How come when i dance in the street

How David Bowie and Mick Jagger came to make the Dancing In The Street video

26 July 2021, 18:57

The daftest video of all time, or a harmless bit of fun for charity? Radio X looks at the evidence.

By Martin O'Gorman

It's become one of the most ridiculed music videos of all time. In 2011, Family Guy ran the clip in full midway through an episode, with Peter Griffin commenting afterwards: "That happened, and we all let it happen."

It's either a high camp classic, millionaire rock stars' folly, or just plain poor judgement. Should we be embarrassed by it, or just sit back an enjoy two of the 1980s biggest superstars having a laugh for charity?

We're talking, of course, about Mick Jagger and David Bowie's video for Dancing In The Street, which was released as a single on 12 August 1985. By the time the world could purchase a copy of the record, everyone had already seen the video as part of the mammoth Live Aid benefit gig a month earlier.

So how did this clash of the rock titans come about?

David Bowie and Mick Jagger papped on November 28, 1985 at the China Club in New York City. Picture: Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In the summer of 1985, David Bowie was enjoying the biggest success of his career to date. After becoming the 1970s' most enigmatic star with the Ziggy Stardust album, his "Berlin Trilogy" in the latter part of the decade drew acclaim from critics and musicians, but left a lot of fans baffled. With the dawn of the 80s, Bowie decided to embrace commercial pop again and made the tactically brilliant choice of employing Chic mastermind Nile Rodgers as producer of his 1983 album Let's Dance. The record was a huge international success and while the follow-up, 1984's Tonight, was another hit, the reviews weren't as good.

Mick Jagger, meanwhile, was at something of a crossroads in his career. The Rolling Stones' 1983 album Undercover was a huge success, but his relationship with Keith Richards had begun to sour. The singer had recently signed a solo record deal and was focusing on what would become the album She's The Boss; the Stones were not his priority.

So, with Jagger nurturing visions of becoming a huge solo artist, it only seemed right that when a request came from Bob Geldof for both stars to contribute something to the Live Aid concert in the summer of 1985, something special was needed.

The original idea was that Bowie and Jagger - two of the biggest stars of the past decade - would perform together at different legs of the Live Aid marathon on Saturday 13 July. Bowie would be singing at Wembley Stadium in London, while Jagger would appear at the same time on stage at the JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.

However, combining the two performances proved to be too much of a nightmare for 1985 technology - a half second delay via the satellite link would mean that one or both of the performers would be thrown out by the timing. One solution was that one of them had to mime, and neither Jagger nor Bowie wanted that.

Jagger and Bowie perform Dancing In The Street for the only time at the Prince's Trust 10th Birthday show at Wembley Arena on 20 June 1986. Picture: Brian Cooke/Redferns/Getty Images

The compromise was to record a single together, make a video quickly and play the clip on the big screens at Wembley and JFK. Simple! The song chosen was the 1964 Motown classic from Martha And The Vandellas, Dancing In The Street. The opening line is "Calling out around the world", which linked nicely with the "Global Jukebox" idea of Live Aid

The song was recorded on 29 June 1985 at Westside studios in London, where Bowie was working on two songs for the soundtrack to the movie Absolute Beginners. Musicians included Steve Nieve, keyboard player with Elvis Costello And The Attractions and drummer Neil Conti of Prefab Sprout.

Conti remembered the difference between the two superstars in the studio: "Bowie was, as always, very polite, a real gentleman. Mick doesn’t bother with politeness, he’s more the like the mad leader of the gang, shouting out ideas to the troops."

A rough version of the track was completed in four hours, then it was time for Bowie and Jagger to make the infamous video. They were hurried to the Millennium Mills in London's Docklands to work swiftly with director David Mallett, who Bowie had collaborated with on the ground-breaking Ashes To Ashes video.

Mallett kept it simple: the performers improvised some moves, with Mick throwing out some of his best Jaggerisms. This prompted Bowie - dressed in a jumpsuit and long raincoat - to play up to the cameras too.

