Praise the Lorde

I can’t dance to save my life. I mean, I can dance. I dance just fine. My body moves in relation to however my mind feels. Sometimes, I find a beat. But most of the time I just flail around a lot. I used to not dance. I used to be embarrassed to dance. I was once told I had no rhythm and while that may be true as far as what a dance instructor desires, I could still dance. I just chose not to for too long.

I’m 43 now and I have three kids, two of them will dance with wild abandon. The oldest one is entering a stage in life where kids are being kids and they’re starting to tease one another and that sucks, but I think he’ll make it out on the other side still dancing.

Here’s the deal: even if you’re not Beyonce good, even if you’re not Lady Gaga good, dancing feels and looks fantastic. Dancing is like laughter. I think we need to do it. I think we need to seek it out. I believe dancing could save people.

Hell, even animals dance.

Anyway, I love Lorde. No, I did not misspell the other name for Jesus. I love the singer Lorde. I have for years and years. Her music is top on all of my running set lists. I put her on during our parties. I listen to her on road trips. I sing along to her on the top of my lungs in a minivan with three kids in tow while they roll their eyes. I have become that mom.

Lorde brings me a great deal of joy. I find her music to be layered and difficult and perfect and imperfect and offbeat and on-beat and danceable and nearly edible. Like, if my ears had mouths, I would eat her beats. I think she is a wonderful singer, one of the most talented artists alive today. The fact that she’s 20-years-old is downright mind-blowing. At 20, I was working at a video store. My biggest claim to fame was having the best “Employee Pick” movie shelf.

Guys, this post isn’t going to be pretty. Forgive me in advance for all the swear words, because I think there are going to be a lot of them.

I wrote this pissed off.

This is about Lorde’s dancing on Saturday Night Live and how the Internet backlash she received was downright stupid offensive. People made fun of her, saying she doesn’t know how to dance. They suggested she hire someone to teach her. Some people ridiculed this amazingly talented artist, a person who emits more creativity in a single fart than most of us create over an entire year.

I watched her dance. I found it refreshing—normal, beautiful. I found it real. I found it powerful.

My husband put it well, “I don’t understand the big deal. It just looks like a person dancing.”

Lorde’s dancing was inspirational. She made me want to get up and dance. She set an example for every little girl and boy: you don’t need a team of choreographers in order to dance. You just have to fucking want to dance.

Lorde is an inspiration. Again.

So: fuck the haters who made fun of this female artist for the way she danced on SNL. Had she been some indierock guy, you damn well know everyone would have suggested how “cute” and “trendy” and “adorable” his dancing was; how the dancing was unlike all the rest.

But she’s female and for some reason she is held to some stupid standard, some bullshit norm created by a bunch of fucking insecure douchebags.

Who decided what dancing is supposed to look like? People don’t ridicule the sound of laughter. Why would anyone make fun of another person for dancing? What the fuck is wrong with people?

One of my biggest regrets in life, and something I am trying desperately to teach my children to avoid, is that I spent far too much time comparing myself to others and feeling insecure about it. I was afraid to be different. I was afraid to do something new. I was simply afraid. That changed over time. Once I hit college I started to get it. I started to find myself a bit more. But I do wonder: had I realized this sooner, who would I be today?

I do know this much: I definitely would have danced more.

 

4 Comments

  1. She wasn’t dancing to be artistic. Her voice is the art that she is brave enough to share with the world. She was dancing because it makes her happy. As someone who is searching for my own version of happy I could see it on her face. It was joy. Good for her. More people need to find that place.

    Reply

  2. I agree 100%. Her dancing is a pure expression of emotion. When I see her perform, it’s as if singing on it’s own can’t give her message. It simply has to overflow into physical expression. And that expression can’t be bottled into a pre-packaged choreographed dance. What a strong, gifted 20 year old.

    Reply

  3. This reminds me of an experience my family had on a cruise ship. We were excited, we were on vacation, we had a whole week stretching out in front of us, you get the picture. The band starting playing on the top deck, and the (very large) crowd of complete and utter strangers started to dance, mostly with very little skill and even less care. It was marvelous, and we flailed around reveling in our vacation-induced giddiness.

    But then it became clear that our son, who was about 8 at the time, was standing at the edge of the crowd not joining in. So we waved him over. No go. Wondering what was up with our boy who normally loves nothing more than bouncing off the walls, we moved to a quieter spot and had a little conversation. Turns out, some of his classmates had recently told him that he couldn’t dance and that he looked stupid when he tried. We explained how that was untrue and rude/mean/asshole-ish (we chose our words, I promise) for them to say, and then we re-directed his attention to the people all around, pointing out when someone tripped (the drinking may have begun in earnest by this point, I presume) or purposely pulled a silly move to make others laugh. We eventually won him over, and he had a blast busting his 8-year-old moves, but it took far longer than I would have thought. One offhand comment from someone can alter our behavior and mindset for a long, long time.

    Reply

    1. I am so happy you got him to dance again. We are hoping Em returns to it because dancing feels fantastic. I wish kids/people were less cruel. It’s all out of insecurity too. Anyone who feels good about themselves wouldn’t dream of making fun of a person for dancing. I don’t get it.

      Reply

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