You still with me? Great, here's one more to take you out!
So what’s making people take to these group dance trends? In my relatively short research period (and long-ass article), I’ve presented following influencing factors:
All of the investigated examples of group dancing - the Fabulous Ladies of Fitness dive bar dance parties, WERQ and Zumba dance fitness classes and Dance Dance Party Party free dance jams encourage partcipants to lose themselves and connect to the music and the movement. Bibliovault suggests the lessons of the importance of shared movement from Keeping Together in Time will “serve us well as we contemplate the future of the human community and of our various local communities.” Perhaps in losing ourselves, we find each other.
So get together with your friends, family, neighbours, or any other form of community and dance without judgement! Or just start dancing… and start a community!
*I’m sorry but I need to bang on about this a bit more.
I’m no contemporary art buff. But the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art’s 21st Century Exhibition was a stellar portrayal of so many of the social themes I perceive as a member of modern society. Therefore, I refer to some of the exhibition’s curatorial themes to describe contemporary art trends relevant to this discussion of group dance crazes.
· The Shared Experience of Art
The last decade has seen significant changes in how audiences’ experiences of art are understood. There has been a strong emphasis on the viewer’s sense of being implicated in a work. Artists have experimented with making the viewer more conscious of the way art is experienced and there has been a move away from the emphasis on the artist as an individual and towards collaborative processes… question(ing) limits and renew(ing) the relationship between art and life.
This can be seen in the ‘art’ of creating a scene and a setting as the FLoF parties do and the movement that is created in DDPP events. The overall encouragement for all people to feel free to express themselves, move through their bodies and dance exemplifies the trend of re-imagining the lines between art and life.
· The Material World
The recycling and re-purposing of commonplace objects, sometimes rescued from the rubbish heap, is a recurring strategy seen in the ‘21st Century’ exhibition, reflecting a world awash in commodities and waste. Easily obtained and inexpensive materials… are employed by artists… for their connections to personal and cultural histories.
The retro-cool element of FLoF parties, Cheerobix and the DDPP culture reflects this renewal of old and/or overlooked music, movement and relationships.
Over the last decade, there has been a resurgence in video art of simple performance-based acts…variously involving humour, physical gestures and feats of endurance.
The performative element of FLoF, Cheerobix, flash mobs and DDPP events is obvious. The confidence necessary to perform is nurtured in all of the discussed group dance forums.
**I learned about the Diffusion of Innovations theory in my most recent paid gig designing and delivering behavior change programs. The theory seeks to explain how innovations, or shifts in behaviors, are accepted by populations . The theory states that certain characteristics will make a new product or behavior (or that which is perceived as being new to the audience) more likely to become popular. These are: relative advantage over old practices, compatibility with existing values, simplicity of use, trail-ability and the ability to observe results.
The theory also describes how society can be broken into population segments (innovators, early adopters, early majorities, late majorities and laggards) based on general levels of willingness to take on new things . The process of a new activity becoming mainstream begins with a few creative and imaginative innovators. Next, the early adopters who are always on the lookout for improved ways of doing things, find and support the new activity as they see how it serves their personal needs .
This theory is readily applicable to the apparent popularity of all of the group dance forms discussed.