If I see one more little girl wining
By Patria-Kaye Aarons
I miss Elephant Man. I spend my nights praying that his dogs will breed so that he has to name the puppies. (The story goes that each of Ele's dogs is named after one of his hit songs ... and I need some new hit songs from Ele). I miss those days when Ele would be struck with a bout of genius and he'd surface with a new song and dance testing your motor skills. Signal The Plane, Pon the River, Pon the Bank, Willie Bounce, Gully Creeper, Log On, Sweep, Scooby Doo. As soon as the new single hit the airwaves, you'd just have to learn that dance, and that flavour of the month kept young people light on their feet, moving to the beat of Ele's heavy lisp.
Today I ask, where has the dance in dancehall gone? Last named dance move I heard required that I 'walk like a dog and cock up and piss' (no kidding, for those of you just emerging from under a rock). I can't tell the last day I heard of a dance move that I would do - or want my child to do.
I miss the synergy between the street choreographer and the dancehall artiste where hit songs were predicated by the dance of the day. A note to performers: For the longevity of your own careers, it makes far more sense to make timeless music. The Electric Boogie never fails to get a party started. The guy who sang the 'Walk Like a Dog' song last month has already been forgotten. Adults are one thing, but I think the children are the ones who suffer most from the absence of dance.
True story: I was hosting a dancing contest with some six- to nine-year-old girls, and all of them, as soon as the music began to play, started with these pelvic gyrations that made me grossly uncomfortable. So I turned off the music and told them to dance in a less adult way. To my shock and horror, they knew nothing else. In their little minds, dancing was synonymous with wining up yu waist and forceful pelvic thrusts. As far as they knew, such movements were not restricted to grown-ups. Everybody danced like that.
Can you imagine what the class party of 2014 looks like? I shudder to think. When these same children become older and are oversexed, we must understand the part we played in that. A nine-year-old girl wining up her little body is not cute - and it should not be cheered or celebrated.
For the sake of innocence, we have to bring dancing back. I don't suspect the solution lies in heavily choreographed, toes pointed pieces of work. It must, like it did in the '90s, originate in the street. The organic kind of intrinsic movements that are fun to do and pretty to look at.
Today, little girls don't dance. They wine. And it drives me up the wall! But I can't blame the babies because we haven't given them an alternative to the wining. I challenge the School of Dance or NDTC or JCDC, somebody, to take on a project to teach age-appropriate social dancing in primary schools.
I also ask that we women take pride in ourselves and instil pride in our girls. A couple of years ago, during the Dutty Wine era, social media lit up with videos of obedient women following instructions and diving head first from the top of speaker boxes and shops, all because the selector told them to do it. Women who in their clean clothes and freshly bathed skin lay on the ground for a man to dive in and dagger that.
Cut the crap! I can't wrap my head around a social custom where man asks woman to dance, she agrees, and automatically, the next step is for her to turn her back to him because 'dance' means bottom and crotch must meet. (I also don't get how the homophobic Jamaican man opts first to bubble on a woman's behind. But that's another column for another day).
What will the Heineken Star Time of 2064 look like? Will then 60-year-olds be walking like dogs on all fours? Will their geriatric, brittle bones be 'wining and kotching'? Are the men going to dagger the women's fragile hips out of socket? Thunder roll and bruk mi neck now if a suh!
Now I'm under no pretence that the past was spotless and nobody wined. But there were options. Bogle, Butterfly, Tatty, Dela Move, World Dance. Those were dances.
So I issue a stern warning. If RDX or any other dancehall artiste tells me one more time to bend over, bend over, bend over, I will! And just for spite, as soon as I do, I will fart.