THE FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF VISUAL ARTS, THEATER AND DANCE DORKY DANCE.COM: DORKY DANCING, VLOGGING AND THE RISE OF SELF - PRODUCED DANCE ON THE INTERNET By LATIKA L. YOUNG A Thesis submitted to the Department of Dance in partial fulfill ment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2007 Copyright © 2007 Latika L. Young All Rights Reserved ii The members of the Committee approve the thesis of Latika L.
Young, defended on April 2, 2007: _______________________ Sally Sommer Professor Directing Thesis ________________________ John O. Perpener, III Committee Member ________________________ Tricia Young Committee Member Approved : ________________________ Patty Phillips, Acting Chair, Department of Dance ________________________ Sally E. McRorie, Dean, College of Visual Arts, Theater and Dance The office of Graduate Studies has verified and approved the above named committ ee members.
iii Dedicated to all my fellow dorky dance aficionados and to those whose talents may still remain hidden. May we unite and continue to burn up the carpet in our bedrooms and living rooms and, more importantly, in the clubs and crosswalks of the world. iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This thesis would not have been possible, nor nearly as fun, without the participation of ... more. less.
many, many people who shared their favorite dorky dance video links with me.<br><br> This re search has felt enjoyably collaborative with input drawing from even my staunchest - supposedly - not - interested - in - dance friends and family. In particular I must acknowledge the guidance of master thesis tinkerer, Sally Sommer, who expertly applied her pro digious word - tightening wrench to the final revisions, complete with a smile, fantastic clam chowder and her very own dorky dance to boot. Charlie Chaplin, à la Modern Times, has nothing on her.<br><br> Tricia Young was a tremendous support in the initial planni ng stages of this research, when my (hardly) half clarified ideas about dorky dance seemed a little too wacky to sustain a thesis. I sincerely appreciate this supportive voice at a time when I considered abandoning the topic for one easier to write. I can also not underestimate the input from the program 9s other terrific faculty, John Perpener and Jennifer Atkins, and my incredibly inspiring fellow colleagues.<br><br> Enrolling halfway through the year, I straddled two classes and forged many wonderful friends hips. I feel honored to be included in such a wide spectrum of established and burgeoning talent, and I look forward to our collective future endeavors. Sharon Friedler, Sally Hess and Kim Arrow (of the Dance Department at Swarthmore College) must be c redited for the invaluably strong foundation in dance theory and practice they presented for me.<br><br> Moreover, all three provided crucial dialogue and feedback during the thesis formulation process when I was invited to share my research with a Freshman Semin ar class. The students of this class and the attendees of the 2006 Dance Under Construction Conference at the University of California, Riverside acted as both guinea pigs and co - conspirators, providing links and clarifying structure to the thesis. v Final ly, I must acknowledge four of my all - time personal favorite dorky dance extraordinaires, who have joined me through many years of dorky dancing: Phyllis Young, Queen of the Truck Shaking, Nikki Smith, Co - Founder of Freak Dancers R 9 Us, Liza Clark, Subtles t Yet Profoundest Dork Around, and Shoko Letton, the Best Crosswalk Burlesque Artiste Tallahassee will ever have.<br><br> vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract vii INTRODUCTION 1 IS THIS THE NEW VAUDEVILLE ? 8 THE PROFESSIONAL AMATEUR: FAUX PAS, N 9EST PAS? 15 WHAT IS REAL, ANYWAY?<br><br> 24 EVERYBODY 9S DOING IT 35 ARBITER OF THE COOL 47 MONEY SPOILS EVERYTHING 58 CONCLUSION 72 BIBLIOGRAPHY 76 BIOGRAPHICAL SK ETCH 80 vii ABSTRACT This thesis traces a lineage from historical onscreen awkward dancing to contemporary online dorky dancing. This evolution encompasses Edison 9s actualities, the stars of silent film, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keat on, the expert awkward dancer, Donald O 9Connor, and the more recent awkward dance stars, Pee Wee Herman and Napoleon Dynamite. This foundation contextualizes the rise of self - produced, cdorky dance d on the Internet, a form beloved for its genuineness and lack of fabrication and immensely popular due to cviralization d and transmission as cInternet memes. d Dorky dance is further distinguished from awkward dance by examining the specific criteria that compose its definition.<br><br> This investigation utilizes both movement analysis and socio - cultural studies, drawing particularly from gender studies and recent sociological theorizing about the Internet. The current role of Internet participation advocacy is linked to a long - standing precedent for participation - fue lled art - making, drawing from Walter Benjamin to the post - modern artistic collaborators of the 1960s and 1970s. This study analyzes the impacts of the online dorky dance movement, including those personal in nature 4 either for the creator or the viewer, t he new audience member 4 and those on a societal level, both the positive and potentially negative.<br><br> Although participation in the dorky dance genre is still limited by the existing restrictions of the digital divide, the technology necessary to participate is rapidly becoming cheaper and more available. This greater accessibility is continuing to bring fascinatingly diverse examples of online dorky dancing. Finally, the thesis explores the points of intersection between Internet dorky dancing and other ar enas that it is permeating 4 the live concert dance stage, the cinema house, the video art realm, and the commercial world of advertisements and sponsorship.<br><br> 1 INTRODUCTION The burgeoning popularity of the Internet from the mid 1990s has had a stron g impact on the production and reception of dance. Specifically, it has become instrumental in promoting cdorky dancing, d that is, what was once considered socially awkward movement is now being embraced and even celebrated. As the early domain of the In ternet was intricately linked to stereotypical cnerd d culture, young, computer literate males in America and around the globe found a new rapid distribution outlet for their artistic expressions.<br><br> With the advent of video - sharing websites, like YouTube wit h its motto urging all to cBroadcast Yourself, d this self - expression has moved beyond mere written language into a realm of moving images 4 often expressed as dance. YouTube, the most widely known video - sharing site, was created in February of 2005, but qui ckly became one of the fastest growing websites. According to a survey completed in July of 2006, 100 million clips are viewed daily and 65,000 new videos are posted to the site every 24 - hour period.<br><br> 1 Internet users are no longer merely confined to conf ronting issues of identity online with words (either written or verbal), they can now investigate and craft their own embodied moving (video) explorations precisely in the realm where these questions are most tangible 4 the body itself. Despite limitations o f access determined by the economic constraints of the digital divide, many proponents argue that the Internet continues to develop as a forum for meaningful, non - profit driven, participatory communication and artistic creation. It does so by allowing for an instantaneousness that was not previously possible, a temporal and geographical speed that can connect across the globe within seconds.