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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Conversations With: Tyrone 'The Bone' Procter on Soul Train, Dancing, 'Still a Thrill' Video and Music - Conclusion
Part Three. The Conclusion.
JW: You were also fabulous to watch doing 'The Hustle' or 'Swing' with Sherri Green. You were both all legs and pencil thin, which added to the great lines. Do you ever watch any of the dancing shows - 'Dancing With The Stars' - 'America's Next Best Dance Crew', 'So You Think You Can Dance?', etc?
T: Sometimes I watch Dancing with the Stars.
JW: How and when did you start teaching? I know you'd done choreography with New Kids On The Block and many others as well.
T: It all started with you. Doing the 'Still a Thrill' video opened up a whole lotta doors for me. Thanks you Jody for taking the chance on me.
JW: I am humbled. Thank YOU! I feel like we meet people in our lives for various reasons. Often, we come together to discover a deeper clarity for who we are, what we can be, etc. I remain happy that I was able to connect with you again, and to show people how great you were, and still are! Historically, the wrong people get credit for their influence or impact. Through the years, people forget the origin on things too. That's why this conversation is so important for me to post.
Not to mention, to this day, you are someone I am still quite fond of :)
JW: The last time I was in Japan, you had an entire fan club at one of my shows! Tell me about the Japanese kids that come to your classes? I find that once that study something - they really master it: the whole vibe top to bottom.
T: The Dance community in Japan is real tight they look are so together. I judged a Waacking contest with Cleveland Moses and there were 147 contestants in the contest.
JW: I wish I could have seen that!
JW: I have to digress - when did you get rid of the signature moustache?! I read a comment of a clip at youtube - and they said 'I don't know who this gentleman is - but Tyrone Procter has a moustache!" I laughed because I guess the person who wrote it didn't take into account that people change their looks all the time. For me - you look the same - just without the moustache!
T: After doing The New Kids On The Block Video I cut my hair and shaved my moustache off.
JW: Where did 'The Bone' come from as a moniker - it's very intriguing, if it's not PG - don't reply! :)
T: My nickname "The Bone" came from Don himself, it was because I was so small he'd call me "The Bone"
JW: You're kidding?! Wow. I would have never guessed that one!
JW: Do you encounter people often who may be in a time warp - as if we are all still frozen in the 70's?
T: Sometime, not often though. I'm amazed they still remember.
JW: Who was your influence (s) coming up as a dancer? And what made you gravitate to Soul Train? People don't know it was all for free - for a tiny box of cold KFC chicken and a cold soda!
T: My influences were Pasty, Jackie, Jimmy Howard my cousin's and My brother James Proctor, all my dancing friends in Philly and The Soul Train Gang.
JW: What young singer on the scene these days do you think could benefit most from your teachings or just watching you ?
JW: Do you feel only certain types of personalities can really pull off certain moves? Actually - I guess is the question should be; don't you think there is a difference in learning a move or routine - and really 'living' in that moment/movement, or can both be the same? Not everyone does choreography well either.
T: That's what I'm teaching now the difference between dancing 'in' the music oppose to Dancing 'on it'.
JW: I love that - that's it !! Dancing 'in' the music - that's what I meant by living in it. There's a huge difference. I think when you're 'in' the music it's about the passion for the music and your body feels that and responds to the nuances in the music as a result.
JW: That's it! Soooooooo true.
JW: Best song to hit those beats - when teaching? I have a dance classics list that I like to power walk or dance to - and I can never retain myself when Cerrone's 'Love in C Minor' full version comes on - my arms and head just start moving to those strings! I can visualize the kids hitting the floor in poses - literally, to this day. Brass Construction 'Movin' Salsoul Orchestra 'Magic Bird of Fire' Kraftwerk 'Computer Love' - I could go on. Give me your Top Five. It was so much fun and so fabulous. The TSOP theme is also still great - I get chills everytime still, it's another on my all time dance classic playlist for my iPod. Days gone by; easily recalled with the push of the 'play' button.
T: It's hard to name them all, but I'll give you a couple:
You plus Me/Undisputed Truth
Let's Start The Dance/Bohannon
Beyonds the Clouds/Quartz
Star Love/Cherly Lynn
Deputy of Love/Fonda Rae
Think it Over/Thelma Huston
Forever Came Today/The Jackson Five
JW: Yes. Yes! One of my favorite Jackson's songs - a lot of people don't know that one....it's from the 'Moving Violation' album when their popularity was shifting for a bit, as they were growing past the 'bubblegum' phase. OMG. Love this! Those stringsssssssss!
Express Yourself/New York Community Choir.
..and many more!
JW: OMG - 'Express Yourself' by the New York Community Choir - Rahsaan Patterson and I were just talking it that song at dinner with our friend Paul Moschell!!! That's the jam...toward the end, when that groove just let's loose. I easily recall, you have to be careful not to dance too closely to anyone - because you could easily get hit across the face or head accidentally with someone's arms as they tried to hit those beats. There would be no fights or violence - you'd just laugh and move out of the way!! Great List!
JW: Will I ever be able to get you onstage with me somewhere in concert for 'Still a Thrill'? New York, Tokyo, Paris?! The audience would go up I'm sure! Cleveland Moses just wore it out onstage on my last trip to Osaka (and shocked me that he came, it's been so long)!
T: YES,YES,YES, All you got to do is give me the time and place and I'm there.
JW: What's next for Tyrone' The Bone' Procter, and where can people find out when and where you are teaching next and where can we see 'The Imperial House of Waacking'? 'The Mother of The House' may need a refresher course - lol.
T: Everyone can get me on "tyronetheboneproctor@myspace,com" aka
All I'm doing now is teaching this wonderful dance form call Waacking.
T: May Everyone have a Great New Year.
JW: Thank you Tyrone!! WORK!
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....