Old School Things I Miss: When Men Used To Know How To Dance, And Not Just Grind On Folks All The Time

October 4, 2012  |  

From time to time, even a sophisticated lady such as myself likes to step out for more than drinks and small talk. Sometimes I like to go to lounges, or non-ratchet nightclubs to get my two-step on and maybe even drop what my mother gave me a long time ago. Yes, I’m the person in the spot who you can hear screaming Oooooooooooooo! over “P.Y.T.” when it drops. And while I have had a blast dancing with my girlfriends and a boyfriend, or the occasional fella from time to time, I’ve noticed more and more these days that there’s consistently a darkness hovering over me on the dance floor. It drips of sweat, smells of alcohol and brings an unnecessary amount of body heat onto my back. Oh yeah, it’s the modern-day dude who wants to grind on my a**. So we meet again…

And of course, this same dude will expect me to do AAAAAALL the work while he leans back, trying to pull my backside closer and closer to his junk. And if that’s not bad enough, he’ll hold onto me for more than the allotted dancing time (uh, one song limit,son) as I look in sorrow at my friends having a ball in front of me, like a kid being dragged away from a playground. Because of such non-enjoyable experiences (after college, this type of dancing becomes irksome), I’ve opted out of grinding, booty dancing, juking, or whatever you’d like to call it, with anyone who’s not my mate. You’ll get the, “Thanks, but I’m just gonna dance with my friends.”

It might just be me, but as someone who grew up watching Kid & Play dance for their lives in House Party and Wesley Snipes and Allen Payne bust a move in New Jack City, or hell, just lived through the ’90s, where everybody from Public Announcement to Usher, Ginuwine and the likes were breaking it down on the dance floor, it just disappoints me that these days, the most you can get from a guy is a harsh pelvic thrust *shudders at the thought* I mean damn, even R. Kelly stepped in the name of love from time to time. Try to dance with a guy face-to-face and he’ll be off you midway into the song (probably because he doesn’t know what to do with his feet), tell him no thanks when he asks to dance with his penis and not via verbal communication, and he scoffs at you like you told him you were a lesbian. Hey, sometimes I want to dance, but I’d prefer to keep my a** to myself thank you very much. And can we talk about the people who can’t even find a two-step for a song, but would rather grind to a track that’s highly inappropriate for such movement? Like dropping it like it’s hot to “Power” by Kanye West, or 2Pac’s “I Ain’t Mad at Cha”? Uncouth much?

I think the whole thought about the lack of rhythm men have, or rather, care to share with most women, came back into my mind from a hilarious video I saw on the website, Dormtainment.com. I don’t know if you guys have watched their videos, but they are E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I often watch them wishing that I went to school with such creative gentlemen, but instead, my male classmates were all trying to be party promoters and the like. Well, anywho, they posted a video a few Sundays back entitled, “Invisible Dancing Girl.” In it, they show you how odd it looks for men to dance when there’s no girl around, and of course, the dancing consists now of just a few pelvic jerk motions at different height levels and levels of comfort. While I laughed, or better yet, howled, at the hilarity of it all, I couldn’t help but realize that this is the the only form of dancing men do nowadays, and we’ve accepted it as the norm. That’s why, without a woman to dance with in the video, the brothas only knew how to shake their hips as if there was a booty in front of them.

And I think I really realized how bad things were getting when I went to my niece’s Sweet 16 birthday party a year ago, walked into the room thinking I was going to catch a scene out of “Family Matters” (you know, “Everyboooooody, do the Urkel dance!”) and found the room with the lights dim. These teenagers were popping on one another like they were in a Luke video, and anytime somebody would cut the lights on, they would scatter away from each others laps like roaches. What made it worse was that my brother and sister-in-law were in the room, and were allowing the jukefest to happen. Really? It wasn’t until another mother who came to help chaperone put folks in check that people stopped all the jubilating gyrating. But when you took that away from them, they all stood around looking at their phones or talking. If they weren’t grinding on one another, aka, dry-humping, they weren’t trying to bust a move.

Of course, this change in the dancing habits of people isn’t a serious issue whatsoever, but it’s something I’ve found to be irritating. You’re being used for your hind parts in the club whether you know it or not, like cats wrap themselves around scratching posts for relief. And while it’s all fun and games for a song or two, is that all men and women can do in the club? It’s annoying when that’s the only type of way men expect you to move and groove to a jam (I’m saying, sometimes they don’t even know what you LOOK like at all, they’re just going to town on your butt), and that’s kind of sad. Well, I guess I’ll just have to settle for my old school House Party VHS tapes and dance with Kid in my mind…for now…


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  • aquabili101@gmail.com

    have you ever tried zen-yingyang approach to this problem? I have found, growing up in a culture of “grinding only” dancing (aged 24) that males love when females introduce a new dimension to the grinding dynamic – by using “elusive” grinding techniques… basically, the same level of provactiveness as grinding, but elusive, as opposed to given physical contact… in other words, make a brotha work fo yo boottayyy!