<br><br> It empowers dance to move away from the staged, concert world or the filmic domain of Hollywood, since clips can be easily produced and quickly posted on the web from the privacy of home. The sheer speed of this transmission and reception creates the perfect forum for 1 "YouTube serves up 100 million videos a day online," USA Today , Gannett Co. Inc., 16 July 2006; Internet; available from http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2006 - 07 - 16 - youtube - views_x.htm ?; Accessed 24 Feb.<br><br> 2007. 2 instant spoofs and parodies and invites wider participation and dialogue in dancemaking. This techno logy also revolutionizes the role of the audience, who need very little interest in dance to be exposed to it.<br><br> On the contrary, we are now bombarded by dance images, particularly of the dorky variety, as examples from film, commercials, television shows, and music videos all find their eventual home on the Internet. The viewer, the new audience, often adopts a more active role in this cutting - edge virtual world of dance. This involvement ranges from critic to collaborator, and occurs in an atmosphere tha t makes participation in dance fun, rather than pretentious or laborious.<br><br> The success of dorky dance on the web, however, might also bring its demise. As the commercial world witnesses the immense popularity of online dorky dancing, it has been quick to adopt the form for its own purposes, transforming what it most attractive about these dances 4 their innocent believability, courageous vulnerability, and quirky charm 4 into contrived semblances of what cauthentic d dorky dance truly is. Chapter One outline s the parameters that delimit dorky dancing, a definition that is often defined as much by what it is not than solely by what it is.<br><br> Awkward movement, though a significant component in the equation, is not the same thing as dorky dance. Dorky dance uses awkward movement as its natural base and then adds multiple, complicating layers that result in dramatically different but equally dorky dances. Costume choices, body stature, and other physical designators intersect with manipulations of viewers 9 normati ve expectations about gender, sexual orientation, 2 class, ethnicity and age, all of which are united under an umbrella of intent, which, at its core, is most deeply concerned with having fun.<br><br> This chapter explores why the Internet is a particularly approp riate crucible for dorky dancing and why the element of humor allows dorky dancing to tackle and enrich some of the most deeply rooted beliefs about embodied identity. It analyzes the peculiar paradox created in this situation in which dorky dance display s are both incredibly risky and vulnerable while remaining simultaneously masked behind a screen, existing in the safety of a virtual world. Most importantly, this chapter begins to identify why viewers love watching dorky dance videos and what makes them refreshing, unique, engaging and overwhelmingly popular.<br><br> 2 Hereafter the term csexuality d will be used to refer to perceived ideas about sexual orientation. 3 Since the earliest moving pictures, dancers have stumbled awkwardly across the screen to generate laughs. In Chapter Two, I outline the lineage of the awkward dancer on - screen, a genealogy that is r ooted in the antics of the earliest film stars.<br><br> Beginning with the first dance clips Edison so passionately filmed with his new moving picture machines to the physical humor so deftly displayed by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, numerous dancers have c rafted their steps in deliberately awkward manners. However, looking at the last sixty years, Jerry Lewis, Jackie Gleason, Donald O 9Connor and Lucille Ball developed the tradition during the 1940s and 1950s, while the Monty Python gang and Gilda Radner gy rated across TV screens in the 1960s and 70s. Pee Wee Herman made a lasting impression on the generation growing up in the 1980s and he figures prominently as a direct precedent for the current proliferation of dorky/awkward dancing that we see today.<br><br> Th is decade also produced two other outstanding predecessors -- Richard Simmons and his ebulliently supportive aerobics routines and America 9s Funniest Home Videos , the enormously popular television show that privileged the amateuristic homemade look long befo re this aesthetic found a niche online. Finally, Chapter Two examines another recent dorky dance precursor, Napoleon Dynamite, the awkward dancer extraordinaire, who has single - handedly done more to promote and validate awkward dance than anyone else in t he last decade. Although all of these examples originated in the film medium and were shared with audiences in movie theaters, they have all secured a revitalized, virtual presence on the web.<br><br> Chapter Three investigates the transmutation of awkward danc ing into the affectionately - termed phenomenon, cdorky dancing, d that showcases the amateur, the movements of the average person whose body has not been molded by years of institutionalized technical instruction. The Internet has become the ideal site for showcasing these displays, as any participant can film him/herself dancing and then post it on the web. In comparison to consciously awkward dancers on film, dorky Internet dancers emit a sense of veracity, of being authentically amateur and genuinely vul nerable.<br><br> They have not constructed their clumsiness to drive the plot of a big (or even small) budget film. Before video - sharing capabilities became common online, the inventive director, Spike Jonze, developed an idea for a transitional dorky dance vide o that now proves itself to be years before its time. Created for the music video for cPraise 4 You, d a song by Fat Boy Slim, Jonze so brilliantly melds deliberately awkward dance with flawless artifice that the result appears to be an utterly believable do rky dance.<br><br> Chapter Four examines the various ways in which video - sharing website users participate in the experience of dance. The Internet enables an approach to participation that expands previous ideas about participatory - based art makers. Proponent s of an online global community value the Internet 9s ability to ignore financial barriers that have traditionally barred participation in conventional media, like film and television.<br><br> The Internet transforms mere spectators into active dance collaborator s; participation can range from something as simple as re - posting or e - mailing dance videos, to adopting the role of the critic by writing commentaries about other 9s creations, to becoming both a critic and artistic - collaborator by creating a dancing respo nse - video. To illustrate how ideas of participation function in practice, this chapter details the phenomenon of the cNuma Numa Dance, d a deliciously dorky dance that erupted on the Internet as the first viral video 3 that was popular primarily because of its dance content. Created by 19 - year old Gary Brolsma as a clip he intended to share with a small group of friends, Numa Numa became an instantaneous sensation and, to date, has been viewed well over 14 million times.<br><br> The Numa gained widespread notoriet y by establishing itself as a meme. This term, first coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976, accurately describes the process by which units of cultural information are propagated in manners similar to genes (thus the name). This process has grown exponential ly on the Internet.<br><br> Together they are responsible for the label cInternet phenomenon, d a term used to explain Internet memes like the cNuma Numa Dance d craze. Parodies of Numa began sprouting up within days of its original posting and hundreds have sinc e been created. The popularity of Numa has no geographical constraints.