Johnny America


To the Cre­ators of Comedic Dance Moves


Chore­o­g­ra­phers on the fringe,

I have con­fessed, on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, that I have no ap­ti­tude for danc­ing. This does not mean that I do not wish that I did. On the con­trary, I would love it if I was able to let mu­sic and my emo­tion ex­press them­selves through the move­ments of my body. But I have seen Dance Fever , Amer­i­can Band­stand, Soul Train , and nu­mer­ous mu­sic videos and I know that I can­not repli­cate what I have witnessed.

As a re­sult, I have squashed any sug­ges­tion or in­vi­ta­tion to dance as a method of deal­ing with my in­ad­e­qua­cies. Lord knows how many times I have passed on let­ting my hair down and/or kick­ing up my heels. Not on­ly have I robbed my­self of the plea­sure of dance I have al­so sneered at those who have cho­sen and have been in the act of dancing.

But you have giv­en me an out, cre­ators of comedic dance moves. You have al­lowed me to get on the dance floor and let the rhythm move me. I can move now, with­out the shame of im­prop­er foot­work, a stiff up­per body, a frozen pelvis, and off-tem­po move­ment. What be­gan as cru­el mock­ery has be­come the ve­hi­cle that dri­ves my artis­tic passions.

I be­lieve it was the Sprin­kler that ini­ti­at­ed my meta­mor­pho­sis. One arm point­ed straight out, the oth­er bent with hand on back of head, the hor­i­zon­tal move­ment be­tween the two — this was my turn­ing point. Be­fore I knew it, my body was in­ter­act­ing with my arms, ro­tat­ing slow­ly in one di­rec­tion and then snap­ping back to its orig­i­nal po­si­tion and be­hold, I was danc­ing! I doused my fel­low dancers with the imag­i­nary wa­ter spout em­a­nat­ing from my ex­tend­ed arm for what seemed an eter­ni­ty and if not that, at least for the du­ra­tion of that song.

As much as a rev­e­la­tion as the Sprin­kler was, it was mere­ly a gate­way comedic dance in­to the larg­er world of comedic dances of which I have on­ly be­gun to sam­ple. Why, on­ly a few songs lat­er I had moved on to the Shop­ping Cart. And of course that led to the Lawn­mow­er. I have even be­gun work on some vari­a­tions of my own. At the present time, Wash­ing the Dish­es is near­ing completion.

I can nev­er re­pay what you have giv­en me. You have my deep­est grat­i­tude and I can on­ly hope you stay light on your feet and alive in your souls. Let noth­ing, even the most mun­dane of ac­tiv­i­ties, be im­mune from your in­ter­pre­tive insights.

Thank you,

Kyle Sund­by

Filed under Letters on December 15th, 2004

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Reader Comments

a fellow sprinkler wrote:

i too have al­ways felt threat­ened by the peo­ple with ‘rhythm’. not any more. i will em­brace ur su­per­mar­ket trol­ley ac­tions and en­joy life.


I’m pic­tur­ing you en­ter­tain­ing the wide eyed throng of dancers who are out to put their rhyth­mic tal­ent on dis­play, puff their feath­ers and fly off with the first bird who ob­vi­ous­ly ad­mires their step­ping abililites (prac­ticed so re­li­gious­ly in front of the bath­room mir­ror) on­ly to dis­cov­er that you are hav­ing more FUN than anyone…sprinkle on!

jon wrote:

When was the “sprin­kler” invented?

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