Friday, November 26, 2010

So, you want to learn the dance steps to Thriller (how else can you feel complete?)

How I'm spending my Thanksgiving Vacation.

The flash mobs of Swedes dancing to BEAT IT kill me. Seriously, I actually sometimes get choked up. And listen, it's not because they've got the moves. (They're Swedish. They invented IKEA and I'll always love them for that, but dance moves aren't they're bag. Assembling massive pieces of furniture with your bare teeth -- THAT'S their bag. And fish. And being good looking. And cold.) But they rock it out and that's what matters here -- attitude.

And MJ, he's ours -- for better for worse, by why not take the better parts now that he's gone? It recently dawned on me that I was incomplete without knowing the entire moves to a Michael Jackson song. How can I call myself an American if I don't know how to dance to Thriller?

I saw 13 Going on 30. I know that knowing this dance can save your ass.

So I set out to learn it over my Thanksgiving weekend. This is what I learned.

A. Start with Musical Theater Geeks. They sometimes speak in British accents, but, damn, they know how to project, and, better yet, they know how to blur the details of the dance so it's really watered down and you can do it even if you've only gotten the role of a FLYING MONKEY in a recent WIZARD OF OZ production.

B. Then go with someone who actually knows how to count. Counting is good. Counting helps. And you only have to know how to count to eight. This woman is pretty humorless and not ultra funky. But she clarifies the parts made blurry and watery from Musical Theater Geeks (whom, don't get me wrong, I LOVE.)

C. Then progress to some serious throw-down. This woman rocks it out. There's a voice-over that you can let soak into your brain -- over and over and over. She adds some funk that actually can make it easier than B. the counting woman. But you might pine for your sorority Flying Monkeys -- who have great attitude and set the bar low, which I appreciate.

Since I mention BEAT IT above, let me shout-out to this dancer. Damn!

I'd suggest not watching MJ in the actual video for some time. This can have adverse effects on your progress.

(And this might balance out some of the caloric intake.)