Judson Laipply’s Evolution of Dance

While this blog is centered around evolving music and the many factors influencing that evolution – emerging technologies, the deconstruction and reconstruction of the music industry, DIY culture and user-generated content, social networking etc – there is another art form that has always been and will always be intimately associated with music. Namely, dance.

Ever since our ancestors began grunting monosyllabically and banging rocks together, they were surely waving their longish arms and clumsily bobbing along to the unorganized music in their still primitive heads. Music and dance have been so intimately related throughout history that it’s nearly impossible to separate them today.

My father (a jazz musician) used to joke that musicians can’t dance, and despite their knack for playing music most of them have no sense of rhythm on the dance floor. He, of course, liked to think he was the exception to the rule. But whether you are a musician, a dancer, both, or neither, it’s hard not to appreciate the end result when a good song is paired with a good dance.

Just as music has continued to evolve in all sorts of logical and also unexpected ways, influenced by everything from digital technologies and political climates to art and fashion, dance has done the same. As seen in the roaring twenties, when “amusement, fun and lightness were cultivated in jazz and dancing, in defiance of the horrors of World War I, which remained present in people’s minds”, music and dance often express the collective mindset of a generation or a particular demographic at a given time.

Without launching into a lengthy discourse about the history of dance and its implications, let’s take a look at one man’s recap of just the last half-century of dance. Judson Laipply, an “inspiration comedian”, put together this little bit that has become the #1 most viewed (74+ million views) and #1 top rated video on youtube:

For more on the comedian or the video, check out the official site here.


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