<br><br> Numa 9s fame is clearly evident in Japan, for example, where many people use its music as their cell - phone ringtone and have learned the Numa dance moves, though performed with a dist inctive Japanese flavor. Dorkiness is not, however, construed solely through physical designators. Oftentimes the cawkwardness d comes from a deliberate layering or blending of iconic 3 A viral video is cvi deo content which gains widespread popularity through the process of Internet sharing, typically through e - mail or IM messages, blogs and other media sharing websites d ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V iral_video ).<br><br> 5 socio - cultural markers. Awkwardness is created from the friction betwee n preconceived expectations and notions about how something should appear and the incredulity about what is actually appearing. Chapter Five analyzes this layering by looking at a progressive series of videos created to the song cIgnition Remix. d First is the original video by creator R.<br><br> Kelly, the African - American R&B and hip hop singer. In general, it fulfills expectations of how a hip hop video should look, though it features towards the end one very short sequence of an awkward dance performed by a young, white male. Next, a response video was created and posted by a group of four, young Asian males at Duke University.<br><br> Although this video is actually quite sophisticated, with precise choreography and skilled editing, the final product appears dorky , provoking laughter because it parodies Kelly 9s hip hop music video scene - by - scene. However, instead of the polished MTV - style video with ubiquitous, scantily - clad, gyrating women, these young male Asian performers shake their butts and flash fake gang s igns. Dorky dancing frequently torques our expectations about gender, sexuality, class, age, and ethnicity.<br><br> Gender and sexuality, in particular, are crucial ingredients in the dorkiness recipe. The explosion of self - produced dance on the Internet is pri marily male - created. Yet even when young women film themselves for the web, viewers are more inclined to read this movement as coordinated and even sexy based solely on their gender .<br><br> When males present themselves dancing, they open themselves to a public questioning of their sexuality. Chapter Six scrutinizes how the commercial world has been quick to exploit the potential to profit from the dorky dancing movement and homemade video aesthetic. Two videos by the Swedish band Ok Go serve as unmistakable e xamples of the (accidental) profit potential of dorky dancing.<br><br> cA Million Ways d is a simple dance video shot in their backyard that was never intended to be widely released. Given out as DVD freebies to a couple of friends, it was surreptitiously posted on the web and quickly became an overnight Internet sensation. A second successful video was then created to accompany the song, cHere It Goes Again, d this time using multiple treadmills, and the band has become synonymous with dorky dancing.<br><br> Most recent ly it collaborated with YouTube to host the cOk Go Dances With YouTube d Dance Contest, in which participants submitted caudition d videos online. Despite this blatant promotion, the band 6 never lost its legitimacy as authentic dorky dancers, and this reputa tion has earned many new fans. On the other hand, the commercialization of dorky dance is not usually so well - received.<br><br> Numa Numa , the original dorky dance so beloved by the Internet community, was re - visited in the form of the New Numa . New Numa has it s own website, merchandise line, and dance contest with prizes totaling $45,000, all of which are supported by multiple sponsors who see dorky dance as cgood for the bottom line. d This attempt at branding Numa has elicited vocal and often scathing respons es, the most effective and funny of which are posted in the form of a video - response. The conclusion, finally, explores the overall significance of these examples and the impact they are having on the larger dance world.<br><br> It poses useful questions, outsi de the scope of this thesis that warrant future analysis. How is cawkward d conceived differently around the world? What dorky dance videos might develop from this altered foundation as the population of Internet users grows exponentially in Asia, Africa and South America?<br><br> How will future commercialistic and technological endeavors impact the Internet and dorky dancing? How is dorky dancing transferring from its virtual home to the performative sphere? Can these translations in other media pack the same punch as the finest online examples?<br><br> *** The primary sources for this study were the videos themselves, posted online by countless users and commented upon by numerous viewers. What began years ago as personal interest and fondness for this clumsy styl e and approach to dance - making developed into a more nuanced understanding of its cultural ramifications and, consequently, a deep appreciation for this form as a new genre of dance creation that is enormously popular. I have waded through innumerable onl ine videos and have kindly received myriad links from others as my search was clarified.<br><br> Beyond the specific examples presented in this thesis, many other clips have provided information from which I draw my comparisons and form my final conclusions. The clips selected for this investigation, however, strike me as the most significant for chronological, aesthetic or social reasons. I also watched many historical films in order to see historical precedents for cdorky dancing d on film.<br><br> I devoted particula r consideration to the work of Pee Wee 7 Herman (Paul Ruebens), re - watching much of his oeuvre, including his cinematic feature films in addition to his even more inventive television series, cPee Wee 9s Playhouse. d Additionally, the Internet provided many s ources for commentaries on the works (videos) themselves. YouTube and other video - sharing sites have built - in feedback forums where any viewer can post his/her own commentaries. These forthright critiques by and for the peers of those posting the origina l clips serve as timely and accurate barometers of public opinion about online video content.<br><br> In analyzing these original sources, my methodology utilizes several theoretical approaches. Movement analysis brings attention to physical clues that we read as cawkward, d which assists in constructing a definition of cdorkiness d in relation to movement, gesture and dance. This analysis extends beyond sheer movement, taking into account visual information such as clothing, physical stature, and the posturing o f the dancer.<br><br> Complementing this, gender, sexuality, class, age and ethnicity are explored in order to investigate the relationships of identifiers that signify awkward or coordinated. Gender studies proves to be especially significant. We tend to read m ale movement as inherently more awkward than female - produced movement.<br><br> Other substantial topics in this thesis fall under the rubric of cultural studies and dip into some of the most recent theoretical understandings of the Internet, using newly coined - te rminology such as cviral video, d cmeme, d and cInternet phenomenon. d Because the Internet changes so rapidly, books about the Internet are often already outdated by the time of publication. Therefore, many of the best sources theorizing the Internet and v ideo - sharing websites were also found online. Theory about the practice of participation in art making, both pre - and post - Internet, is useful, as are the writings of early film theoreticians who shed light on the comparisons and similarities between earl y awkward dancers on film and today 9s online dorky variety.<br><br> These sources aid in establishing the historical precedence for dorky dance on the web, rooting this very contemporary phenomenon in its rich chronological and theoretical context. 