It's this playful irreverence that causes many people to cringe. Two hugely-successful musicians that influenced successive generations are captured looking like embarrassing dads. The video ends with Mallett's camera zooming in on Bowie and Jaggers' arses, waggling in unison. But, by the end of a thirteen hour period, the single was recorded and the video made.

On the day of Live Aid, comedian Chevy Chase introduced the video from Philadelphia following Queen's momentous set from London. The clip was taken in the spirit in which the song was created: to raise awareness, to create a moment that would hopefully people to donate to the Live Aid charity to help alleviate famine in Africa. However, the tone of the Dancing In The Street video jarred with Bowie's own live set, which he cut short to play the video of The Cars' Drive, which had been set to images of the Ethiopian famine.

David Bowie performing at the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium in London, 13th July 1985. T. Picture: Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

Needless to say, when Dancing In the Street was issued as a single on 12 August, it went to Number 1 in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain and Canada. The US weren't so sure - it only made Number 7 in the Billboard Top 100. As Peter Grffin's opinion demonstrates, maybe the American audience were put off by the undignified capering of the video. It's an opinion shared around the world and through the years: Guardian readers voted it the Worst Music Video Of All Time, while the NME placed it at No 12 in their 50 Worst Videos list - only marginally worse than Nickelback's Rockstar. Ouch.

But we shouldn't be too harsh on Dancing In The Street. As John Regan, who played bass on the song, notes, Jagger's energy was driven by the power of the music. "As I was laying down the bass track I could see Mick dancing around the studio, just getting into the music as if he were onstage," he told Songfacts in 2016. "It hit home how much Jagger was moved by the power of the song, and how sincere his love of music must be."

When YouTube prankesters created a "silent" version of the Dancing In The Street video that removed all the music and vocals and just left in some fake squaks, shuffles and the odd grunt apparently coming from the performers, one of the clip's biggest fans was none other than David Bowie himself. Guitarist Ben Monder, who played on Bowie's final album, Blackstar, recalled: "He thought that was hilarious and would just have us watch the whole thing."

The one live performance of Dancing In The Street by Mick Jagger and David Bowie, at the Prince's Trust 10th anniversary gig in 1986:

Why 'Dancing In The Street' Gets The People Going : NPR

From left: Betty Kelly, Rosalind Ashford and Martha Reeves of Martha and the Vandellas perform circa mid-1964 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images hide caption

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Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

From left: Betty Kelly, Rosalind Ashford and Martha Reeves of Martha and the Vandellas perform circa mid-1964 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York.

Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at

A few summers ago, I was in line at a Starbucks in the middle of the night, on the ground floor of a hospital on the north side of Chicago. My mother was in the intensive care unit upstairs. There were maybe a dozen people in line, of various ages and ethnicities, all with worn, worried faces under screaming yellow lights. I wondered what our different stories were; I don't think anyone is happy to be in a hospital in the middle of the night.

Music was on overhead. People began to tap their toes, bounce slightly at the knee, and hum along softly to some of the lines we knew so well:

Calling out around the world,
Are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer's here and the time is right
For dancing in the street

And then, everyone in line — including the elderly couple in front of me, who I would learn were there because their granddaughter had been clipped by a car, and the teenage barista standing behind the counter — seemed to light up at the same time. We all sang out: "They're dancing in Chicago."

Then we laughed, smiled and began to talk to each other about why we were there, how long it had been, and what we remembered and loved about this song. We were dancing in Chicago.

"Dancing in the Street" is a song that stirs our souls. Great anthems do. But no less than the great Martha Reeves, who gave it such a powerful voice, says it was first and last a dance song.

"The song is about love and feeling free enough to dance in the street," she told me in a conversation recorded for Weekend Edition Saturday. "You don't have to worry about cars hitting you. You don't have to worry about policemen coming and telling you you can't dance in the street."


In 1964, Reeves was singing in clubs around Detroit and working as a secretary at Motown Records. One day, the 23-year-old saw the company's biggest star, Marvin Gaye, in a studio, working out a song he'd written with Mickey Stevenson and Ivy Joe Hunter.

Reeves says all she could say to Marvin Gaye upon hearing the song was, "Wow. " Gaye did her one better. "He looked over and saw me in awe of him and said, 'Hey man' — and this is his exact words — 'Hey man, let's try this song on Martha.'"

