Wow, I am feeling this. NO, not because its like sexo con ropa. Because he moves well. Oh, but remember “no homo”. Men! You cant control who LOOKS at you. Shit, he doesnt want men looking at HIM ogling him? Think how women feel!

I love watching kids play. My siblings and I used to make movies with a video camera the size of a small car.
I enjoy play videos because they show both an awareness of the rules of the dance and video making and a willingness to break them. And like when my cousin and I would get dressed up as and take pics, its a sort of role playing where kids get to test out adult roles, try them on see how they fit then discard them. Or to just do things that are fun but not acceptable in Real Life.

I laugh sometimes to think about back in the day when I first moved here. The criticism of my dancing was that it was, like me, too stiff. Ironic considering that no one who has ever seen me move would use the word stiff.
Im watching that perreo video again and thinking about my little one giggling at me the other day. I was sitting here with 2 books on my head and walking around and even bending. She thought it was punny. The friend who immortalized me as “La Reina del Merengue” commented on it one day when we were discussing dominican merengue tipico music vs merengue bomba and I sent videos that showed how the differences in music were expressed in the dance.
How do you manage to move the upper and lower half of your body as if they were totally separate? What others saw as stiff, he saw as pretty interesting. The majority of the motion is seen from the ribcage down.The momentum is all concentrated in the hip area so the action of the upper and lower body only shows in the swing of the hips. And the motion is like a figure 8, no like a moibus strip.

Who the hell needs shoulders? LOL

Oh what the hell, Imma go off topic. I regret that people see this and can only see SEX. I am looking at the motion, the form, the undulation. Imagine a red rubber ball placed on the body and set in motion. To me, perreo is most beautiful when you can imagine a ball rolling on the persons body, and it NEVER falls off. No matter how you pop, stop, turn or move, the momentum keeps the ball rolling smoothly along its path. When I watch the hips move, I am watching the arc they draw through the air. I am watching how the motion comes up through the foot, into the hip, up the torso, goes from one hip to the other in a figure 8 and down the other leg to start over.

Im too bored to edit, off to find videos

So I go to my mothers to enjoy some pool time. (That means-“Give my daughter rides on my back as I wish I could get to swim for once”.) I mention to her that she was mentioned in an article. I see a fog of haughtiness roll into the room, settling in the vicinity of her head, threatening to engulf her. Like a naughty puppy, this amuses me and gets me going.
“heh heh, now the world knows you do the Detroit Dog”
“the dance, the detroit dog”
“what is that”
“i told everyone you would deny any knowlegde of such a thing”
“there as a dog, but not the detroit dog”
“you told me DETROIT dog, where would I have come up with that”
“no,i dont think so”
“yup, denial. dont wanna be busted out. have the world know you didnt always live in suburbia [actually, she did] and that you were once illbehaved and danced and cussed”
“i admit to cussing, everyone knows I cuss.thats my specialty, my indulgence”
“and you did the dog too”
“no, but what was that movie, the college one, spike lee. thats when the dog came out”
“no mother, remember when I was a kid and we moved here and the atomic dog was out? you mentioned it then”
we go back and forth for a while, she denies ever hearing any dance named any sort of dog, detroit or otherwise. she only heard of a dog dance whenebver that movie with the colleges came out. (after some thinking we decided on School Daze but the dance was Da Butt)
i’m smirking, which for me is the equivalent of dancing and frolicking and saying “WOOT”
finally she tells me to call her sister, my aunt saying she would know.
“did you ever do a dance called the detroit dog?’
“not the detroit dog, it was the dog”
“my mother told me the detroit dog, but now she doesnt remember”
“she says there was no such dance”
“yes, we did the dog. she says she doesnt know of the dance?”
“{mothers name} knows how to do the dog, we used to do it”
Mother pipes in “ASK HER WHEN IT CAME OUT”
“when did it come out?”
“uh, 62 or 63”
me HA! HAH! HA HA HA!! HA! Mother HA! I TOLD YOU.
“let me speak to her”m she says demanding to talk to her sister

I hear her muttering.”…when you bend down and they get behind you…”
HA!! SEE. Confirmation. IT WAS THE SAME DANCE!!!!!!

I rush to get a notebook and pencil so I can record the conversation.”I have to write this down..’yes. {mothers name} knows how to do the dog’. HA!”

Mother reads the article and makes a comment about her age.”What about my age?”
“mother, the issue was that this is nothing new. every generation has a cow about what the young crop of teens and 20’s are doing, but its all the same. your mom freaked when u did the dog, u freaked when I did the atomic dog, and my generation freaks when their kids do the dog”
“except they dont call it that”
Naw, its PERREO! Perreo, perreo papi perreo!
“And even before then. Oh no, Elvis! Oh no, Little Richard! OMG, people are touching when they dance. How scandalous. The WALTZ is satan’s dance!! *gasp* *sigh*”

I was kind enough to neither dance nor show her a photo of Ivy Queen.

She glared as I smirked and read aloud what I was writing.She finished reading the article,”Well, my name wasnt in it”
“What? Dont you want to be part of HISTORY? Mother, I am recording the conversation with my aunt. This is a cultural study, an interview. An oral history, Im learning the story of assorted black urban dance forms in the 20th century.This is priceless.”
*she makes a point of ignoring me*
“I’m like the guys travelling the rural south taking down the life stories of the old bluesmen. Like the folk in dominican republic getting the inside dope on bachata.”

She was not convinced. That did not deter me from very studiously and seriously reading aloud my transcript of the conversation.

My mother is a well rspected person in the community. She has written an annual series of columns for the newspaper. She has a few short stories published. She is a champion of the children and has worked for the past 30 years with students. She wears pearls and collects shoes and occasionally attends mass and is nice to her housekeeper. She has no desire for people to know she once did the dog.

I want people to know. If this woman did the DEtroit Dog and she turned out to be quite the old boring upstanding salt of the earth person that she is, maybe the shit aint that bad. Except she spawned ME. And hell,Im the goddamned image of propriety.(No, really, I am. All polite and I never curse and I looked so cute today in my capri pants and brooks brother shirt and neat little leather satchel. So Hepburn.)

It is a family trait. Outwardly we are the image of proper appropriate middleclass educated feminity (except I dont wear dresses or pink or pastels or lace or ruffles or anything remotely femine, hmmmm. Im too FIERCE for that kinda frippery. Hepburn, Kate not Audrey)Well, we look and act the part. But it was my GRANDMOTHER, she who could make ice shiver, who informed me one day,”I dont know why people make such a fuss about these boys in their sagging pants. Back in my day when I was young, all the men wore their big low baggy pants and zoot suits. It was the style. Everything comes back”. It was my MOTHER, who said the same about rap and the Atomic Dog,”I dont know why they make such a fuss about this, we did the DEtroit Dog when I was young and it was the same thing”. And now me,she who fakes the funk so well that her coworkers excuse themselves when they curse in her presence,”Perreo, perreo whats the big deal? We did the nasty girl when I was a kid, it meant you put your crossed hands on your breasts, ass then crotch and thrust each time. And of course, the Atomic Dog.”

*Imagining my greatgreat grandmother* “Jitterbug? Cakewalk? Back when my mother was a child they wore nothing but mudcloth and shells and did this thrusting dance every spring to attract a mate. TATTOOS? That was nothing, my husband’s tribe tattooed their whole bodies and smoked jimson weed before going on vision quests”