Break-dancing: (n) an energetic and acrobatic style of street dancing, developed by American blacks
It included the need to wear a single glove, and to have both the black leather and red leather coats that Mr. Jackson wore during his videos for the “Thriller” album.
It also came with a sudden desire to dance. Not only was my son completely possessed by the spirit of the “moonwalk,” but he also became infatuated with break-dancing.
Now, this particular form of entertainment did not get its name because things are broken–even though, when you watch it performed, you might assume that was the reason. No, it got its name because in the midst of a routine, the dancer will occasionaly go into free-style improvisation, called “breaking out.”
So not only was my white boy mysteriously overtaken by the spirit of a black pop icon, but he also believed himself to be a street performer who lived near the projects.
One day, in Dallas, Texas, he found out there was a contest being held at a local club, to discover who the best break dancer was in a 25-mile radius (or whoever could afford the five dollar entry fee).
My son cajoled, begged and made promises to do chores–pleading with me to take him to participate in the contest.
So he donned his single glove, white pants and vest he had purchased, and a head band, and we headed off for him to compete with his peers.
This probably will not surprise you, but my “Caucasian cutie” had absolutely no chance among those who were more geographically originated to the entertainment source.
He spun on his head, fell over two or three times, slipped, slid and danced his way–in a charming sort of manner–producing great glee amongst the audience, which was a bit discriminating in its appreciation level.
Here’s the beautiful thing: he thought he did great.
I did not have to comfort him.
He did not care that he didn’t win.
He was so thrilled that he competed, that to this day, I have never heard him say a negative thing about the experience.
It is so wonderful when people suck … and they’re so oblivious that you don’t have to tell them.
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