8 CHAPTER ONE IS THIS THE NEW VAUDEVILLE? cAwkward dance d is not necessarily the same thing as cdorky dance. d Awkward dancing is certainly one substantial component of dorky dance, but many other factors also come into play.<br><br> Awkwardness is culturally specific. T he definition outlined here is based on how dance is perceived by Western audiences, primarily in the United States, and includes several common ingredients. Movement reads as awkward when it is uncoordinated, jerky, arrhythmic, hysterical (an obvious reas on the term for cfunny d derives from the chaotic way a body moves when experiencing hysteria), off tempo (of both the music and any sense of internal rhythm), when limbs move in contrary directions, the dancer makes faces and/or the dance cannot be aligned with any known style of dancing.<br><br> Whether dance is read as awkward, or not, depends as much on the viewer 9s comprehension of cproper d movement as it does on the (non) technical ability of the dancer. Although dorky dance is rooted in awkward movement, th ere are other essential designators that complete and distinguish the cdorkiness d definition. The clothes tend to be ill - fitting, out - of - date, or badly matched, and the wearer often has odd or unkempt hair styles and spectacles, the thicker the better.<br><br> T he physical stature of the dancer assumes a weighty role as bodies that are too short, too tall, stout or scrawny are perceived to be outside the normative range. Since male - produced movement (especially white males) is still interpreted as inherently dor kier than that of females, gender remains an essential factor in the production of dorky dance. One reason dorky dancing is so humorous is that it manipulates how audiences think dance should appear.<br><br> First, we are not accustomed to watching males dance, and certainly not in any manner that does not conform to the ways in which men are occasionally allowed to dance 4 for example, as men dance in boy bands or in the current refined style of hip hop videos. Secondly, and coupled with this manipulation of trad itionally pre - conceived notions of gender and dance, dorky dance 9 trespasses into the territory of sexuality, class, age and ethnicity, happily transgressing normative expectations. Manipulations can vary from being aggressively contrasuggestive to expecta tion to being just slightly offbeat.<br><br> Significantly -- just as it functions in the larger world of art - making -- the indispensable ingredient of dorky dance is intention. Fun is fundamental. As much as dorky dance can comment upon and critique society and our restrictive conceptions of dance aesthetics, its real purpose is to entertain.<br><br> Therefore, it is no accident that dorky dance finds a perfect home on the Internet, which is the fastest growing site of entertainment and favored leisure activity for many. People have always liked watching funny, awkward movers, who have figured prominently in the pantheon of beloved Hollywood characters. The Internet creates an even more convenient forum where people can see funny dancing, a space that feels welcoming and unpretentious, utterly unlike the atmosphere of the concert performance hall.<br><br> Even more important, viewers can watch these knee - slapping videos and immediately record and share their own riotous creations with an ever - expanding online community of dorky dance lovers. Yet another reason dorky dance and the Internet intersect so fortuitously is that the overriding intent of dorky dancing is to generate laughs, not profits, which fulfills Internet ideals. It removes traditional barriers between worker/labo rer and consumer and the financial obstacles of dance production and distribution 4 there is no need to rent a studio or a theater, to sell a required number of seats, or, in the case of film, have million dollar budgets and sales.<br><br> All of these elements are built into the Internet and, at this point, remain free to access. As YouTube 9s motto suggests, the Internet does create the perfect space for cbroadcasting oneself, d and it is no accident that video has become the favored forum for this self - expression . Video - sharing websites are, in fact, the new Vaudevillian stages.<br><br> Though not highly visible during the reign of feature - length, narrative - driven cinema (the trend that began with the advent of talkies), Vaudevillian impulses 4 are once again 4 This is really a misnomer as what we think of as cVaudevillian d characteristics actually date back to the earliest theatrical traditions of the Greeks. D. Travis Stewart traces a lineage that begins with traveling Greek mimes, ca motley lo t who lumbered out of southern Italy during Greece 9s Golden Age to juggle, perform acrobatics, dance and perform comical sketches& d No Applause, Just Throw Money (New York: Faber and Faber, 2005), 15.<br><br> 10 thriving v oraciously on the web, thanks to video - sharing websites. The special Vaudevillian caesthetic of constant surprise brought about through calculated novelty, d in which variety is valued above all and cincongruity is cheerfully, flagrantly flaunted d 5 just as easily describes the (il)logic of the Internet. A quick perusal of the list of videos YouTube recently selected for their first annual awards contest harkens back to the variety show program list.<br><br> One video shows a man creating cspit d graffiti on the as phalt 6 , another cdog - and - pony - trick d video reveals a cat, Gizmo, who repeatedly flushes the toilet just to watch the water swish around the bowl, much to the confusion of her owners 7 . There are guitar players, a beat - boxing parrot, 8 gravity defying card t ricks 9 , and a video called Things You Can 9t Do When You 9re Not in a Pool , in which a man walk - swims around town, cannonballs onto the pavement, and even politely paddles away from a group of his friends before he wets himself. 10 Of course, the Vaudeville s tage was incomplete without awkward dancing, and dorky dancing is just as well - represented on YouTube.<br><br> The video awards list includes several dorky dance videos, including Ok Go 9s dancing treadmill extravaganza. Many of the most popular initial self - pos ted videos on the Internet, the ones that so quickly became viral, are those of dorky dancers. It is difficult to pinpoint with exactitude the rationale for their immense popularity.<br><br> On one hand, these Internet dances indulge our voyeuristic tendencies an d allow us the opportunity to watch a style of dancing that has often been considered taboo or socially inappropriate. We are literally getting a glimpse into dancing habits that are often left confined to the privacy of people 9s kitchens and dorm rooms. And as one might expect, there are multitudes of clips produced in dorms, the ideal breeding grounds for dorky material.<br><br> Dorms offer free and fast Internet connections and students generally have their own computers and technological prowess. Moreover, these students are often males living in close proximity with ample free time and access to that most powerful of dorky dance 5 Stewart, 7. 6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2IoNygc - K0 7 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WofFb_eOxxA 8 http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=UnFV - fvgOu0 9 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbSR5_boMcc 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gw4bQKiLkQ4 11 enablers 4 alcohol.