NYT Wowed by Dancing Without Drugs

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How they missed the opportunity for a "Dance Dance Revolution" headline is hard to understand, but yet again, here you will find the New York Times Thursday Styles section interacting with Brooklyn's creatures of the night! This time, they are dancing, and they are doing it without drugs.

AMAZINGNESS ABOUNDS! as Styles anthropologist Jed Lipinski heads out to Greenpoint and sees ridiculous hipsters doing ridiculous hipster shit at what your typical Brooklyn dance party amounts to:

When Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" kicked in, one could make out the silhouette of a young man as he grabbed his crotch and attempted to moonwalk.

So what's the rub? Apparently, this person is not on drugs:

Unlike the typical dance party in these and other cities, you'll find neither drugs nor alcohol as part of the mix.

In the parlance of the internet, O RLY?!

But maybe this is a thing, one could argue, a thing that is actually A Thing, that does not require the requisite what-someone-writing-for-the-Styles-Section-would-call-"snarky" blog post!

But it does, because this isn't a thing. It's your typical trend piece that tries to document a trend that doesn't exist or is something other than it appears to be that is also not a trend. Like, uh, dance classes. If these were "parties," they probably wouldn't happen "from 8 to 9:30 p.m. every Tuesday." They wouldn't resemble your typically ridiculous nonsense "dance" classes you can take at your gym, which they do:

Certified instructors select music that corresponds to five body rhythms: flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness. The no-talking rule applies, though instructors offer suggestions like "Breath through your feet" and "Let your body answer the question, 'How did I get here?' "

You can't place the blame for this ridiculousness solely on Lipinski, who no doubt was edited by someone higher up at Styles with their eye on the Trend-Piece-Prize. Thankfully, the priceless kicker sounds like the kind of thing that made it to the final copy that shows something resembling an awareness of -- if not how ridiculous the idea of this as a newfangled New York Trend is -- how ridiculous it is regardless, as he watches tribal drumming and meets "a dreadlocked man named Sanga of the Valley," of the people there who "occasionally released guttural howls, as if exorcising the demons of the workweek." That doesn't sound like much of a dance party so much as, uh, hell? Or the average Central Park drum circle?

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Wonderfully, however, Lipinski comes through in the end with a what-someone-writing-for-the-Styles-Section-would-call-"snarky" aside of his own. After talking to a long-haired fellow named "Eduardo" who notes this Urban Zen business as "not a pickup scene," the piece concludes with a quote from a "multimedia artist" (...) named Stephanie who took note of one of her classmates:

"His movements were very integrated," she said. "I thought, 'This person has an integrated life.' After the dance was over, we spoke for the first time."

The two are now searching for an apartment together in Brooklyn.

If you just integrated your face into your palm, you can't be blamed. Please let the dancers dance, America. Nothing else, just "dance." These dance gatherings are a lot of things, many of which apparently resemble a bad, real-life Yo Gabba Gabba for adults trying to sex other ostentatious adults. But dance party? No. These are no dance parties. Somewhere, a Rubulad regular is crying.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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