Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Superman that...WHOAH!

Tonight our school district's nonprofit fundraising foundation is holding its live telethon. This operation has evolved into an event of complicated proportions for one small-town school district, with live acts performing on stage interspersed with taped spots of various grade levels and campus personalities singing and dancing.

While students are the obvious stars of the show, employees aren't safe either, with security guards, teachers, and custodians showing up in skits, music videos and district bands. The administrators were cajoled into organizing into a live act/dance, which was meant to resemble something from Stomp! and serve as the finale for the telethon. But when we showed up for the first rehearsal under the tutelage of our high school's dance teacher, the act had transformed into a Dance Melange, featuring songs from three decades, including the "Electric Slide," the "Tootsie Roll," and "Crank That (Soulja Boy)." Which is where the trouble started.

Now, it's important to understand that I spend a fair amount of time at high school functions, especially dances, where the soundtrack is Nasty Lyrics and the dancing is Freaky. OF COURSE, I am concerned about the misogyny and subjugation of women inherent in rap songs. Of course I am shocked by suggestive music videos.

I am a Visual Learner, though, which means, if all I hear is the music, and it's Hard to Understand, I may not appreciate that I am unwittingly nodding my head to something that means Unprintable.

This leads me back to "Crank That (Soulja Boy)." The first time I heard this song, at a dance in our Multi-Purpose Room, I was cracking up at my students doing the "superman" move in this song--like Grover the furry blue monster stretching his arms out in front of him in hopes of flying. The song seemed silly to me, but was clearly catchy to my clientele.

Which is why THEY (high school students) advised our dance teacher to incorporate this song into the Administration Dance. And we learned it, yes we did, and I rehearsed it over the weekend in preparation for our performance. I pretty much enjoyed this dance move. The "song" started growing on me. It helped that there is a tutorial video on YouTube (It's going worldwide, FYI).

I even advertised the fact that the principal and vice principal would be dancing to this song at the telethon and our students better donate money.

I should have listened more carefully. Verbs like "cranking" could possibly suggest something, well, sexual...and I didn't know that "superman" was a verb. And you heard it here: Most of the references to "ho"s sounded like "whoah"s to me. And anyway, if you decide to research what "superman"ning a "ho" is, you, like me, might ask yourself, seriously? Is that real? Because that is Just Ridiculous.

FYI, based on my research, there is some internet debate on whether or not there is deeper, skankier meaning to Crank That (Soulja Boy), or whether Soulja Boy is just a dance move.

Bottom Line: our admin dance ensemble was cancelled, unceremoniously, the day before our big debut, on the basis of Inappropriate Lyrics.

I will admit to being slightly disappointed.

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