Black Chicks Can’t Dance


Moneky See Monkey Do?

 So after months – no years– of telling myself that I really should go to the Papaya Studios in theatrical Covent Garden to do some dancing because a) I love dancing and b) it’s a good way to stay fit and far more entertaining than hitting the gym, I finally went. So a few days ago I decided to go to a particular class. I am not a complete beginner as I have danced for several years, but I am well rusty so I thought a class with level all/general would suit me just fine. I felt a bit nervous beforehand as I was about to do something out of my comfort zone, but I guess that’s what life is all about.  The class was full and being it daytime I don’t know whether it was a case of working actors who all have shows to do in the evening or just actors with no day job as I would’ve thought dancers would choose a different level class (and ‘normal’ people are at work).

The warm up was pretty thorough, but I could definitely keep up. Then it came to the routine. The routine itself was really not that difficult, but I am not sure if it was rustiness, ‘old’ age or too many herbs along the years, but the steps just wouldn’t stick. I mainly had to rely on others to remember them, which back in the days was never the case. So there I was, the only dark fairy in class and the only one who couldn’t keep up. Others might have had very rusty technique, but when it came to the choreography they knew what they were doing. I am not being too hard on myself – or you can just call me stubborn- and I’ll be back next week.

Us black folk are supposed to be natural dancers, but you don’t see many of us at the Papaya Studios. If we are such natural boogie people how come we seldom win Strictly? How come there were exactly two people of colour in the final top 20 of the last series of So You Think You Can Dance of which one was voted off in the very first week? Us black folk are supposed to be fabulous athletes, but when it comes to management and/or playing a senior role in governing sports bodies there are very few of us around.

Monkey see is monkey do so if the monkey ain’t doing it, it makes it harder to copy. I guess black fairies and other creatures have to live their lives according to a different rule; If monkey is not seeing it, monkey should believe in it and just do it anyway.



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