  • Tanycha

    I call this the Rhythmless Nation! LOL! The article is hilarious and so is the video. But how many 20+ women can dance. My 22 year old son took up Salsa dancing to at least dance with Latinas. He says Sistas don’t really move their feet much. Mmmmm, what’s up with THAT? LMBO!

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    an old fling of mine couldn’t dance so whenever we went to parties or clubs, I just danced circles around him!

  • C

    Lot of times this is why I’ll try a bar with a DJ as opposed to a club. If I wanted the grind, I would have booked a room, and you’d be my hubby.

  • L-Boogie

    I have not juked in a while but. But I do not knock people who do.

  • Des

    I hate the club it’s a very impersonal experience, I prefer bars at least you can have conversations in them.

  • Asia

    Oh my goodness I thought I was the only one who felt this way! I’m 23 and I HATE clubs because everybody is just grinding on each other and not dancing. I went to a club once for my friend’s 21st birthday 2 years ago and I was just sitting there ready to go while everyone else was grinding on random dudes it was so awkward for me! I really miss the 90s when people actually danced and there were great songs to dance to. Nowadays, the music is garbage and the “dancing” if you can really call it that is too sexual I wish it would change like NOW!

  • Cinnamon71

    I haven’t been to “the club” in years so I can only imagine what is going on now. I went to the clubs during the 90’s when people would try out the new dances that they saw on Soul Train that Saturday morning. The men used to dance their butts off and did it sometimes better than the ladies…I admit there was a little bumping and grinding but at least it was for a slow song and most would try to slow dance a little facing you at first. If I go out for dancing, I prefer salsa, jazz or even country line dancing clubs. I prefer to engage in actual dancing than grinding.

  • FromUR2UB

    Can you even call that dancing? It’s vertical sex. Yeah, sex is a part of life. The act literally creates life. But, when people give it a priority above all other things, that is truly sad. Things are really out of balance right now. Maybe it’s about that “men will be lovers of self” thing, where their actions and decisions revolve around their own gratification. (sigh) Frankly, I find that video disturbing.

  • Lol, Why is my dude crab walking??

  • YAASSSSS! Madam Noire you get me!

  • Africanpride

    I find it immature and tacky especially when I see adults, like even ones with children do it. There comes a time, when things you did in high school or college is MEANT to be left there not repeated. What happened to sensuality, dancing to enjoy each other company and really enjoying the music, not trying to have sex with clothes on. Men and women are to be blamed bcos some women literally ask for it.

  • Adrina

    DEAD @ the video!!!! LMAO…and dude in the khaki cargo shorts and navy blue was hilarious! But that’s exactly how it is now

  • sabrina

    I LOVE DORMTAINMENT!!!! They are tooooooo funnyyyy!! I always wished I went to school with them too. And I def was LOL’ing when I saw that video a while ago.

    But yesssss, I hate grinding now. I don’t wanna feel your meat on my butt. And I HATE when I want to go in dancing on a song I love, and a guy tries to pull me away so I can grind with him. Like noooo, I wanna dance to my jam by myself!!!

    The only dancing guys do by themselves is the Jerk, the Cat Daddy, and the Dougie. That’s the only time when a group of guys dancing together is acceptable…to them.

  • Danes

    This video was too, funny! It left me wondering, “wth..?”. lol. I needed that laugh. 🙂

  • Afro_Hello_Kitty81

    When I was a freshman in high school 16 years ago, my friends and I went to out Xmas sock-hop and then people was grinding up on each other. I did my share of grind on boys too, this is nothing new. Now I’m 30 and over it.

  • Pivyque

    LMBO AT THE VIDEO! Back to the article tho! I did have my grinding days back in the 90s..I mean tootsie roll was my jam lol but I would usually do it by myself. I was the girl cutting up with my friends. Good times! Good times! Now days, we might go to a lounge and still have a good time. It’s usually older music so we don’t have to be bombarded by “shake it fast” and “drop it like it’s hot” Lol

  • Lov3lyLady32

    I loved this article. I too grew up in the 90’s and remember having dance-offs. Someone would do the “New” dance at that time and a crowd would gather around and if you thought you could do it better, you would just jump in and the crowd would either boo you or give you props. Sadly the videos nowdays are all about makin it clap and poppin it so that’s what kids emmulate. Shrug

  • mochaaa

    Yessss I’m 22 and I’ve been grinding my entire life lol after a while it gets redundant. It’s so impersonal. I wish we were in the days when people actually danced instead of dry hump. My little sis can’t even throw a party cuz she knows her friends just have sex on the dance floor smh.