Land of 1000 Dances


Land Of At Least 10 Dances

watusi fox trot

cheek to cheek waltz

ballroom grand

sweeping dress

touching arm in air Viennese waltz

cha cha pogo

samba rumba tango palace

jumping jive

peppermint twist



the shimmy

my sister Kate, remember her

the silver moon


the swim

the grave digger

mosh pit intimacy

dirty boogie

the bump

rock your boat

rock your world

the lindy hop

its hammer time


zoot suits

pas de chat

first position please

now lift

pas du borree [can remember how to do it but not spell it]

kick ball change

butt scooting boogie

last chance

American in Paris

the red shoes

fred and ginger

bill and ben the flowerpot men

do si do

swing your partner

she bop the night away

you little jazz babies

I only have feet for you

shall we dance

deb and yul

I always wondered

who made that dress

those dresses

those shoes

wrote that music

shall we on and on

achey breaky

wish away chase away

that feeling of lost aimless lethargy


free form

martha graham hermes pan

tap dance

that old soft shoe

that old devil moon

the Japanese sandman

do the pony

everybody down

it’s a clam bake

it’s a fine day

for surfin USA

California girls are tanned

dancing in the sand

like putting out a cigarette

while drying yourself off with a towel

like fevered worms in your pants

slither around

your private parts

nudging those tender secret dirty places

mingling with the sweat

the hormones

the tension

the crush of hip to hip

butt to crotch

the slow steady grind

satan’s invitation to degradation

worse than playing cards

just listening will

lead all teens down the path to hades

to everlasting unfulfilling shallow sex

sex sex sex

yes that’s what that dance is

the mating ritual

of heathen

uncivilized black people

deep in a hot sweltering jungle

the virgin sacrifice

to the king kong cock

of the evil male

who wants to corrupt

the sweet innocent flower of all youth


put on your boogie shoes

do the hustle

do the tater tot

push the baby carriage

tie a knot in it

swan lake

the nutcracker

yes that’s the one to learn girls

boys work on

I’m a man

groovin is easy

roll me easy

it’s not so hard to please me

because the history of the world

unfolds before us

in beats per minute

when we put on the wax

the shellac

16 45 33.3 rmp

the LP ep 8 track cassette cd mp3

when we fire up the old music box

and we dance




quick apple two-step

I love a list poem, even if it’s my own. I have more recent pieces about dance and music and the sweaty grind. This one is takes a more scattered, historical name-checking route. Dance has always been with us at all levels of culture too. While the lords and ladies where doing their stately gavottes and other court dances, the working poor had their own less formal music and dances to enjoy.

The history of dance has many that were deemed satanic, usually those enjoyed by the working poor, the cultured were always on the side of reason and God so their courtly dancing was approved. The title & piece is inspired by Wilson Pickett’s hit Land of 1000 Dances.


the dropped slipper

The can-can was shocking, that glimpse of more than stocking. The first performance of the Rite of Spring caused riots in the theatre – can you imagine a ballet doing that today? I tap-dance through a panoply of dances that I recall, move on to how those get judged, pilloried even. As I wrote it I realized that anti-pleasure was the basis for most judgemental condemnations. In a working, productivity-centric culture pleasure is not productive enough to be approved. Sex is for procreation only etc.


sunny day ice dancing

Bill and Ben – The Flower Pot Men was a children’s show at the edge of my memory – a British show in which these puppet flower in pots would sing and sway and teach kids important moral lessons.  There’s reference or half-mentions of lyrics, including song titles, movies and some fun turns of phrase. I love ‘I only have feet for you.’ Poetry you can dance to – shall we dance?

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One thought on “Land of 1000 Dances

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