Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Praise You

It's best if you watch the video before reading on if you have a couple of minutes.

Confession time. I love Fat Boy Slim and this song always makes me want to get up and dance. It's late and I'm not going to spend much time writing this post, but after witnessing the outpouring of support for the phenomenal online event in support of Patry Francis today, I couldn't get this song out of my head.

The first time I saw this "dance troupe" perform, it was on the Grammy Awards. They were introduced as the Torrance Community Dancers (or something like that) and I'm sure the rest of the people watching their performance on the award show were like me, utterly confused and yet somehow touched to see this group of amateurs doing their thing.

It wasn't until several years later that I found out that the Torrance Community Dancers were a fictional group put together by the lead "dancer", music video producer Spike Jonze.

I wish I could have continued believing these were real people who had the courage to get up in front of the world and do something that brought them joy. This video was filmed in front of a movie theater in Southern California (Westwood, I think) and neither the manager of the theater, who tried to shut them down midway through, nor the waiting crowd knew that this wasn't an actual local group.

I love that the crowd boos the manager for trying to end the performance and cheers the dancers as they go through their awkward moves. The only person in the crowd who actually laughs at them is Fat Boy Slim -- also the only one who knows what's going on. You can see him briefly look into the camera when he walks behind Spike Jonze at the end of the video.

Sometimes I feel like one of those dancers and because of the kindness of a whole lot of online strangers who've become friends, my awkward moves and missteps don't embarrass me or make me feel bad. I feel like I can just keep on dancing.


Maddy said...

Does dancing in the kitchen count?

Lisa said...


You bet it does!

debra said...

You know, it occurs to me that blogging is kind of like that----dancing with words in front of the world. Pretty cool. And Maddy, EVERYTHING counts!

kristen said...

Lisa, this is really a charming and wonderful post. I loved the video--had never heard of it/them, but yes to all of it. I think you say it best with your quote (down there at the bottom of you page) from Anais Nin: Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.

Therese said...


Yogamum said...


I'm off to practice my moves!

Jennifer said...

I've never heard of these folks before, though I've heard the song (it is catchy, isn't it? I'll be singing it all day now). Interesting idea, but I can see why you'd want to believe that they were a real amateur troupe. I've done a lot of community theater in my life, and there were certainly times when it was just a bunch of folks hamming it up, having fun, but not really giving it their all (nothing wrong with that, if that's what everyone agrees to). But the shows I enjoyed the most were the ones where we had fun, yeah, but we honestly tried our best. We were still amateurs and made tons of mistakes, but it was all heartfelt. I often try to channel some of that energy now when I write.

Keep on dancing, Lisa! I think I might bust out a little here in my kitchen. :)

Lana Gramlich said...

Praise YOU. :)

Carleen Brice said...

What missteps??? Like all your posts, this one is beautifully written!

Lisa said...

It really is sometimes, isn't it?

I read the best quote about fear at iyan and egusi soup this week. It really made me think. Olufunke finds so many gems. It is:

"ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom."--marilyn ferguson


:) back at you!


Don't forget the bboy moves :)


I wish the Grammy performance was on YouTube because they were dressed in these crazy costumes and they were introduced as this community dance troupe and honestly, I cried when I saw it because I thought maybe they were mentally challenged somehow and Fat Boy Slim wanted to give them a chance. I was looking for it and finally ran across the real story, which was that Spike Jonze wanted to film a fictional amateur group to see what kind of reactions he'd get from passers by. What was funny was they tried doing it someplace (I think it might have been the Santa Monica Pier at first), but they blended in too much with the other street performers so nobody paid them any attention.

And -- Excellent, excellent chapter this week. I loved it!


No YOU :))) and Charles too ;)


I have to celebrate you ;)

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Literary Quote

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.

Virginia Woolf