Last week’s post was long and required research on my end, which means I’ll still be whinging to my cats about it for at least another month. In light of that, I wanted this week’s topic to be something easy and stupid…and it sure ended up being one of those things! Just Dance Kids–a game that exists because Nintendo decided people of all ages have the right to look like assholes in their living rooms–is certainly stupid. Easy, though? That’s another story.
As mentioned previously, I work in an elementary school classroom, which means I watch a lot of children’s videos that appear to have been frantically pieced together to protect a non-existent copyright, featuring songs that give every indication of having been performed by a Chinese tourist held at gunpoint and forced to recite, on pain of death, every English word they half-remember from high school. Something I see a lot of, which I haven’t mentioned till now, is Just Dance Kids. What follows are my unbiased reviews of five prominent Just Dance Kids routines. Included in each review is a special “Jiggle Physics” segment–because, as whoever choreographed these dances realized, kids can’t dance, but they sure can jump up and down. Breast-havers, beware.
“I’M GONNA CATCH YOU”
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what’s trying to catch me. The accompanying dance moves skew heavily toward stylized running…
…but what the hell are we running from? A murderer? A swarm of bees? The inexorable creep of our own mortality?
It’s a mystery.
It’s not terrible, except for an oft-repeated move that involves bouncing from one leg to the other while spinning in a circle. I always force myself to do this move; my co-worker’s do not. I am strong. They are weak.
Slightly uncomfortable, but it involves more shifting than jumping. This dance can be done comfortably in front of others, unless those others are eighth grade boys, who get lathered over any hint of mammary motion and are just the absolute worst.
Well, it’s not in English, or Dutch or German or Japanese, or any language I can make heads or tails of, and I promised myself I wouldn’t do research for this article. So I can only assume the lyrics are a chronicle of one gummy-bear-addicted man’s struggle with diabetes mellitus. Prove me wrong.
Lots of simulated belly rubbing, along with yet another fake-running sequence. It’s probably the easiest dance of them all. My only beef with it is that, when the lyrics “three times you can bite me” pop up, the dancers make four biting motions. Four! Get your shit together, Just Dance Kids.
Moderate discomfort. The running here is more strenuous than in “I’m Gonna Catch You,” and there’s some two-footed side-jumping to contend with. Skip it if you’re feeling tender.
“FIVE LITTLE MONKEYS”
You know this song–it’s about a monkey mom who can’t or won’t keep an eye on her damn kids. There’s not much to say about it. I do have a slight beef with the fact that they sing “he fell off and bumped his head” every single time, even though half the dancers are girls. I’m not annoyed because it’s sexist; I’m annoyed because it’s inaccurate! Unless the female dancers actually identify as male, in which case…okay.
HELL ON EARTH. You never knew so much jumping could be packed into one dance. I understand the song is about monkeys jumping, but there’s a fine line between adhering to a theme and outright sadism. Also, I swear to God they filmed these kids dancing at a slower pace and then sped it up 1.5 times. Don’t expect to do this dance on anything less than five cups of coffee and twenty minutes of vigorous stretching. A little meth wouldn’t hurt either.
The heaving of your bosom will trigger tsunamis in Indonesia, and if you’re on your period, your uterus will plummet through your cervix and drop out onto the floor. Trying explaining that to the school custodian.
“A PIRATE YOU SHALL BE”
Only frat bros are into pirates anymore, but it’s okay I guess.
No jumping, but some low-key galloping. Shouldn’t be a problem unless you’ve got a crippling fear of and/or fetish for horses and/or jockeys. As a point of interest, the center kid starts charging up his ki at one point, shattering the scanners of many an innocent bystander.
Unusually kind to your girls. I guess pirates hate jiggling as much as we do.
“HEAD SHOULDERS KNEES AND TOES”
Holy hell, this is lame. The moment you find yourself trying to spice up “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” with power chords and an a capella pseudo-hip-hop abortion of a bridge is the day you begin to question whether you really should have gone for that degree in music (or picked up the coke addiction–whichever is more relevant to you).
I don’t know what it is, but I find the center kid in this video so embarrassing as to be almost unwatchable. Look at him, with his little matching blue pajamas and his bobbing head. I’ve never met him, but I want to bully him. I want to steal his lunch money, to put a bug in his sun butter sandwich, to sit on him and fart while he cries about the goal he missed at his last Under-10 soccer game.
Anyway, the dance is stupid.
This one won’t hurt your chest, but it will irreparably wound your dignity.
“THE HOKEY POKEY”
“The Hokey Pokey” needs an introduction about as much as it needs to be turned into a twangy country song.
Way harder than it should be for a 28-year-old woman with a college education.
Minimally painful. Not nearly as uncomfortable as it was doing the Hokey Pokey on skates at the roller rink as a child and falling on my ass in front of the local white trash. Not even as uncomfortable as the smell of the fart whistle my dad bought me at the rink’s prize shop to make me stop crying.
BONUS: “THIS OLD MAN”
This isn’t a Just Dance video, but I couldn’t not share it with you. As far as unintentional humor and a vague sense of unease are concerned, Muffin Songs’ “This Old Man” has it all over any of the songs in my previous Kids’ YouTube post.
It’s hard to quantify what makes this video so unsettling. It obviously has something to do with the old man’s belly, the jiggling of which is twenty times more animated than anything else in the video and is rendered with completely unjustifiable realism. In a video where comically large dog bones drop out of the sky because the animators are too god damn lazy to animate the man actually giving his dog a bone, our protagonist’s fluid abdominal mass is an anomaly more terrifying and incomprehensible than the non-Euclidean halls of Rl’yeh.
It also has to do with the way the old man plays knick-knack–especially when he plays it on the kid.
And then there’s the pole dancing. The pole dancing may be unintentional, but if so, it’s hard to image the chain of unfortunately decisions that led to this scene.
This video may not require you to jump, but it still makes you ache in your lady parts. Watch it too many times, and you’ll have to schedule a mammogram.