<br><br> Video - sharing websites also act as male meeting grounds, 11 analogous to the supposed favored communal female spa ce, the women 9s restroom. YouTube creates a sort of virtual dancehall or online cypher 12 where the posse of this much - enlarged ccircle d now collectively improvise and fiercely riff off one another, often through movement and dance, without having to be in the same country, much less the same ballroom or street corner. Luckily, online viewers, like real world viewers, are particularly smitten with watching dancing males -- a significant portion of the population who are too often left out of the dance equatio n.<br><br> It is a fascination that is, at times, perverse but that is also mediated by the element of humor that is so crucial to this movement style. Profound attractiveness is inherent in the sheer simplicity of dorky dances, the genuineness and vulnerabilit y they exude, and the admirable courage of the dancer. Dorky displays resonate on a deep personal level, because all of us, at some point, experienced the awkwardness of adolescence, when our bodies underwent changes beyond our control.<br><br> Generally we try to forget these awkward stages, not revel in them. But dorky dancing also evokes images of the awkward toddler, whose body is also out of control, but whose stumbling and sheer perseverance to remain upright is deeply endearing. The best dorky dancers co nnote both of these awkward sensibilities through a single body.<br><br> We viewers are not necessarily bold enough to project ourselves in such goofy grandeur to millions of people, but we certainly respect others who have that confidence. This communal respec t is sparking widespread social change and the endorsement of cweirdness. d Dorky dances also have an innocent sincere quality that is both refreshing and witty, not merely naïve. It optimistically counteracts the cynical and sarcastic impulses that fuel so much of our current humor.<br><br> Dorky dancers express an overwhelming sense of believability and give the spectator an invigorating opportunity to watch something without having to willingly csuspend disbelief. d There is no need to pretend we believe beca use these are true dorky dance videos. As soon as they feel in the least contrived or artificial, they are outed as inauthentic castro - turfs d or csell - outs, d and 11 As of July 2006, 56% of YouTube.com users were male. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youtube 12 Cypher is a term used in hip hop for the circle in whi ch spontaneous art - making (dance, poetry, graffiti) is created by collective improvisation.<br><br> 12 provoke a spate of dorky dance video - responses. The genre is unapologetically unpretentious, militantly eschewing social expectations of dance propriety and any sense of pretension that comes with high production values. Who needs a state - of - the - art camera, film crew, and professional editing, when a stationary web cam or even a hand - held bounci ng cell phone camera will not only suffice, it will actually add to the aesthetic of amateuristic charm?<br><br> Dorky dance can, and does, act as a site for real dialogue and exchange. Because its main impetus is fun, participation is also motivated by pleasur e, though it has direct and meaningful consequences. This is a dialogue rooted in the body, the site where deep, impactful exploration of embodied characteristics and identities takes place.<br><br> The Internet, then, also acts as a sort of disembodying mask th at makes these explorations feel safer. A constant paradox exists between the vulnerability of displaying oneself versus the safety that comes with creating these displays in the privacy of one 9s home, and then, having that creation remain in the virtual world. If one chooses, these performances can be made even less risky by hiding behind the creation story that the videos were only intended for the viewing pleasure of a few friends.<br><br> The Internet is certainly still the safest space for these displays. Although the popularity of online dorky dancing might eventually influence our reception of live displays of dorky dancing, at this time it remains much more daunting to pull out dorky dance moves at the club or to audition for a show like Fox Network 9s cS o you Think You Can Dance, d in which celebrity judges with English accents seem to take pride in being disparaging. What this suggests, then, is that the Internet really is creating a space where blended identities 4 where notions of gender, sexuality, cla ss, age and ethnicity all intersect with dance as situated in the body -- can exist in a less problematized realm.<br><br> The removal of commercialistic incentive creates a freer space for the trying on and commixing of personalities that would be perceived, in ot her financially - driven venues, as pernicious and objectionable. The minimally - restricted space of the Internet, in which 13 (virtually) anyone can participate with little governmental or big - business mediation or censorship, gained a momentous boost with th e advent of video - sharing websites. 13 In reality, Internet dorky dancing is still primarily a middle - class domain prescribed by the restraints of the digital divide.<br><br> Still, as computers become cheaper, high speed Internet access becomes standardized, and more and more cell phones have video camera capabilities, the realm of dorky dance videos will continue to expand. With this expansion, we will see increasing participation by progressively diverse populations, involvement that will likely continue to def y and dismantle mainstream media - supported, normative constructions of identity. As the Internet continues to develop, it will become increasingly influential as a source for defining what is ccool. d In the past, this aesthetic has been determined by th e commercial worlds of film, television, fashion, advertisements and mainstream music and music videos.<br><br> The Internet has already tampered with this by creating cracks in existing ideas of coolness, and, as the virtual world continues to usurp the power of conventional media, it will simultaneously wield more power as the arbiter of the cool. Although the Internet will become more commercially - tethered as its popularity and use increases, if it is able to maintain spaces that do not constrict access based on the financial prowess of its users, our definitions of coolness will become ever more cool with the diversity of the voices (bodies) providing input. Even if the Internet is transformed into yet another purely economically - driven forum, dorky dance wil l certainly find yet another forum through which to reveal itself.<br><br> The popularity of the dorky dance phenomenon demonstrates a change in attitude about dancing. Of course it makes us laugh. Still, we are residing in a period when this style of dancing (like nerdiness) is being embraced and even celebrated.<br><br> We enjoy watching this kind of dance and, in truth, we are watching it by the millions. These Internet dancers are breaking down discouraging barriers that have established tedious conceptualization s of what dance should be and they are creating a place for amateurs of varying body shapes and sizes -- specifically for young males -- who wear whatever clothes they see fit. Internet dorky dance participants are challenging notions of who can dance, 13 Although some sites, like Newgrounds.com, allowed user postings as early as April 6, 2000, the phenomenon has only gained its current widespread popularity with t he advent of YouTube.com, founded in February 2005 and opened to the public six months later.<br><br> 14 for who m, in what manner and by what medium. As they engage in an instantaneous process of production, reception, and reaction they are re - claiming masculine identities as they display to millions their right to dance, whether awkwardly or not. And, if they are sometimes ridiculed, more often they are given a collective high - five by the larger Internet community .