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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Conversations With: Tyrone 'The Bone' Procter on Soul Train, Dancing, 'Still a Thrill' Video and Music - Part Two

JW: A lot of people remember that you and Sharon jumped ship for American Bandstand for the big time dance contest - where you all eventually won two cars. I always wondered did you get any flack from Don Cornelius?
T: Not at all, in fact Don gave me the money to pay the taxes for the car so I could get it.
JW: Wow. That surprises me :)
JW: Do you remember the dance contest in San Diego, where you inadvertently knocked Sharon's ponytail piece off? It is such a priceless moment. I remember laughing so hard, you just kicked it clear across the dance floor without missing a beat, and kept going. She was smiling the whole time, but I know she wanted to probably slap you!
T: I forgot all about that!!! (hahahaha)
JW: What was your impression of me back then?! Be kind - lol!
T: You were a very determined young Lady who really loved to dance, and wore it out, that why all the others wanted to do what you did remember your 'Fan'. I do.
JW: I still work the fan onstage :) When I go to Japan, I am given them as as gifts, and many designers surprisingly make them, my favorite is an Ana Sui one. I always have one with me - they also come in handy while flying or on a hot day!
JW: Videos with dancing generally involve choreography. Soul Train in the mid and late 70's was all about seizing the moment with freestyling, (as discussed in the article on The Waack Dancers in Ebony back then); with freestyling we'd come up with things on the spot, changing moves up constantly it up, you had to be on your toes, sharp and in tune with the music, etc... I still have a lot of that spirit. 'Still a Thrill' video was all freestyle of course, which will surprise people I'm sure. I'm too impatient to learn it - I always want to be free to 'live' in the music! That said, I love watching good choreography - or 'ography' - as we say.

JW: One of my favorite parts is where you are 'waacking' near the end of the video, and you do a movement with your arms swirling; and then the video turns to color. I love the entire video though - me in the window and you down below - just going off with the movement. You never did the same thing twice with each take. We just came up with stuff at each spot. The director Brian Grant must have had a time with the edit!
JW: What are your memories of the video then - and what do you think when you look at it now, other than your 20" inch waist?!

T: My memories of the Still A Thrill Video was watching you twirl on the floor working your skirt to beats on the floor.
JW: LOL. I learned from the best!
JW: Explain 'Waacking' and distinguish against 'Vogueing'. What are the origins?
T: The differences between Waacking and Vogueing is that Waacking was done to Disco music which had a fast beat and the D.J. spead it up even more. and Vogueing is being done to House music which has a slower beat and with Waacking you have to be on all the beats and with vogueing that not always the case.
JW: Yes, waacking is being on the beat, driven by the music. 'Living' in it!
I must say when I saw the VOGUE video from Madonna, I was like you betta work Madge!! - but it should be me! LOL. I thought, man, I should have thought to write a song about the dance! I had some kids in the 'Friends' video vogueing - before VOGU which gave the dance a commercial name.
JW: I used to love the dance contests that we went to at places like Gino's, Catch One (Snatch Nothing!), Mavericks Flat - even the Hollywood Palladium. There was such freedom. Some kids were 'locking', some 'waacking', some just going for it.
JW: Since you interact a lot of kids now teaching, what do you see?
T: I see the young dancers want to know the history of the dances and what the dances were called.
more to follow....

1 comment: said...

"Still a Thrill" is definitely one of the best videos of all the time, obviously Madonna's "Vogue" video was inspired by it but even Madonna's "Express yourself" took the industrial imaginary from "Still a Thrill", dancing around big gears etc.

"Still a Thrill" was one of the few videos that inspired me to made my films.

Thank you Jody, you rock like no one else. love your blog.

Aaron Soto.