Dancing through Generations: #Motown

Today, the workday painfully dragged along, slowly and quietly.  With half the staff out for the day, those of us reporting for duty struggled to embrace the stifling pace.  A couple of us left to pick up lunch and returned to find the lone coworker holding down the fort had started a solo dance party.

She and another coworker began finessing her Pandora station, comparing musical tastes.  Somewhere between Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin, we discovered that the dance-party starting coworker wasn’t really familiar with The Temptations.  I’m not exactly a music buff – I usually tell people that I exclusively listen to bad pop music, but at some point in college my friend sat me down with a movie about The Temptations for my “education.”

My forty-something coworker began pulling up some of The Temptations’ greatest hits on Youtube – My Girl, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg; and between the two us, we tried to provide a summary of their overwhelming contributions to music and popular culture.  Youtube is today’s jukebox.  Whatever you’re in the mood for, you can find.  Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye eventually made the playlist; as did Build Me Up Buttercup.  As this point, we were just reminiscing about our personal favorites rather than delivering a chronological musical timeline.

Somehow the music history lesson transitioned to a dance history lesson.  First The Twist to warm-up, then The Mashed Potato, and upon the arrival of our sixtyish coworker, The Jerk – which as a late twenty-something, I only knew of this version of The Jerk…which somehow reminded me of Stanky Leg, which reminded me that for a friend’s birthday/New Year’s one year we had a Stanky Leg contest.

We naturally made a circle; Cypher (Ring Shout), if you will.  Sharing our movement experience with laughter and delight, we rediscovered dances, songs, and memories gathering dust over the years.

The difference in age among the four of us spans thirty-some years.  Yet, we were brought together seamlessly in the joy of moving, shaking, and grooving.  In all my years of “dance training,” moments like today feel the most authentic and inspired.

What movement and music experiences stir within you?

p.s. the coffee shop where I’m writing this post just started played “My Girl”; such serendipity!

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