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Souljas, supermen and modern dance

I recently had an opportunity to see the "Soulja Boy" dance that I've been hearing about for the last month.

It's a complicated dance that accompanies the song "Crank Dat Soulja Boy." There are six steps, starting with crossing your legs, then flipping your left leg behind you and slapping the sole of your foot. Then, you lean to the right, while shaking your shoulders before you drop slightly and lift your left leg.

The next step is to pat your foot on the ground twice before you slap your knee. The fifth step is where pop culture pokes it head in the door. This step is a tribute to "Superman," and it requires the dancer to start with his or her arms pointed forward. The arms are then thrown to the side as if the dancer is swooshing through the air, pushing off on one leg, as the other leg is pointed to the back. The dancer looks like he or she belongs on top of a weather vane at this point.

The final move is bouncing three times to the left, three times to the right, then back to the left, and finally to the right again.

Essentially, it's a song that comes with its own dance, much like the "Macarena," "The Electric Slide," "The Hustle" and "The Mash Potato." Don't bother fighting its popularity, every decade pretty much has its own song and dance combo. This decade's routine may just happen to be the "Soulja Boy."

When I've seen the dance performed live, it gets everyone excited. People love the dance, and they want to try it themselves. There's no harm in that. Maybe, it's not in the tastes of someone who is 50, and many of the baby boomers might think it looks ridiculous, but it's what the youth of America seem to enjoy.

I say let them do the "Soulja Boy" all they want. It doesn't bother me, as long as the kids aren't knocking me to the ground while they do it.

The person the dance is named after is the rap artist Soulja Boy, 17, who's getting his first taste of widespread fame because of the dance. Let him have his 15 minutes of fame. Sure, he's sucked us in with a catchy tune and dance, but I seem to remember two old Spanish guys [the duo, Los Del Rio] convincing everyone to do the "Macarena."

Of course, it didn't hurt that the "Macarena" video showed a bunch of scantily clad women doing the dance, instead of the actual singers. Any way, how many people would even admit to ever doing the "Macarena" 11 years later?

Yes, I did it. No, you can't mock me because of it.

I've also tried doing the "Soulja Boy," but it was a disaster. I didn't have the coordination to do it, and pulled a muscle in my back when I tried the "Superman" part. I think I'm too old to be doing the "Soulja Boy," but that's OK. I'm not going to hold it against the artist.

My body just hasn't been well-maintained over the years. At least not as well as it should have been. While I can't do the dance, I can still watch other people enjoy it at parties.

After all, modern dance has always been for the youth of America.

Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.