Wednesday January 30, 2013
In step with the Gangnam times
By SHARON CHAN
WHEN I first saw the Gangnam-style line dance on YouTube, I thought it would be too difficult for the group of line dancers in Taman Bukit Mas, Taiping, to which I belong.
After all, we range in age from 59 to 70 years. Most of us suffer various degrees of arthritic aches and stiff joints. Although we have been line dancing for the last 10 years, this latest Korean dance is so different and complex. And extremely long.
A regular line dance has 32, 48 or 64 counts, facing two or four walls. This Gangnam-style line dance, choreographed by Kay Jeong and based on Psyís runaway video success, has 260 counts. With five sections, a tag and special ending, it is enough to blow any dancerís mind, let alone a gang of golden gals.
Having taken over the class from our former dance instructor, I was at first daunted by the fact that this new dance has no accompanying step sheets. The choreographer had declared that it was impossible to record the steps because they were too numerous and the hand movements too complex to describe.
So my first challenge was to record the steps in my own words, having downloaded the dance demonstration by Kay Jeong on YouTube. I had to revise my step sheets several times before I could teach the dance to my small class of neighbourhood friends. But we managed to master it in four sessions, congratulating ourselves when we finally reached the end of the dance.
And so we senior citizens have managed to keep up with the times, choosing a form of exercise we love, to keep fit. Nowadays, when we hear the popular Gangnam music anywhere we go, whether in shopping complexes or at the pasar malam, we can pat ourselves on the back and proudly declare that we have mastered the Gangnam-style line dance.
We donít deny that our movements are less vigorous; we donít jump as high or pump our arms as frantically or turn as sharply. We may even stop in the middle of our tracks as we forget our steps for an instant. But we soon resume dancing and are enjoying ourselves. That is the most important thing.
Now a group of senior ladies in the small town of Taiping is prancing to Psyís pulsating rap music, astride imaginary horses, hee-hawing and twirling invisible lassos!
What fun to be young at heart, and still able to do what people half our age are doing. Kudos to music, dance, fellowship and laughter as we momentarily forget our aches and pains, while attempting to master a dance which we eventually discover is not too difficult after all!
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