Shake a Tail Feather this Summer

Lisa Tate

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It’s June 24, the summer solstice is already three days in, and the days are getting shorter. Why aren’t we outside celebrating or a least celebrating on an air-conditioned patio?

The cold, winter months will get here sooner than we think, with plenty of time for heated arguments on politics and movie franchises. Now is the time to bust out some favorite dance videos that are hard to resist moving along to.

I’m not talking about Beyonce or So You Think You Can Dance finalists, who make you feel like an octopus on roller skates trying to keep up. Instead, I’ve dug up some favorite contagious dance bits that are from movies, music video, commercials and more:

The “Joe Boxer” Guy:

Vaughn Lowery is a talented entertainer, model, Cornell graduate, human rights advocate, and president of the “edgy fashion” and lifestyle magazine, 360. However, I will always know him as the guy who made everyone happy to dance in their underwear, thanks to his work with Joe Boxer:

Joe Boxer also showed its dance mania with Christmas ads, one featuring “dad bod” bellies and one with some very, very pregnant women dancing in their jammies. However, if you want a good laugh, nothing beats the "Jingle Bells.” Gather some friends, boys, and practice for the next holiday party with the in-laws.

“Shake Your Tail Feather” from The Blues Brothers:

The best movie ever based on Saturday Night Live characters is John Belushi's and Dan Akyroyd’s The Blues Brothers. This full-on musical celebration of R&B and jazz is filled with a who’s who of musical greatness, but the highlight for me is the dance number that features the late, great Ray Charles, and dancers of all ages filling the streets of Chicago:

This song inspired a really fun, lesser known Hansen song, “Thinking ‘Bout Somethin’," and they did a really good job with it :

The Motivational Viral Dancers from the 2000s:

Motivational speaker Judson Laipply created his feel-good “Evolution of Dance” presentation, by enthusiastically bouncing through popular dance over the decades and wearing an “Orange Crush” t-shirt.

This goofy bit not only went viral, it spawned a second part, and inspired similar bits on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, including the “Evolution of Hip-Hop” with Will Smith.

He was also tapped by the NFL for an "Evolution of the Touchdown Dance.” If you have kids in public schools, I bet you’ve see this done at least once at school talent shows or by teachers at halftime. Love it or hate it, here’s the original that started it all and a special third installment he did in 2016 for its tenth anniversary:

Or course Laipply’s well choreographed revues weren’t the only thing dance lovers were watching. There was one guy whose moves were less than refined but even more uplifting: Matt Harding.

This world traveler and video game designer-cum-internet celebrity began “dancing badly” around the world in 2003, filming himself in 15 countries. His more recent efforts have taken him to more 40 countries, several U.S. states, and Puerto Rico. He has also done a South African exclusive video for the World Cup in 2010.

Although his website, “Where the Hell is Matt?” is now “Where the Heck is Matt,” it’s nice to know that a happy geek doing his thing can bring people of all cultures and ages together. If these aren’t inspiring, I don’t know what is.

Here’s his latest (2016), as well as my favorite (2008):



I wanted to end this list with one with my favorite music videos, Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” featuring Christopher Walken dancing around the lobby of the Los Angeles Marriot. But I think I’ve subjected readers to that one more than once.

Instead, here’s another favorite: “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys. Not only is this song motivating on its own, but it shows you can make an effective video with one camera angle and featuring a 48-year-old musician and part-time security guard, named Derrick T. Tuggle, lipsyncing and and dancing outside a motel room. I think I speak for everyone when I say, “You rock, Derrick!”

Everyone has heard the expression “dance as if no one is watching,” but I hope these videos take it one awkward dance step further. Dance as if everyone is watching…and you just don’t care.

Let’s celebrate and go full Carlton:

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