...doesn't mean you *actually* can.
A man in Connecticut was killed yesterday participating in what is called "battle dancing", where people hang out in parking lots and try to outdo one another's dance moves. Apparently, this gentleman was attempting to top his friend's move that had involved flipping himself in the air. When the gentleman tried to do the same thing, he landed on his head, went into cardiac arrest, and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Here's the thing - the guy was 48 years old. Let this be a lesson to the baby boomers out there who might consider seeing whether they can do a front flip - Cocoon was just a movie, that wasn't actually Hume Cronyn breakdancing.
Honestly, I wasn't so suprised at the result of this event as I was to discover this concept of "battle dancing". Being a midwestern kid in the '80s, I was, of course very familar with the stories about how breakdancing got its start as a peaceful way for gangs to resolve their conflicts over turf. Like most of us in small-town America, I believed that those stories were true - a belief which was only confirmed by the Michael Jackson video for "Bad"*. As I got older, I started to have my doubts about hte veracity of these stories, and had pretty much chalked them up as urban legends. After all, how could something as subjective as dance move complexity serve as a means of conflict resolution when you could just knife a guy and pretty much win your argument, no questions asked?
But now I read about this incident and find myself wondering, perhaps there was something to those stories after all. Maybe this will become a serious problem in nursing homes of the future where 90 year old men try to battle for their turn at the shuffleboard table my staging a dance-off.
Let's just hope it doesn't devolve into a pants-off dance-off...
* Shot, no doubt, documentary style in the gritty urban jungle that was "the wrong side of the tracks"