Cultural trends: Techtonic dancing

I always knew that the moment will come when I will officially feel old, and that moment will be the moment the younger generation creates a dance that separates my generation from theirs. Sounds weird, measuring age with dancing, but I am telling you, it works. Every generation has a different way of dancing than its predecessor, and through it shines the cultural values and aims of that generation, and they will be ones that are totally alien to us. The dance that proves the generational disconnect. And now this dance is here, and it's called Techtonic dancing. I first heard of it from my friend Martina, who is 23 by the way, who told me that "kids these days are doing some crazy dance. It looks like they are having epileptic seizures!". Ignoring the fact that she is using the term "kids these days" and when she turned 23 yesterday, I was intrigued, so naturally I checked it out on youtube and voila, I knew that the moment of cultural disconnect has arrived.

Let me elaborate: When you look at dancing throughout the last 60 years, you could definitely notice serious changes in the way people danced and infer from it some conclusions on the cultural changes that took place because of it. For example, the dancing in the 50's and the majority of the 60's was a considered more than just dancing: It was a social activity. It's where you met girls and what you did on dates. You were not considered fruity if you knew how to dance a number of dances, hell, the more dances you knew the more sex appeal you had with women, i.e. the more manly you were. And those dances were team effort: the woman had to be as good as a dancer as you for the dance to work, which lead many of that generation to have dancing partners and train with them. My dad used to tell me that he would sometimes spend 5 hours with his new girl practicing the new dance so that they wouldn't be out of place in the clubs. And while dancing back then was "innocent" it had various sexual themes and undertones: lots of holding and swinging and swaying. And that was that generation.

Then came the next generation, the 70's generation, and that's when dancing was separated into two arenas: the Hippie heavily sexualized manic dancing, and the Disco dancing (i.e. Saturday night fever style), but you still had dance partners for the disco side of things and you still had to practice with them. And then came the glorious 80's, where you didn't need to know how to dance at all. You just needed to be able to repeat one move over and over again, but that was still the type of dancing you needed to do with a female, unlike break dancing, which was the beginning of individual effort dancing, although people still did it in groups. This eventually lead to the 90's, where 3 trends of popular dance sprung out: 1)Pop/Hiphop , 2) Rap and 3)Techno. Pop/Hiphop continued on the path of 80's club dancing, but with major improvement: your moves were less manic and more smooth, and you knew 3 or 4 dance moves and didn't need more than that to impress the girl you were dancing with, you just needed to know the two-step dance, some Spanish swinging and dancing and you were ok. Rap was also with partners, but it didn't require much of you to dance it: you just needed to able to grind pelvises with a girl's booty for hours on end. It was the most honest music at the time, because it didn't have sexual undertones, IT WAS SEXUAL, and in a very overt way. Even the music, it wasn't "I wanna hold you on a mountain", it was "back that ass up!". Rap was the male agenda personified, and at its most honest. And then there was Techno, which combined the disco feel with the break-dancing individualism, but still required people to dance around you. The beat was more jumpy than sexual, but it turned sexual quickly, thanks to the fantastic drug habits of people who do enjoy techno dancing.

And then we had the 00's generation, and the great merger between Rap and pop/hiphop started, with the kids of that generation skipping knowing the 3 or 4 dance moves- a move joyfully hailed by white guys everywhere- and instead being quite happy to just grab a girl by her waist and grind the night away, to her father's dismay of course. That was the generation that decided not to leave anything to the imagination, and were aware of their sexuality since they were 12 or something. At that time Techno dancing thrived, died, re-invented itself, did 3 backflips and expanded in 600 directions, bringing us finally to the dance that I have mentioned early on: Techtonic dancing.

Now here is a video for techtonic dancing, please watch it (and ignore the Michael Jackson parts) and please take note of a number of things. Number 1: It's a very solitary dance. No one dance techtonic in pairs or in groups. It has very much the spirit of the individual effort that made break dancing so significant. Number 2: The age of the dancers- In all the videos, I have never found anyone dancing this dance that looks like they crossed into their 20's, and the video
tutorials for it on youtube are all done by kids that look between 12 and 16 year olds, not to mention the tons of videos of young school kids from all walks of life dancing it on the street. This is purely a younger generational thing. And Number 3: the lack of sexual context. This is not about picking girls at all. This has no gender roles. This is a purely androgynous dance, and it seems designed to stay this way. One could come up with a million theories and explanation to why that is( generation used to using the internet, connects and plays with his friends on it thus doesn't need to feel connected to people and is always comfortable with isolation and disconnect, bombarded with sexual images and sexuality since they are young, truly being accustomed to gender and sexual orientation equality and even gender bending in terms of clothing and grooming behavior, etc..etc..), but that's not my place. I am no anthropologist. I am just letting you know that this is happening. And how do I really know that this is a generational shift you may ask? Well, simple, look at the tutorials, does it seem likely to you to learn how to dance this way and go to the clubs and dance this dance? No? Too old to do so? Welcome to the generational shift my friend. Congratulations: you are officially old.