Martha and the Vandellas, which then included Rosalind Ashford and Annette Beard, recorded the song at Motown's studios on June 19, 1964. They got it on the second take — though Reeves believes her first one was even better.

"But the machine wasn't on," she says. "Didn't have the tape rolling. And then they said, 'Well, Martha, can you do it again?' And I didn't get angry, but I was so disappointed because I thought I had nailed it."

She must have nailed take two as well. "Dancing in the Streets" became a top seller in the United States and the U.K., competing with the rise of The Beatles to the top of pop charts around the world. It is now one of just 50 sound recordings preserved in the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.

1964 was also the year the Civil Rights Act was signed into law and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize. But racism and oppression persisted across the United States, too: That same summer, three civil rights workers and two black hitchhikers were abducted and murdered in Mississippi the by Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi.

Mark Kurlansky, author of the book Ready For a Brand New Beat: How "Dancing in the Street" Became the Anthem for a Changing America, says that at the time, those campaigning for equal rights were split on strategy — between Dr. King's nonviolence, and the Black Power movements exemplified by Stokely Carmichael (aka Kwame Ture), the Black Panthers and Malcolm X's Black Muslims. It was on the latter side that "Dancing in the Street" began to show a new potential.

What makes the song an anthem is the ring of authenticity: a cry from the heart of summer in a big city, boiling with energy, turmoil and hope.

"1964 was the year when Malcolm X famously said, 'We will get our rights by any means necessary. It really was the year that the black liberation movement was under a shift from the civil rights movement to the Black Power movement," he says. "The people in the Black Power movement used this song for rallies because it got people worked up and got them going."

Mark Kurlansky also notes the litany of cities woven into the song: 'They're dancing in Chicago, down in New Orleans, up in New York City ... Philadelphia, PA, Baltimore and D.C. now," and ending with, "Can't forget the Motor City.' "Every city they list where they were dancing," he says, "was a city with a militant black neighborhood, and a city where, eventually riots, broke out."

Martha Reeves wants it to be known, "I had nothing to do with that. I just sang the song and in my heart, I was visualizing people actually dancing in the street. I wasn't singing, you know, doom and gloom when the sun go down, let's kill everybody and go steal their property, and break into stores and carry refrigerators home on your back. "

But she also says the song reminds her of the trials she faced as a black teen in Detroit, before the modern civil rights movement began.

"We couldn't stand on street corners and sing," she recalls, "because there was a police unit called the Big Four. It was usually four big white men, and they had clubs and guns. And if they caught a group of black people standing on the corner singing doo-wop ... they would jump out of the car and attack you, arrest you, or run to your house, because they didn't want blacks gathering. So 'Dancing in the Street' is all of that to me."

Mark Kurlansky believes that "Dancing in the Street" has grown into an American anthem over six decades because its irresistible beat and engaging images let people find their own message in the song. He says that co-writer Mickey Stevenson "saw it as a song about integration: about how young black people and young white people could go out on the street and be together."

WDET, an NPR member station in Detroit, interviewed visitors from around the United States at "Hitsville, U. S.A." — the former Motown Records headquarters on Grand Boulevard, now the Motown Museum — to get their impressions on the song.

"If you listen to the lyrics, it's telling you that when things are rough, you dance in the streets," said Kenneth Atkins, a visitor from Houston. "You have to celebrate victory sometimes. And it makes you feel good. ... It gives you a positive energy." Vincent Thames from Connecticut said he believes the song "brings everyone together. It was saying, 'Shed your fears. Forget about the political thing and just enjoy life.' "

Several other artists have recorded "Dancing in the Street" over the years, including The Mamas and & the Papas and the Grateful Dead. Mick Jagger and David Bowie recorded a duet to benefit Live Aid in 1985, and began it by calling out to "Tokyo, South America, Australia, France, Germany, U.K., Africa." That's how far the song has traveled.


Bowie and Jagger's version was a hit. But it's hard — no, impossible — to improve on Martha Reeves' original. What makes the song an anthem is the ring of authenticity from Motown's original studios in Detroit: a cry from the heart of summer in a big city, boiling with energy, turmoil and hope.

