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.