Harper Jo loves to dance. Like most kids she is totally un-self conscious when it comes to busting a move. This is simultaneously heart warming and totally hilarious, because lets face it, toddlers are lousy dancers. They have no rhythm, poor muscle control, and a drunkard's sense of balance. But still one of my greatest joys as a father is watching Harper get down.
Almost all kids start out with the same dance. The dance is basically bending your knees and bobbing up and down. Some little ones who are very advanced in their motor development might even throw in a side to side rock. It's like an instinctual bone God throws to us all, as if to say, "If you never get any better, at least you should always have this one in your repertoire." Such is the case for my dad.
Harper's first real personalized dance movement was what we've come to lovingly call "the Peg Leg." While dancing the Peg Leg, Harper keeps one leg completely stiff and pushes forward off it while catching herself with the other. I've not really seen it anywhere else, so I think it's a true original. And totally hilarious.
It was also pretty early that she was jumping up and down on the bed shouting "Shake your booty." We never quite figured out where that came from. However, as jumping on the bed isn't really dance, I digress.
Next she developed a very simple double arm wave. Compare Harper's dance (shot on my cell phone)
with this clip from a Charlie Brown Christmas and pay close attention to the red head in the upper left corner. Even though she's never seen this Charlie Brown special, I couldn't help but see a similarity. Separated at birth? We may never know.
But recently Harper Jo's added a brand new "go to" move. Now, if you ask her dance she will kind of jump around or shake her booty like she's building toward something. Then suddenly she gets down on her hands and feet and sticks one of her legs way up in the air. It's almost like she's trying to do a somersault and can't generate the momentum to get her feet over her head. Again, we have no idea where this came from or how it developed. None of her friends or schoolmates are dropping these kind of mad skillz so it's not peer influenced.
It is possible that she may be trying to imitate some break dancing she saw on one of her favorite shows, Yo Gabba Gabba. A kids show that features break dancing (not to mention Tony Hawk, and Biz Markie)? Now that's good programming.
Whatever the case, it's easy to see that Harper has a genuine love of dance, and I look forward to seeing her next wave of dance evolution.