If You Wanna Have a Good Time
Shake your thang.
Don’t stop me now.
Louise L Hay affirmations? Could be. Also, the names of the songs The Cassettes are performing for Term 2!
The Burleigh Mix Tapes are dancing to Queen’s irrepressibly joyful, Don’t Stop Me Now; Byron Mix Tapes are battle-rocking to Salt n Pepa’s Shake Your Thang; and the Flashmob Troupe have seized Madonna’s sensual and celebratory call to arms, Express Yourself.
There’s a common theme of defiance, fun and the freedom of expression. All three songs seem to say, “Look, having fun is really important. Don’t stop me now, I am going to shake my thang and express myself, no matter what!” It’s not the kind of defiance that exists purely to be a punk, but to protect and give space to something sacred. And what is so sacred that requires the musical bodyguards of Freddy, Salt and Madonna?
Unabashed, gleeful, cheeky, joy. Joy and pleasure can get squashed in daily life, and under the scrutiny of the inner or external critics. These dance pieces are a way to shatter shame, while confidently and authentically letting out inner light beam out of our jazz hands. Powerful stuff! For example, the Byron Mix Tapes:
Lyric sample: Shake Your Thang
The vibe of the song and Tess’ funky, 80’s hip-hop choreography communicates the message of Shake Your Thang just as well as the lyrics, which for us is about being yourself. Knowing that while you may be judged in life or on the dance floor on a Friday night, really who cares? Far better to be in the ring giving it a go than standing on the edge giving commentary. We dance how and when we want to, for ourselves. Or as Salt n Pepa put it in their ballsy, melodious and playful 1988 way:
Shake your thang, do what you wanna do.
I can’t tell you, how to get your groove…
Come on, y’all, show no shame.
It’s my thing, and I shake it crazy
Don’t try and tell me how to party
It’s my dance, yup, and it’s my body.
Lyric sample: Don’t Stop Me Now
Every line in this song is pure perfection.
Don’t Stop Me Now is a bouncy, bountiful ode to having fun in the most indulgent and fabulous way. Okay yes we have landed in 1978, but we can call it early 80’s right?
I’m a shooting star leaping through the skies
Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I’m a racing car passing by, like Lady Godiva
I’m gonna go go go
There’s no stopping me!
Lyric sample: Express Yourself
I’ve been amazed listening deeply to Express Yourself, the song is both incredibly joyful, light, frivolous and fun, with a dark vein of powerful dominatrix, do-not-mess-with-me vibe ribboning throughout. Best combination. The film clip is almost as excessive as Total Eclipse of the Heart, bowls of milk, men wrestling in the rain, chain gangs, towers, black cats, opaque glass bathrooms…
Meanwhile, Madonna advises:
Long stem roses are the way to your heart
But, he needs to start with your head.
Satin sheets are very romantic
What happens when you’re not in bed?
You deserve the best in life,
So if the time isn’t right then move on.
Second best is never enough
You’ll do much better baby on your own.
I know, right? Having lots of fun choreographing to this sexy and joyful song.