What Can Choreography Teach Us About Childhood Friendships?

Group dance scene from Not safe, Everything I Know About Love, Booking dogand Girls.
Photo-Illustration: The Cut.

From age 7 to 9, I became friends with a girl who had it all: a pink Motorola Razr, a closet full of Limited Too, and minimal adult supervision. We used to leave our own gadgets in her dad’s apartment under the supervision of Maltipoo, her miniature Gucci. Our friendship didn’t last long – a series of arguments escalated to a point where she called me evil and I kicked her in the stomach. In the time we’ve been together, I can really only recall one instance where we didn’t fight: the day we gathered around her laptop to learn the Soulja Boy dance.

The continued popularity of “Crank That” and its numerous video copies have earned the choreography its place in the population of slumbering dances – silly, dull routines that often come together in hours. fun, fun of a slumber party. Each era is marked with its own sleep dances, from light choreography with the Spice Girls to learning the habit of “Say So” on TikTok, but the experience is a maiden rite of passage. For some people, it doesn’t stop at puberty. Earlier this year, when the Haim sisters released the middle song jump break complete with arm circles and a stone-cold expression, fans were outraged by its serious mediocrity. What seems to irritate people is that the dance is reminiscent of the routines children perform for a captive adult audience, still too young to feel the sting of shame. Is a person Written: “I like that Haim’s whole thing is just ‘what if you don’t stop performing in the living room with your cousins.'”

We demand a degree of ingenuity from the performers, lest they fall victim to the evil memes that are Dua Lipa. On screen, however, dance numbers fail when they ask the audience to stop believing and accept that a Broadway-sized number perfectly fits the plot (an exception to the canceled rule). tragically give up Bunhead). This is not to say that dance has no real place in television – on the contrary. Time and again, the slumbering dance has proven a perfect vehicle for the plot, wordlessly conveying tension, nostalgia, and pure love in eight literal deep counts.

The sleeping dance is a childhood time machine. At some point, our seriousness overshadows the fun and we stop creating dances with our friends. Not only do we lose an unparalleled engagement, but our sense of selflessness diminishes as well. Dr. Peter Lovatt, founder of the Dance Psychology Laboratory and author of The Dance Cure. Group dance, no matter how basic, promotes solidarity. “The extraordinary thing is that when you dance with other people, you think, Oh, this is just for fun, we’re having fun together,” said Lovatt. “But actually, having fun together is changing everything. It changes how much you like each other, how much you trust each other, how similar you are, and how prepared you are to help each other. “

On television, the group’s dance scenes shine as they unravel our many complex relationships. Perhaps an extension of childhood itself, trope succeeds in illustrating the rise and fall and flow of old friendships as they enter adulthood. In the fourth season of Not safe, Best friends Issa and Molly are on the verge of a meltdown when a show-stopping block party brings them back together – even if only for a moment. Despite Issa’s initial reluctance, she eventually joins and the two share a brief reconciliation. The dance not only represents lost time but also lost people. In part two of Booking dogafter the aunts (except Cookie, who had passed away years earlier) performed their childhood choreography to Brandy’s “Sit Up In My Room” at a conference, Rita asks the group, “Do you ever feel like we’ve gone from children to women overnight?”

The slumber dance also has a powerful effect on dissolving fractious relationships, and can often emphasize the heartbreak of the breakup of childhood friendships. In the TV adaptation of Everything I Know About Love, The choreography for Little Dragon’s “Ritual Union” becomes a battleground when petty Maggie refuses to perform the choreography for Birdie’s new boyfriend. Sure, it’s a dumbfounded hill, but for Maggie, the dance is representative of her shared history with Birdie and her fear of losing her best friend in a new relationship. Letting a new person participate in an old ritual is not only a violation, but an act of obvious downgrade in her best friend’s life.

Photo: Matt Squire / Peacock / Universal International Studios Limited

Ultimately, the dances we create as children can stick with people for a lifetime with whom we lose common ground over time. One of the most memorable episodes of Girls is the “Beach House” of season three, where a trip to the North Fork exacerbates the rifts in your group’s foundations. Sandwiched between the many recurrent injuries over the weekend was the dance to Harry Nilsson’s song “You’re Breakin ‘My Heart,” which was also the catalyst for a big bang. However, while many people remember the beach house explosion, few can recall the end of the episode, when four emotionally exhausted women silently recreate the routine at the train station.

While the friends’ deep-rooted problems are certainly not solved by their habits, the episode is a master class in emphasizing the innate love and history the women share with each other. together. The use of soft choreography as a salvation is not a cheap conspiracy device, it is backed by science. “People say they trust other people they’re dancing with more. Lovatt says they feel more alike psychologically. This phenomenon is thanks to the brainwave synchronization that occurs when people dance in a group, promoting empathy and trust. “Because your level of trust and similarity has increased and your likeability has increased, you will have that sense of connection,” explains Lovatt.

As a former ballet dancer, my relationship with dance is often more a modality for perfectionism than for fun. But thanks to the pandemic and a reluctant TikTok download, I was able to indulge in the childlike joys of the slumbering dance. I often think back to a night where my roommates and I spent hours learning the (arguably simple) choreography of “Blinding Lights”. Just a week or so after the lockdown, when others swirled around excessive individualism, we united to learn a 15-second routine. As I watched the video again, I saw us missing the count and shaking our limbs with a stupid smile on our gentle face, and I remembered Hannah Horvath, who perhaps captured the essence of the dance. best sleepover: “Why does everything have to be perfect? Like, it has a lot of spirit. “

https://www.thecut.com/2022/10/sleepover-dance-choreography-tv-childhood-friendship.html What Can Choreography Teach Us About Childhood Friendships?

Russell Falcon

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