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dance party fridays: deconstructing workplace masculinity.  or something?

March 27th, 2008     by Thea Lim     Comments

Ok, so some might claim I’m just fishing for excuses to post this ridiculous video, but I swear, there’s something feminist about this one.

On a Cincinnati news show the weather reporter Bob Herzog throws a dance party every Friday morning that there are no traffic accidents. From the Globe and Mail:

The concept is simple: When there’s no traffic news on Friday morning - which happens regularly in Cincinnati, population 332,000 - it’s dance-party time in front of the traffic map…The phenomenon started last year when a friend showed Mr. Herzog a funny YouTube clip of high-school kids celebrating a “Dance Party Friday.”

“I thought, ‘I should do that once,’” Mr. Herzog said, quickly adding, “Don’t get me wrong - I can’t dance. At all. I’m bad - I’m really bad.”

…And thus, Dance Party Friday was born. There are ground rules, which Mr. Herzog discussed with his boss at the start: He dances only when there are no tragic stories in the news and no accidents on the road.

If you’re having trouble picturing this:

For me, a big part of why this video is funny is because it’s grown men in suits dancing badly. They’re so cheerfully making fools of themselves and in a sense, rejecting the expectations of seriousness, and taciturn professionalism, that we normally associate with grown men in suits.

And to me this video isn’t just funny, it’s also kind of exhilarating. Because who hasn’t wanted to shake their booty (or scream, or throw something heavy and possibly flaming…) in the face of workplace demands - demands which often include dehumanising ourselves, and following stringent gender guidelines on how to behave.

Do you hear distant cries of revolution? No? Ok, well at least enjoy the video. And if you want more, go here.

Tags: laugh track, on the job

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