On the reasons why niggas no longer dance / "Black bodies grinding"

We walk into the party and buy a drink or find a good post to survey the crowd. When we observe the dance floor we see a multitude of black bodies grinding against one another. Their movements mimic the sexual act and nothing more. Dancing in and of itself is a sensual act. It calls on the performer to abandon logic for a moment and "feel" the music. Today, the male is merely required to follow the gyrations of his female partner. Why is it that most of us no longer dance in the more complicated fashion of our parents and grandparents?

The old dances -- from the Charleston to the Funky Chicken -- have all fallen by the wayside. What remains is a kind of upright humping. There are of course a few novelty dances -- the Shoulder Lean, the Stanky Leg, etc., but the party has not reached fever pitch until the music beckons the male to stuff his genitals into his dance partners' crack.

This is the result of our music no longer speaking to real life situations; to put things plainly, our music rarely has soul anymore. When we hear a James Brown song, we know that his lyrics and music require more than mere grinding. It requires the dancer to showcase his or her personality. "The Big Payback" for instance is a song that persuades the listener to empathize with feelings of revenge. How does your body express "revenge" in a jovial manner? Not by simply grinding. There are too many nuances in the song for grinding alone to capture its mood. Yet when we hear contemporary music, we are satisfied with merely humping.

The artist is at fault here. Create music that is multi-layered and profound and the dancers will respond with much more enthusiasm and not herd-mentality grinding.

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by Michael J. Wilson

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