Now have a nice day!

Comments

  1. I only start comparing dance & age when I get tired from it – as in drain my energy and let anger out by dancing.. I don’t think I will ever do what the guy is doing in front of people (girls) bas I’ll try.. menno net3allem o menno akhes shwaya!

  2. dude checked out the you tubes !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? nothing wrong with it….kids have been expressing themselves in that manner for the past 20 years !!!!!!! Since the inception of what was called ‘techno’ now branched out into numerous sub-genres. It’s the same old shake your booty to the metronomic 16th note……..dunno where in the states you were brought up, but i suspect a strict egyptian parent and a lot of studying, either that or you were just a rock head [a wall of china btwn rock headz and tech headz in the 90's/2000's]…..while some of us were getting stupid (under the influence of special K and MDMA) at the Limelight, Tunnel, Twilo, Roxy, Soundfactory—yes NYC…….

    lighten up sandman they’ve just given it a name :D

  3. ‘Techno dancing thrived, died, re-invented itself, did 3 backflips and expanded in 600 directions’

    Techno and house have evolved into

    gabba——ummmmm its horrible
    minimal house—–jeff mills sven vaith
    tech house——carl cox, armand van helden
    electro—–Miss kitten, james zabiela
    epic House—–sasha and digweed
    breaks/jungle—-goldie, shadow etc…

    Turning point circa 1996 and a prodigious producer armin van buuren wrote a pivotal track ‘blue fear’ and invented Trance.

    trance is still pushing but even that has branched out into:

    Tech trance—-eddie halliwell,sander van doorn
    Progressive trance—-PVD,Tiesto, Above and beyond
    Euro trance (very cheesy)—–Egypts own Aly and Fila, Boris…..

    just a little crash course in the offspring of TECHNO

  4. blech, I don’t like it. Its so repetitive and there is no skill involved unless you’re doing crazy stunts with it. All the dancers had the same moves, there was no personality infused in it, such an important part of dance is your own style and how you personalize it…
    I’m only 16 and I think the best dance generations are the ones that’ve already passed

  5. CarpetCaptain says:

    Add some lights and a dude selling E for triple the going rate and its a rave.

  6. Welcome back SM

    The dance? Kind of looks to me like cheerleading done by somebody with autism.

  7. Finlander says:

    And why do you give such a negative semantic prosody to the word’ old’ anyway? I always thought it was “with age comes wisdom” … no?

  8. SM,

    Welcome back so good to see you posting habibi. I agree with the solitary part in this dance, I think it is reflecting the reality of the new generation with their high tech life that doesn’t need much socialization.

    Funny you posted this topic I joined a dance workout yesterday and I had a blast :)

  9. CarpetCaptain says:

    “Funny you posted this topic I joined a dance workout yesterday and I had a blast ”

    Two: Was it pole dancing? If not I strongly urge you to reconsider ;)

  10. Yeah I see all the old fat people in the glass-walled aerobics room doing their “dance routines” down at the gym. All the old in-shape people are in the gym proper, with the young in-shape people! I get a kick out of people who think dancing is a good way to lose weight! I wonder how many years it takes before they figure out it’s not working!?

    Well, on the topic! I got married 2 days before my 30th birthday. That weekend my wife and I went to a club with another couple to go dancing. After we were there about 10 minutes, the other guy’s wife said “I think we’re too old to be in here” and we all took off and went to the movies instead. Best place for old folks to dance is at work, where they can show off their obsolete dance moves and everyone laughs.

  11. CC,

    It wasn’t pole dancing :)

  12. CarpetCaptain says:

    Two:

    I encourage every chick to spend quality time with a pole. Nothing improves the relations between the sexes like a woman who can handle a/the pole like a pro ;)

    Craig:

    How old was your buddy’s chick…. 150? Maybe you guys needed to hookup with chicks your own age. I can’t imagine thinking I was too old in a bar at 30. Dancing is a great form of exercise, I’m sure you know that too but it would appear that you wont miss a chance for a cheap dig at the very annoying Twosret :D

  13. For some reason techtonic looks like techno high on speed, to me. Then again, I stopped when moonwalking was the hip.

    As for the evolution of dance, I highly recommend this hilarious video by comedian Judson Laipply where he dances everything from the 1960 to today in 5 minutes… Enjoy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMH0bHeiRNg&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ekottke%2Eorg

  14. Mohamed,

    Oh the video is so funny….I can see teddy doing some moves there lol.

    CC,

    huh? poles what?

    Dance is a fun cardio workout, I can’t believe this old talk here seriously people who think this way will be misreable when they reach their sixties.

    Life is too short have fun enjoy it and live it healthy and young.

  15. This will make the dance floor a danger zone. Seriously, Egyptians (I’m sorry guys) are usually not slick dancers. It’s all imitation. If I happen to hear that after a year or so this caught on here, I’ll probably be worried about going to the clubs.

    This is off-topic, but Craig, seriously – OFCOURSE dancing is cardio. No question about it.