Thursday, June 29, 2006

Jump, Shake your Bootie

The first days I was here, at the preparation course for the Norway Cup project, I learned a new game. It was called "Jump, shake your bootie", and turned out to be very useful when I have tried to learn a little bit of Namibian dancing.

The dancing here is just incredible. Dancing is such a big part of the culture, and almost everyone dances wherever there is music - which means basically everywhere. And it is just amazing to see.

So I decided that I also wanted to try to learn to dance the way they do here. And this involves a lot more flexibility than I am used to, and yep, also a lot more bootie shaking! But I just can't help trying to dance when I hear this music. And my attempts are always met with laughter and applause, and I just try to convince myself that they are laughing with me and not of me. I undersatnd that even if I try to do like thay show me to, my dancing just looks very, very stiff to them. "Why aren't you people more free?" they ask me. Good question. I didn't find an answer.

I have decided that learning by observing is probably the best way. And the posibilities to observe are many. At the break time of a football tournament, the boys will put on some music and have kind of an impulsive dance show on the side of the field. I think you would have to search long and hard to find 15 year old boys in Norway doing the same. At the youth hall there are often traditional dancing competitions, and even the smallest social gatherings seems to involve music, dancing, and singing. At the preparation course when the boys were asked to show us some traditional dancing, they didn't hesitate for a second. When we Norwegian people there tried to come up with some dance to show them, we had a hard time coming up with any. And when I ask the boys what they'd like to know more about Norway, they always respond that they would like to know more about Norwegian traditional dances..

Unfortunately, I don't think my learning by observing method has made me a much better dancer. But at least it has given me a lot of fun, and let me see some incredible dancing skills!

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