On Saturday I posted pictures of the dance group that I teach, an over-50 group of tappers called St. Luke’s Steppers. The whole post was about dancing.
Now I find out that there are dancing celebrations this week.
It’s time to celebrate Cuckoo Dancing Week and Slam Dance Week. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know anything about either one of these occasions. I didn’t know cuckoos danced nor did I know what a slam dance is, if anything.
I decided to do a bit of research. While I still don’t know a lot about these celebrations, I learned a few things.
The cuckoo birds live throughout the world, at least in six of the seven continents. Sometimes they stalk their prey; maybe the stalking resembles some sort of dancing.
There are various names for cuckoos. The one pictured here is a squirrel cuckoo.
(flickr photo by Peggy Collins)
Female cuckoos often lay their eggs in other birds’ nests, knocking other birds’ eggs out of the nests first. Maybe it’s this activity that resembles some sort of dancing.
In the award-winning movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,"Jack Nicholson played a guy with mental problems taking on authorities in an institution. Maybe his wild shenanigans looked like a dance of lunacy.
Oh, but there’s more.
Did you know there’s a card game called Cuckoo. It’s sometimes known as Chase the Ace, Ranter Go Round or Screw Your Neighbor. (http://www.pagat.com/)
In World War II, a cuckoo was some sort of tank, a Panther G used by the Brits.(http://www.twenot.nl/) Somehow I doubt the movement of a bulky tank ever reminded anyone of a dance.
Oh, there’s even more. I learned that there are cuckoos in music. For example, “Dance of the Cuckoos” was the theme song of the old Laurel and Hardy Show. Want to hear it? Listen at this link: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNjPgE1muTM)
I also found a piece of music named “Cuckoo Dance” by Madeleine Dring. After listening to it, I don’t think there’s a national day for it. No offense intended to Ms. Dring, but this just didn’t sound much like a dance tune.
My very favorite cuckoo, though, is the cuckoo clock. Perhaps the cuckoo is dancing as it signals the hours on some clocks. Cuckoo Dancing Week, by the way, is January 11 – 17.
Which brings us to the other dance celebration, Slam Dance Week.
While I might not know much about slam dancing, I know what a week is. This celebration is from January 15 through the 28th of the month. If I haven’t forgotten my math, that’s closer to two weeks than to one week.
According to Wikipedia, there was a 1987 film named “Slam Dance.” Its plot: “A cartoonist becomes involved in the cover up of a political sex scandal after his former lover is murdered.”
That doesn’t sound much like dancing or a cause for celebration to me!
There’s a Slamdance Festival in Utah at the same time as the Sundance Festival. Again according to Wikipedia, “the festival also hosts a computer and video game competition called ‘Slamdance Guerrilla Games Competition’."
There's one more: Wikipedia identifies another activity that some people might call dancing; it’s moshing or slamming and is a controversial activity that takes place at certain kinds of concerts. It involves “stage diving, crowd surfing and headbanging.” Look at that picture: does that look like dancing to you?
(flickr photo by Mauricio Santana)
If I’m going to celebrate, I want to celebrate something fun. That moshing or slamming would drive me cuckoo!!!