Please update your bookmarks, and happy exploring. For me, saying white people can't dance has nothing to do with the typical answer that they don't have rhythm. I think the reason for it includes some parts of that, but also something more systemic or structural - race relations and learning cultural contexts.

Dancing is a language in the way we think of, respond to and through language. Its movements are its words and its grammar is its rhythm. Don't get it twisted; rhythm and grammar are really one in the same. The dictionary defines rhythm as the procedural aspect of a beat or flow. There are rules and regulations for grammar i. Again dance is a language—means of expression.

It probably is the most articulate form of body language. The analogy I am making here is that the body language we use when talking is also language, but it is what would be comparable to everyday speech. A dance move is comparable to a well-formed speech or lecture. Lastly, a dance performance is comparable to a paper, essay, poem, novel, book, etc. By all of this, I mean to say that when I say white people can't dance or at least can't dance with black people, I mean that they have not only not picked up a certain set of rules and regulations associated with the body and the overall beat of black dance, but also—in many cases— have not picked up the overall flow—philosophy of black dance.

To go further understand what I mean by the flow—think of it like overall meaning or point or culture of dance. Refer to the diamond footnote on page 3 for more info. I think this phenomenon is linked, in part, to the Puritanical tradition and white culture's fundamental devaluing and mistrust of the knowledge gathered from and experienced through the body. This tradition comes into direct conflict with the African tradition and the traditions of the African Diaspora, where the knowledge from the body is not only valued just as much as the knowledge from the mind, but continually used, acknowledged, and sought after.

This fundamental difference of perspectives regarding the body has led to different philosophies and rules of engagement regarding dance and movement—in other words, black and white people talk differently and that leads to miscommunication, misunderstanding, and even disrespect.


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I am aware that this essay grossly—indiscriminately—lumps all white people and all black people together without addressing the variations due to cultural perspectives, attitudes, or expressions. I understand that what I say about black and white people does not apply to all people or groups contained under that distinction. Because of the urgency of this essay and my limitations, I cannot do justice to all those stories. The hope is that everyone will step up to the plate and do justice to her story—for everyone's sake—because the world needs to know you are out there.

Dance in this essay is primarily referring to black American dance—black American culture and procedures rules of engagement. While I talk about dance generally and my specific experience with dancing at a club, I mean to connect that conversation to American black and white race relations, generally, and my individual experiences as a black American woman of Belizean and Southern American heritage with white people, specifically. This article gears towards showing a connection between the specific and the structural, the private and the political, the everyday and the yesterdays, the present and the History, stories and the metanarratives.

It also gears towards giving everyone language in which to talk about dancing and race relations in America. It also gears towards airing out my frustration caused at the club that day—It is my healing I had the hunch that it would be other people's healing as well. Once again, I apologize if this speaks too loudly for any one group or dance style. This article is written for all people, but especially white people.

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By white, I am talking about white Americans and by black, I am referring black Americans. This essay intends not to forget about the white people who respect and value black culture and what it means as well as black people and what they mean. It also does not intend to forget about the white people who not only respect and value all the things said in the paragraph above, but have learned to dance with, not at , black people through acculturation i.

Thank you. You all, in the words of Jessie Jackson, keep hope alive. So already it has another meaning than just simply dancing's sake or because she was bored nothing is wrong with that by the way.


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I'm just making a distinction here. Adaobi wanted to dance for peace of mind. Okay, let's continue]. So, we go to Sister's, which is located in Philadelphia. This coincidentally was the night that the most black people showed up. We get up stairs to the dance floor area pumped and ready to move—release, heal, let go.

Then I began to notice two groups that predominated this party: black people and white people. The dance floor's energy was not a united energy. It was choppy, disconcerted, and actually sort of hostile. Because of this, I watched and analyzed as I danced as well as got angry at the series of things that went on that night—most of that anger was felt towards and because of the white people at this party.

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Now, knowing all of these interesting details, I hope I got you hooked on finishing this article. Below is a more detailed description of what happened last Thursday night. It is followed by a possible solution to this persistent problem of black and white people not dancing together. Walking up stairs to Sister's dance floor, I, cheesing and laughing, hear the booming music. The room was surrounded by mirrors on each wall, a bar was on the right and the DJ booth was diagonally from me.

The sidelines were carpeted with a few stools against the mirrors. I noticed that black and white people predominated the party and actually, there were slightly more black people than white people. Black people were on the perimeter, on the carpet and near the mirror, and white people were in the middle of the dance floor.

Here, I see the weirdest thing I have ever seen at a club: The black people were dancing in the mirror. Now, I don't mean one of two, but about 15 black people in total were dancing in the mirror with themselves—completely disengaged from the dance floor and actually having a ball and cheering looking at themselves move. Behind their back was a dance floor filled with white people.

It would be a stretch to say that the white people were dancing. I saw white people making out, falling on the floor, standing talking, and, I think, moving.

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Now, like Adaobi and I said that night, I don't mind people having sex or falling on the dance floor, so long as they are doing it to the beat. Let me pause here and make another analogy to dance and language: Dancing to the beat means staying on topic in conversation.

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When people dance to a song, they are agreeing to engage with its beat—its topic. It is like going to a lecture about Spiderman. You expect everyone to be willing to talk about Spiderman if they entered the lecture hall. So that is what black people entering a dance hall expect. It gets annoying to talk to someone if you are focused on a topic and they are off-topic and tangential. It is even more annoying when the person doesn't refuse to stop talking. Replace talking with dancing, topic with beat, and off-topic with off-beat and read the previous sentence again.

Adaobi and I were doing exactly what we came to do.

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We were vibing. I had more of a hip hop expression while we were dancing talking and she had more of an African dance expression, but there would be many times when what we did looked eerily similar and even, we would begin doing the same movements together spontaneously. We were smiling, jumping, stomping, waving our arms and heads, dipping, wining, and turning on beat of course. We looked like we were celebrating something or just really excited about what we were talking about or maybe just really excited to talk to one another.

I did that to make sure she saw that I saw her and appreciated dancing with her. Sometimes, we would teach each other something. I would start doing a movement and she would do it with a question or hesitation in her step and then look at me for correction or confirmation, then I would do it again, then we would do it together.

It took seconds for each of us to learn what each other was teaching because we had such a strong basis of communication before hand. Black people were responding to us as if they were wondering how did we find the energy to dance that way, in a space like this? Because our style was not typical even if it was also based in tradition, black people did not know how to enter our conversation. So instead, they looked at us and smiled.

Some tried to do it too, I caught them in my periphery, but when I turned around, they automatically stopped, like they did not want me to see them attempting to learn our styles language. We could see black people smiling at us and pointing to other black people to come watch.

Because our style was so different, they let us have our space to enjoy our language together, our culture together. They did not come and impose on the space, even though they liked what we did how we sounded , because we were so into it. They wanted us to enjoy our time together. This was giving credence to the importance of giving people the space to enjoy their individuality. Other black people created their own space regardless of what we were doing some where else while still giving us our space.