Some of you guys checking in on the Overlooked Gems blog may acknowledge how hard it is for even the sweet-lovin' of your mate to get you out on the dance floor. Regardless of the likely combination of ineptitude and psychological hang-ups, these barriers have been known to suddenly disappear in the right circumstances, in clubs with pounding drum beats and chunky guitars played by sweaty musicians. Maybe you're seeing a band that guys dig, like Bethlehem, PA's finest, the Original Sins! Guys' heads are bobbing, arms are crossed tight against chests. Then some guy's arms loosen their deathgrip across his chest and a beer-soaked fist starts pumping to the rhythm. It starts with one man in the crowd and then spreads. Before long, a roomful of guys are mandancing. Some even cross over and dance with the handful of women in the crowd.
The art of suave, ballroom dancing is beyond my comprehension. Unless society was vastly different, what did the majority of guys do in the pre-rock era? How did a man with two left feet find opportunities for mandancing? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the boastful, passionate, whispering, masculine kind of dancing that Rory Gallagher and his axe inspire in this crowd of men.
Recently, I've come across some videos of songs that have always held appeal for me, often strangely so. Seeing these songs accompanied by I'm realizing that they feature mandancing. Men being men. Men teaching men. Man dancing, awkwardly―yes, as men.
For starters, check out this clip of Otis Redding and, midway through, special guests. Check out one aspiring black man who takes lead on a verse of "Shake". See this man in awe of his teacher. By the end of the performance the student is laying the groundwork for future endeavors. Enjoy.
To be clear, the following clip is not an example of the mandancing I am looking to celebrate (don't worry―it's OK for viewing in work).
On the other hand, this shockingly bearded clip is.
Finally, I bring you what may be the Holy Grail of mandancing clips. I've been searching for something like this as long as I've had ways of finding videos online. Deal with it!