<br><br> 15 CHAPTER TWO THE PROFESSIONAL AMATEUR: FAUX PAS, N 9EST PAS? The fundamental difference between still photography and film is moving images. Inevitably, filmmakers were occupied capturing the most enthralling movement, the dancing human figure.<br><br> From Thomas Edison 9s earliest short film clips, filmmakers have been recording dance in all its variations. Since the beginnin g, audiences have had a soft spot for the awkward mover on screen, and as the medium of transmission has evolved from film through television and video and, now, to the Internet, this enchantment has only intensified. Moreover, what is so extraordinarily fortuitous in this web - connected era is that the spectator can conveniently locate and view dance gems from early cinema simply through an internet connection and a few keyboard clicks.<br><br> Thomas Edison was famous for a multitude of inventions and patents. Certainly two of the most influential creations were the Kinetograph, a motion picture camera, and the Kinetoscope, a peep - hole motion picture viewing device. After his earlier success with the phonograph, Edison commented in 1888 that he was c experiment ing upon an instrument which does for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear, which is the recording and reproduction of things in motion. d 14 T he same year, with the invaluable help of his assistant, William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, Edison began filmi ng hundreds of short film clips.<br><br> His first experiments were primarily cactualities, d clips documenting life as it happened around him, including disasters, people at work, trains, police and fire activities. expositions, and a whole slew of dances, from a version of the Native American Ghost Dance to Bowery waltzes to renditions of Japanese and Turkish dances that emblemized the Orientalist fervor of the times. Many of his short dance clips can be viewed online in the Library of Congress 9 (LOC) wonderfu l cAmerican Memory d site that showcases 341 of Edison 9s filmic 14 Library of Congress: American Memory.<br><br> cEdison Motion Pictures, d available from http://mem ory.loc.gov/ammem/edhtml/edmvhm.html . Internet; accessed 25 January, 2007. 16 experiments.<br><br> While viewing LOC 9s collection of dance clips more than a century later one is struck by their awkwardness. It is an alluring artlessness generated by many factors: the film is g rainy, the images are glitchy, the camera is bouncy, and the movement itself is also delightfully coarse. American dance at that time showed little to no refined balletic technique, few of the pointed feet and precise port de bras that would later become de rigueur.<br><br> Furthermore, the dancers Edison selected to film 4 mostly Vaudeville performers -- were not necessarily proficient in their forms. He filmed some well - known copyists, like Ella Lola, who donned Grecian garb and danced in the style of her contemp orary, Isadora Duncan. She may have secured her popularity on Vaudeville stages by the turn of the century, but an Isadorable she was not.<br><br> 15 One of the most enlightening clips, filmed in Edison 9s Black Maria studio in New Jersey on March 24, 1896, shows dancer Amy Muller en pointe, clad in a white dress that resembles a billowing wedding cake festooned with enormously puffy sleeves. The overall effect succeeds in making the arms of the Stay - Puft Marshmallow Man (of Ghostbusters fame) pale in comparison. 16 The 20 - second snippet shows Muller half execute a tour jeté before deciding to high kick a la seconde.<br><br> Grasping her extended leg with one hand, she continues by bouncing around in a full 360 degree revolution en pointe . But the icing on this (wedding) cake comes with the final move 4 bourré with bent knees to wind up for a full cartwheel that launches itself straight into the eye of the camera with flailing legs and flopping ankles. If these first dance films look like an amateur 9s rudimentary attempts to use his recently acquired camera to capture his kid sister 9s recital routine, this is, in fact, exactly what it is (despite Muller being a vaudeville performer -- or, perhaps, because of it -- she was a very enthusiastic but very poor dancer).<br><br> And, if this scenario sounds uncannily familiar, it should, because it is highly analogous to the initial forays of presenting moving images that we are witnessing on the Internet. Within ten years of Edison 9s first experiments, films began to be projected onto scree ns for larger audiences, which rendered the kinetoscope and its private viewing space obsolete. This popularity also brought the demise of the cactuality d as audiences began to demand plot, character development, and other conventional devices borrowed 15 http://memory.loc.gov/cgi - bin/query/r?ammem/varstg:@field(NUMBER(1364)) 16 http://memory.loc.gov/mbrs/edmp/4037.mov 17 fr om theater, an impulse that would also concurrently lead to the decline of live, Vaudeville stage performance.<br><br> Like Edison 9s actualities, films were silent until the late 1920s. Without sound and dialogue, narrative, character development, and emotion wer e conveyed through movement. Gestures and expressions were magnified in order to be more easily read by viewers.<br><br> This provided the perfect platform for privileging physical comedy, humor that exploits the body and its movements for its own devices. This kind of clownishness is rarely subtle and even young children have little difficulty understanding its jocular language. Though it played a significant role in the live performance of the Vaudeville stage, physical comedy found a special opportunity to t hrive in early silent cinema.<br><br> The most famous stars from this era, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd, are remembered for how they moved. Each had his own distinct style: Keaton 9s signature deadpan face magnified the movement of the rest of his body; Lloyd pushed his body to its boundaries, constantly testing his physical limitations by performing his own daredevil feats; and Charlie Chaplin created one of the most beloved film personas in history 4 the Little Tramp 4 by combining his precise, c ontained and controlled quirky - movement style with a poor man 9s getup, a take - off of the gentleman 9s hat, jacket and cane. Plenty of clips from these early moving masters can be found online, and, in fact, most frequently the excerpted scenes are the dance scenes.<br><br> These movement routines are still immensely intriguing, and the Internet is bringing them to entirely new audiences. Today 9s Internet user is not content with simply watching the originals, though there are plenty of clips that remain true to th eir sources. One adulterated clip of Buster Keaton dancing (an excerpt from the 1936 movie Grand Slam Opera ) features Keaton as Elmer Butts, a contestant hoping to win an amateur radio hour show by dancing, but it is set to the song cDevil 9s Dance Floor d by the Irish - American punk band, Flogging Molly.<br><br> 17 At the beginning, Keaton 9s movements look like an idiosyncratic attempt at ballet. After picking up a flower he leaps from side to side, in a bent leg grand jeté, then proceeds to bourré in parallel with cockeyed arms drifting above, finishing with several beating jumps, quite reasonable renditions of entrechat, all while clutching his blossom. At this point his movements begin to seem inspired by folk dance and the new musical 17 http://youtube.com/watch?v=CoNWQS4K7d4 18 accompaniment adds a delect able layer of humor.<br><br> The Irish - sounding lyrics uncannily begin right as Keaton enters into his first jig. Keaton rests his hand on his hips as he bounces, kicking both legs quickly beneath him, and when his arms move to his sides he looks like he could be auditioning for an understudy role in cRiverdance. d His antics shift into low, Russian - style kicks on the ground, with arms crossed in front of his chest. Keaton 9s grand finale is a double pirouette that goes awry and ends in a crashing, front flip to land abruptly, but safely, on his back.