"I will admit that it's one of the greatest songs recorded at Motown," Reeves told us, "and I consider it the anthem of the Motown sound because it makes everybody dance whenever you hear it. Whenever I hear it, I have to almost get up and move."

So do most of us. Stop reading — and start dancing.

Digital editor Daoud Tyler-Ameen and radio producer Ned Wharton contributed to this story.

Dancing in a dream: interpretation from dream books


Dancers: Pixabay

What does it mean to dance in a dream? Such a dream usually tells about pleasant things. What he saw testifies to the imminent prospects, the fulfillment of the cherished, the well-being and strengthening of the social significance of the individual. Is it really? Let's figure out why we dream of dancing.

Why dream of dancing according to Freud's dream book?

A world-famous psychologist claims that dreaming of a dance is a good sign if you enjoy what is happening. The dream speaks of problems that burdened, but will soon pass. A dream indicates that a person is experiencing a psychological discharge.

A dream in which you want to dance very much, speaks of too much sexual potential, which cannot be realized in reality.

If in a dream you do not participate in the dance, but you are watching nearby, but you get visual pleasure from what is happening, then the subconscious hints: you dream of trying something condemned by the public as immoral. We are talking about same-sex love, which you subconsciously consider attractive.

Why dream of dancing in a dream according to Miller's dream book?

What does it mean to dance in a dream? Miller's dream interpretation is interpreted as follows:

  1. Moving to music is a good sign. The dream hints that the problems that are troubling at the moment will soon cease to bother. Why dream of dancing alone? Leave everything to chance, once again do not overstrain, the result will be positive.
  2. What else will the dream book tell about? Dancing in pairs - the help that is so needed will come from a life partner.
  3. Dance also speaks of success in personal life. Subconsciously prepare for the wedding. It is important to consider the details of the dream. A dance with a chosen one or a chosen one speaks of auspiciousness.

For careerists, dancing in a dream speaks of future success, professional growth and promotion at work. If you are dancing at a holiday, then expect a quick profit.

Why dream of dancing in a dream according to an esoteric dream book?

What will the esoteric dream book tell about? Dancing in a dream has several explanations:

  • Stormy and funny dances - expect problems with the musculoskeletal system (dislocation, fracture, sciatica, and so on).
  • Slow pair dance - a long quarrel, divorce and problems in the love field.
  • Watching dancers is an unpleasant discussion in which you sort things out.

What else will the dream book tell? Dancing on stage - the subconscious hints at impending depression and illness due to envy of the well-being of other people.

Why dream of dancing according to Vanga's dream book?

Vanga spoke about dancing in a bad way. She believed that the desire to move to the music foreshadows:

  1. Imminent disease of the musculoskeletal system. Wanted to dance in a dream? The dream interpretation warns: go to a specialist and check the condition of the body.
  2. If you dreamed of ballroom dancing, others envy you. Expect unpleasant gossip and rumors.
  3. Cheerful dances in your house speak of quarrels in the family and with neighbors. Be attentive to others, beware of small conflicts, as they will develop into major problems.

Why dream of dancing according to Grishina's "Noble Dream Book"?

Girl dancing at sunset: Pixabay

Nina Grishina wrote about dreaming dances in her dream book as follows:

  • Dancing fast - expect exhausting work that will bring you to fatigue.
  • Simple dance - you are disturbed by thoughts of intimacy with a particular person. Another such dream speaks of psychological elasticity, which will soon help.
  • Go dancing - a confident attitude will lead to success.
  • Participate in a round dance - have become the goal of discussion, a gamble or an entertaining dialogue is ahead.
  • Get carried away by a dizzying dance - you have embarked on the wrong path to achieve your goal, do not intentionally think about the bad.
  • There is no way to stop during the dance - a feeling of impending danger that cannot be avoided has overtaken.
  • A sprained leg will tell about harm to the body and danger due to active actions accompanied by music.
  • Legs do not obey, they seem to have grown to the floor - you feel wrong, think about your inert and slow state, which will not lead to anything good.
  • The girl dreamed that her partner was spinning her around him - a signal of forgetfulness and absent-mindedness.
  • You are dancing with a partner or a partner - a person you lust for, are afraid of or are not completely sure of him.
  • If you witnessed a dance of a group of people, passions flare up around you.

