Here's a fun little Friday video for you: Time magazine, inspired by the hullaballoo over Miley Cyrus' twerktastrophe at the VMAs, has put together a history of "forbidden" dances. Forget grinding: In the late nineteenth century, even the waltz was considered risqué, because its "closed hold" meant partners were—gasp!—actually touching each other. Like, for extended periods of time.
The video is a pretty nifty look at how what's considered acceptable public behavior changes over time. The one thing that never changes, though, is that if you give a "scandalous" dance a few decades to cool off, it'll probably become totally standard. You know how your mom did the twist at your cousin's wedding? In the '60s, it was definitely not considered mom, or wedding, appropriate. (Not sure what that means about what moms will be doing at weddings 50 years from now...)
Take a look—and happy Friday!
Oh, the MTV Video Music Awards.
So they happened last night—shout-out to Brooklyn!—and they were...you know.
Here's the thing: The VMAs have always been awesome and edgy and it's the awards show where the celebrities can really go crazy. There was that time in the late '90s when Gwen Stefani dyed her hair sky blue and wore a matching fur bikini top, and there's always madness happening onstage (think "Taylor, I'mma let you finish, but..." Kanye-style).
Of course, we here at Dance Spirit rarely tune into these awards shows—no matter how outrageous they plan to be—hoping to catch a great acceptance speech or groundbreaking presentation of some lifetime achievement award. We're in it for the dancing, and at last night's VMAs there was plenty of killer choreography to get us excited.
No. No. No. NOOOO!
First, though, let's address the evening's tragedies, because that's fun:
- Miley Cyrus, everyone is talking about you today. And it's not because you were so cool and out there and youthful and fun. It's because your nude underwear was hanging out of your weird one-piece with the drugged-out-looking bear on it, and your tongue was hanging out the entire time and everything you did was so wildly inappropriate and crass. Hannah Montana would not approve, and neither did I. And twerking? I'm over it.
OK, so that's it for the tragedies! Way to hold it down, Miley!
And, in my opinion, the highlights:
Pop Quiz: Can you name the member of *NSYNC on the far right? It's OK if you can't. Focus on the gorgeous gentleman in the middle.
Two words: Justin Timberlake. The man can do no wrong. He's talented, he's classy and yeah, he's gorgeous—he was also the real winner of the entire evening, and he also employs some darn good backup dancers! I was psyched to see so many familiar faces grooving onstage at The Barclays Center with J-Timbs, including Ivan Koumaev, Dana Wilson, Nick Bass and David Moore. The Timberlake Show lasted, what was it, 11 minutes? I was actually disappointed when they launched into the *NSYNC reunion portion of the performance because I wanted the dancers to keep going! Plus, it seems like they're having an absolute blast up there, which is a pleasure to watch.
- Lady Gaga. Well, Gaga's dancers at least. They're always awesome. I was sad not to see Mark Kanemura up there with her, but thrilled to see longtime favorite Gaga dancers Montana Efaw and Sloan Rabinor getting their "Applause" on. One of my other favorites, Karen Chuang, was there, too! Well done, dancers, and way to nail those costume changes for your leading lady!
- Katy Perry. Honestly, I thought her "Roar" performance was kind of "meh," but I appreciated the hyper-choreographed routine and dug the Legally Blonde: The Musical-esque jump roping portion of it.
Everything else about the night was pretty forgettable, in my opinion. Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez looked pretty, the guys of One Direction looked like they were ready to battle the boys (OK, grown men) of *NSYNC and Will Smith's family looked completely terrified of Miss Miley.
We felt the saaaaaame way, Willow.
All in all a somewhat decent show.
Doesn't dancing make you want to...vote? Actually, after you watch MTV's 2012 Rock the Vote video, it just might.
In addition to stars like Miley Cyrus, Josh Duhamel and, uh, Vinny from the Jersey Shore, the video includes dancelebrites like tWitch and Kathryn McCormick, along with half the cast of "Glee," hammering home the importance of getting to the polls. Rounding out the package is big old joyful dance number.
Naturally us dance fans want to see dance everywhere, but how did all that choreo work its way into this sort of unlikely place? Well, the video was directed by none other than Adam Shankman—a guy who definitely understands the power of a sweet dance routine. (And tWitch's unique appeal to young female voters...)
Check it out—and then, if you're 18 or older, register to vote!