<br><br> The plot context for this film -- Keaton competing in an amateur context -- provides the perfect rationale to showcase awkward movement. Seventy - one years later his routine still seems fresh; but with the addition of this particular updated soundtrack, the effect is simply brilliant. V iewers on YouTube document its appeal by posting their feedback, displayed beneath the clip for others to read.<br><br> One admirer writes, cCongrats! Not easy to mess with the master and still end up amplifying the fun! d and another cVery&well done. Wish Buster could've seen this one himself. d 18 After the arrival of the ctalkie, d physical humor and awkward dance did not retain the limelight as before, though they have maintained a place on scree n.<br><br> Arguably the funniest dance routine in the 1950s was Donald O 9Connor 9s aptly named cMake 8Em Laugh d number from the movie musical Singin 9 in the Rain (1952), which can be viewed online. O 9Connor can be seen at the height of his uniquely adroit, awkwar d abilities. 19 In comparison to the aforementioned Keaton clip, cMake 8Em Laugh d is much more polished in several noticeable ways.<br><br> With twenty years of technical improvements, the production quality is much cleaner and viewing it in Technicolor gives O 9C onnor 9s work a less dated look than Keaton 9s black and white film. More to the point, the movement itself is highly polished, despite its intended goofiness. O 9Connor 9s character, Cosmo Brown, is presented as a silly, comical mover, although O 9Connor is a highly trained dancer performing moves that would be impossible for the average viewer.<br><br> Still, the audience is still able to relate to and empathize with his physical chaos. 18 ibid. 19 http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py730_Bcaew 19 Cosmo 20 is marked by an overarching obliviousness.<br><br> Things just seem to happen to him without his noticing. Jumping around backstage in a movie studio, he is accidentally picked up by two men carrying a long piece of lumber, so he inexplicably begins cswimming d on it just before he is tossed off by the two muscle men, whose sheer st ature make O 9Connor look even scrawnier. Cosmo has cdancey d collisions with several other moving objects including a sofa and a fake door that opens into a brick wall.<br><br> His absentmindedness is coupled with a striking perseverance. Each time he is knocked down he springs back into dancing action. He might be the underdog, rejected by both human and inanimate objects, but his dancing is pervaded with inspiring optimism.<br><br> His only friend appears to be the mannequin he encounters on a couch. After flirting with her in vain, and unable to elicit any reaction from her (she is, after all, stuffed), he animates her by twirling her in his arms and tossing her in the air. At one point Cosmo is spinning on the ground in a ccoffee grinder d move akin to amateur brea kdancing floor moves.<br><br> O 9Connor performed all his own stunts, including his culminating move of running up several walls and executing a perfect backflip 4 that is, until he crashes through the final wall. Even after this dramatic, awe - inspiring crash, he p ops his head right back through the newly formed hole, smiling and singing. The scene is performed and recorded in one long take, and O 9Connor, with his amazing feats and incredible endurance, inspires a Jackie Chan - esque awe, even to contemporary spectat ors.<br><br> His costuming, though perhaps not as exaggerated as Charlie Chaplin 9s distinctive oversized trousers and shoes, contributes to his comedic appearance. He is the only one on the entire set who is wearing a squashable bowler hat 4 all of the many other hat - wearing characters wear newsboys 9 flat caps. Of course there are practical reasons O 9Connor uses a bowler 4 its flat, round brim makes it easier to grasp and toss about in numerous hat tricks 4 but, it is also an anachronistic addition, a throwback to th e earlier comical film stars, like Chaplin.<br><br> Despite all of these classic examples from early film, very few people growing up in the 1980s and 1990s have seen them. This is, however, changing with their resurging displays on video - sharing websites. Ins tead, this generation was taught by the funny movers on cSaturday Night Live d and the distinctive dancing antics of Paul Reubens in 20 Incidentally, Cosmo is also the first name of Kramer 9s character, another wacky sidekick from pop culture fame, on the television show Seinfeld.<br><br> 20 his Pee Wee Herman persona. Much like Chaplin 9s Tramp and O 9Connor 9s Cosmo, Pee Wee is a peculiar character constructed thr ough costuming choices and awkward moves. Chaplin 9s oversized trousers and shoes meets its counterpart in Pee Wee 9s miniature three - piece grey suit and equally miniscule red bow tie.<br><br> Both outfits serve a similar comedic purpose of oversizing or miniaturi zation, distorting the body to tamper with the viewer 9s expectations of how male bodies should move and dress. Although Reubens created his Pee Wee character for the live stage, Pee Wee skyrocketed to national attention with the release of the 1985 mov ie Pee Wee 9s Big Adventure , written by Reubens, Phil Hartman, and Michael Varhol, and directed by Tim Burton (his first feature film). This classic comedy, ranked eleven on Bravo 9s list of c100 Funniest Movies, d charts Pee Wee 9s quest to find his stolen b icycle.<br><br> The highlight of the film is a now famous dance scene, set to the 1958 surf song cTequila d by the band The Champs. 21 Pee Wee has inadvertently knocked over a line of motorcycles outside a tough biker bar. Intending to pound him into Pee Wee pulp, the bikers grant him one last request.<br><br> Pee Wee selects cTequila d from the juke box and borrows a pair of oversized, white leather shoes with extended heels, and jumps onto the bar. At first the biker crowd is unimpressed. But Pee Wee gesticulates wildl y, with his arms meeting in front, behind, and above him, his pointer fingers touching, and his head moving like an arrhythmic clucking pigeon, and soon Pee Wee escalates to smashing beer bottles and glasses and the crowd warms up.<br><br> Hopping onto the toes o f his gargantuan shoes, he struts forward across the bar, much like Vaudevillian toe - dancer Amy Muller 9s bent knee bourré en pointe. The bikers go wild, and as the music ends, they all shout cTequila! d in unison. During the course of this dance, Pee We e undergoes a remarkable transformation.<br><br> He begins shyly and awkwardly, especially in contrast to the black - leather bikers who carry chains and sprout thick beards and thicker beer guts. These are physically large males who easily overpower Pee Wee. Thr ough his dancing, however, Pee Wee can communicate with them.<br><br> Once he finishes his dance Pee Wee is still a gawky, awkward guy. But he earned acceptance into the gang, utilizing courageous dorky dancing to validate himself and create approval for his dork y identity. This is a trope transformation 21 http://youtube.com/watch?v=EQJexFOxolI 21 witnessed regularly on the screen, most notably enjoyed again in relation to Napoleon Dynamite.<br><br> Pee Wee 9s popularity has lasted, despite nasty public scandals initiated in the early 1990s. Recently, Pee Wee 9 s popularity has surged as Paul Reubens prepares a public comeback for his famous character. A third installment of the Pee Wee movie is tentatively set to begin production in 2007.