When I was about 11 years old, was the first time I watched Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video on YouTube. When I watched that video, something shifted in me. I watched this amazing feat of choreography and story telling and realized that oh my God, I want to be like that. I never took a dancing lesson in my life, but I idolized and worshipped MJ. I loved the music, his dance moves, and his ability to create a good time by just hitting the play button. As a kid, I practiced the moon walk and learned how to dance somewhat like MJ. Of course I don’t move like him – he’s next level, but as a chubby Chinese kid – I tried my best to emulate his moves.
It wasn’t until high school, grooving my booty to school dances where I realized, that I was not bad on the dancefloor. This was the age where moves like The Dougie, The Cat Daddy, and The Jerk/Reject were popular. At the same time America’s Best Dance Crew was also a show that ruled my airwaves. On that show I saw positive Asian representation and Quest Crew, an all Asian hip hop dance team. I was charmed by their moves and their personalities. I knew from then on I liked dancing a lot. And for a guy who never took a dance lesson, I knew that I was pretty decent at it too. And then I got into k-pop and that was like the next level of my dancing unlocked. Just practicing and mimicking what I saw in a Taemin video.
All that paired with how I learned that girls like dudes who could dance – wow, I really got decent at it. To the point where anytime there was a dance circle at a club – I found myself in the middle of it. I will always remember, one night at a club in Hamilton while I was still a student, a bunch of Black dudes were doing a dance circle and Teach Me How To Dougie came on, bro – did I teach them about The Dougie. I channeled Chris Brown (MJ and Chris Brown in one article, cancel me) and John Wall and hit that shit so hard. Probably my all time greatest nightlife moment. When I was in Europe a few weeks a go, I found myself doing the same thing – cutting a rug in the middle of a dance circle, among a bunch of strangers I had only met that night.
No, I don’t dance for real, 99% of my dancing is me at home, when no one’s watching but it’s so much fun to just put on your favourite track and just feel it out with your body. I think if anything this article is not really about dance but having a release. No, you won’t be getting any dance videos on TikTok. So much of the dancing I do is when I just had a rough few hours at work and I just need to let go. It’s a little cringe I admit. But dancing to my Bluetooth speaker is cheaper and more sustainable than drugs, booze, or therapy. So I’m going to keep dancing while nobody’s looking. I think you should try it too, or maybe have something like that in your life to give yourself the quick and easy escape from reality.