Babies know it feels good to dance. Why do grown ups forget?

If you have been on the Web at all in the last few weeks, chances are you’ve had at least one friend share the dancing baby YouTube video with you. Maybe dozens?

It’s become such a hit that MSNBC reports the baby’s dad started getting 10 e-mails a minute.

Why has baby Cory Elliott gotten about 2.5 million views and become a media sensation?

I have a theory.

Living in New York means seeing loads of music in public places — buskers on subway platforms, bands in parks, restaurants and bars with their doors and windows open. I have been struck by the number of times I’ve seen babies and toddlers moved to dance when they hear music. They bob up and down like pistons, they swing back and forth with their arms straight out, or they run in little circles doing mini-laps of the dance floor.

Sometimes their parents find it cute, like Cory Elliott’s dad, but often they grab the kid by the arm and yank him on his way.

It seems it’s instinct to know it feels good to dance. Why do adults seem intent to crush that desire?

I was amazed when I went to see James Brown at Hill Auditorium a few years ago and 99 percent of people sat politely listening, maybe tapping their feet. I got up to dance — it’s James Brown, people! — and instead of people joining in around me, they gave me dirty looks because they couldn’t see.

I think people loved Cory Elliott digging on Beyonce because they he was doing what we should all do. When the music moves you, shake your groove thang.


Categories: creativity

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4 replies

  1. “Funky sounds: wall-to-wall. We’re bumpin’ booties, havin’ us a ball, y’all!”

    Best disco line ever.

    Grownups don’t dance because many of them have a perfectionist complex. Plus, other people (let’s call them ‘jerks’) take it upon themselves to shame, criticize and ridicule those who express themselves (singing, dancing, etc.) in ways that are less than professional-quality. It’s not cool. Stop doing it! Thank you.

  2. Word. I support this Shake Your Tail Feather Campaign. I recommend starting at a Latin club or concert. All thangs are grooving at a Gipsy Kings concert, for example.

    Another resource: the lovely Sarah Von posted this list of songs guaranteed to get even the most staid grown-up to “bob up and down like a piston.”


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