What else will the dream book tell about? To dance a waltz - enter into a difficult relationship with a specific person.

Why dream of dancing according to an Islamic dream book?

In Muslim culture, dancing in a dream is an unfavorable sign. Such a dream speaks of a waste of time. Review your pastime, perhaps you need to change something in order to become more productive and efficient.

If nothing is changed, then the applied forces are in vain. More dances will indicate the problems that the dreamer himself will create. Be careful what you do so you don't get into trouble.

In a dream, someone from the family is dancing - quarrel with this person. For a patient, such a dream speaks of a deterioration in his condition, but for a prisoner, a dream is a good sign, since he will soon be released.

Why dream of dancing according to a folk dream book?

Why dream of dancing in a dream? The meaning of a dream depends on various factors. It is important to consider the partner, dance style and setting. General interpretations are as follows:

What does the partner testify to?

Dancing in a dream with a man - you will get married soon. Mutual understanding and harmony will reign in the family. Such a dream has another interpretation: family life with this person will become the subject of envy. Try not to show off your relationship.

Participating in a dance with several people circling? Expect a major scandal. Take a close look at your surroundings, quarrel with one of your relatives or friends.

Don't worry if you dance alone in your dream. This is a good sign that indicates financial gain, merit and success. Another good thing is dancing with a child. There will be more positive things in your life. Such a dream tells a woman: expect replenishment in the family.

What will the dance style tell about?

In a dream, dancing a waltz is family happiness. The problems of a loved one will improve, and harmony will reign in the family. For unmarried people, the waltz speaks of imminent marriage. Oriental dance is interpreted in different ways: you feel hatred or sexual attraction to a particular person. Round dances indicate a fascinating conversation, and a folk dance to a woman speaks of a meeting with her future husband.

In a dream, the dream book interprets dancing in different ways. The meaning is influenced by the partner, dance style, atmosphere, place and setting. Such dreams indicate quarrels, scandals, troubles, but at the same time they speak of imminent changes for the better.

Original article:

“When I dance, an ocean of emotions rages in me”,

Popular Krasnodar dancer Emilia Vishnevskaya, who is only 16 years old, gave an interview for the news portal Alfa news.

- How did you get into dancing?

- When I was 8 years old, my mother sent me to oriental dancing, and from the very first lessons I realized that this was mine.

- Do you remember the music you danced to for the first time?

- According to my mother, when I was two years old, I danced to the song of the Tatu group “I went crazy”, while still a child, I heard the music well and moved to the beat.

- What style are you dancing in now?

- Now I am developing in many styles of modern choreography, such as: vogue, Jazz funk, hip-hop, contemporary, I also do not forget about fitness and regularly dance in the Zumba style.

- How do you feel about dancing?

-Each dance has its own meaning, its own story, and in order to convey this, I pass all the feelings through myself, and no matter where I dance, on the street, in the hall or on the stage, inside I feel how a whole ocean of emotions is raging!

- Is dancing a profession or a hobby for you?

- Initially, dancing was a hobby for me, but when it became my meaning of life, I can safely call dancing a profession!

- What was the most beautiful moment you lived on the floor?

- There were a lot of beautiful moments and I won't name specific ones, but perhaps the best moments are receiving flowers from relatives from the stage.

- Is dancing a sport or an art? Do you have an opinion on this?

- I believe that dancing plays the role of both a sport and an art. Dancing is endless possibilities.

- Do you think it matters if you start as a child or adults can also learn to dance like professionals?

- Definitely not. If a person wants to learn to dance, but cannot, then he does not have enough desire to do it. There is a desire, there are opportunities. There is no desire, excuses appear.

- Have you ever thought about quitting dancing?

- I never had any thoughts of quitting dancing, because I live by dancing.

- Do relatives come to concerts?

- The most pleasant thing is to feel the support of relatives and friends from the audience.

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