<br><br> This same year, Nike SB will release a pair of Nike SB Dunks named cPee Wee Herman Dunks SB, d with a gray and white color scheme and red detailing, modeled after Pee Wee 9s signature suit. As much as Pee Wee 9s cTequila d spectacle added to Pee Wee 9s Big Adventure , the recent film Napoleon Dynamite (2004) completely hinges on Na poleon 9s dorky dance routine. Napoleon (played by John Heder), who is himself ostracized, befriends a similarly cold - shouldered new student, the short, immigrant, mustachioed Pedro, and helps him run for school president against the popular captain of th e female dance team, Summer.<br><br> Each candidates 9 speech is followed by a skit or performance, and Summer and her team dance to wild audience acclaim. Pedro offers a shy speech, with muffled words, and although he promises to be the candidate who will fulfil l the students 9 cwildest dreams, d he has clearly already lost any hope of winning. But Napoleon makes a spontaneous decision to help his friend in need, and he slips the sound guy the cassette tape he has been secretly using to practice dance moves in the privacy of his bedroom.<br><br> Napoleon walks to center stage, with hands thrust into the pockets of his jeans, his gaze always cast on the floor in front of him. The music begins -- and so do Napoleon 9s hips. Never fully raising his gaze, Napoleon continues da ncing, pulling out moves that Heder admits to borrowing from Michael Jackson, boy bands, Soul Train, and John Travolta.<br><br> 22 Because the independent filmmakers were shooting on a very tight budget, this scene was shot last with only one roll of film (equaling about 11 minutes). Heder improvised to three different songs, then the dance was edited together in the production lab. The result is something unique, a blend and presentation of dance that had never previously been seen on film -- at least not in such a n extended form that functions as the climatic crux of the movie.<br><br> The response of the audience is similar to that received by Pee Wee. At first 22 cSpecial Feature: Commentary, d Napoleon Dynamite , 2004. Hess, Jared, director.<br><br> Fox Searchlight Pictures and Paramount Pictures, 2004, DVD. 22 they seem confused and lukewarm, but by the time the music abruptly stops and Napoleon continues dancing a few bars in silence before embarrassedly scuttling off, the audience bursts into wild applause and the entire auditorium stands in ovation (except, of course, Summer and her boyfriend). Like Pee Wee, Napoleon is transformed.<br><br> He remains the same gawky, awkw ard guy afterwards, but he is bettered in the eyes of those who had before hardly noticed or ridiculed him. Napoleon does not accomplish this on the singular behalf of a film character. The astonishing popularity of this film, which overwhelmingly stems from this dance scene, has single - handedly done more to validate dorky dance in real life than any other example, in film or on the Internet, in the past decade.<br><br> The celebration of Napoleon 9s dorky dancing becomes a validating foundation for this dance for m as a legitimate, valued way of moving and presenting oneself -- which is crucial for the rise in popularity of amateur, made - for - Internet dances that will be discussed in more detail in coming chapters. Napoleon manages to bestow coolness upon the essent ial, physical cdorky d accoutrements of the frizzy, out - of - control hair, tight and too - short pants, glasses and even the longstanding signifier of cun - coolness d -- the fanny pack. Napoleon personifies everyone 9s awkward stages, though he resonates particularl y strongly with the male audience.<br><br> Critic David Stratton emphasizes this point in his movie review: cYou know what I thought 4 8Who is this geek? 9 But he 9s got something about him&.I think this is a film that resonates with the nerd in a lot of men&I walked out of the screening and another male critic said to me that that was the nerd he was at school, except he couldn 9t dance so well. And I sort of think that other men click into this. d 23 This sympathetic and massive response to the eponymous character has sparked an equally massive Napoleon Dynamite marketing campaign 4 Napoleon - themed shirts festooned with cVote For Pedro d slogans were quite ubiquitous for a time, and Napoleon 9s pithy but strange aphorisms are still popular ring tones. Just as the origina l Napoleon swept through Europe, Napoleon Dynamite exploded onto the Internet.<br><br> One can find clips from the original movie and a site titled cLearn to Dance with Napoleon Dynamite, d in which all of his dance moves are given 23 http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/txt/s1228362.htm 23 names and the viewer can change the accompanying music. 24 Pressing cplay, d the user sees Napoleon begin his routine just as he did in the film, but other buttons allow us to skip around to different places, to rewind, or even to set the speed to slow motion, in case we really need to dec onstruct his moves to better understand their subtler nuances. The most exciting feature allows a change the soundtrack 4 from cbeat box d to cjump in the line, d each variation opening an appreciation of the movement in different ways.<br><br> Napoleon 9s moves are impossible to pigeon - hole as belonging to any one style, but with the added ability to watch him dancing to nine different styles of music, his movement becomes ever more amorphous. From hip hop to electronica to reggae to disco and soul train, it seems N apoleon is able to gyrate to anything, although the jazzed - up cStar Wars d track seems especially apropos. The nomenclature of Napoleon 9s moves is witty and inventive.<br><br> Dance notators, take note: cTurkish Twist, d cRaise the Barn, d and cReverse Chicken Walk d are a few, but perhaps the best descriptions are cGreedy Buffet Patron d which is followed, aptly enough, by the cPepto Bismol. d On - screen awkward and dorky dancing has a venerable history and many memorable characters. As the Internet recycles these cl ips, it gives them renewed longevity and brings them to younger, adoring audiences, while clarifying the lineage and relationships among the different generations of awkward movers. A collective history of awkward dance is being established that also serve s to sanction and legitimize the new wave of dorky dancers -- who prefer the computer monitor over the film screen.<br><br> 24 http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/napoleon 24 CHAPTER THREE WHAT IS REAL, ANYWAY? There exists a great spectrum of possibility for representation of dance from the complete a mateur to the refined technical virtuoso. But in looking at what is actually presented , the space of the proscenium stage provides a particularly limited spectrum of diversity in terms of the technical proficiency of its participants.<br><br> Amateur dance onsta ge 25 has traditionally been confined to the ubiquitous recital stage with its requisite audiences of proudly smiling family members. The moving picture, however, in all its mediated variety, historically has offered a much wider mélange of awkward dancing, as discussed in the examples presented in Chapter One. Now, with the recent explosion of video - sharing websites on the Internet that promote dorky dancing in a way that was previously impossible, a momentous rupture to pre - existing normative dance displa ys is occurring.<br><br> Dance audiences are no longer limited to viewing conservative notions of what constitutes cgrace. d On the contrary, we are now immersed in unconventional dance presentations that are actually reversing many previous notions of dance aest hetics: how it should appear, by whom it should be created, and where it should be presented. 26 The examples in Chapter One can be safely called cawkward dance, d although they exhibit a wide range of complementary compatibility with cdorky dance. d Althoug h they may conform to many of the same qualifying criteria (such as their physicality of movement, compulsory corporeal and/or cos