How to do the lonely boy dance

Dance Week / Black Keys “Lonely Boy” (2011)

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Dance Week / Black Keys “Lonely Boy” (2011)

  • April 17, 2022

This will bring to an end So Much Great Music’s celebration of National Dance Week – which, since I wasn’t sure exactly when that was, turned into two weeks anyway – and our tribute to some professional caliber dancers, but mostly just regular folks doing some regular-looking dancing (as you’ll see below, anybody can do that). And the whole thing was “sponsored” by my good friend Jody Hirsch, the dancing queen of Westchester County, NY, and her amazing studio for kids of literally all ages, the Hudson Dance & Tumble Center.

Alright, here’s our last dance number.

* * * * * *

The Black Keys are a blues-infused garage rock duo out of Akron, OH whose factory of riffs have made them an arena rock institution. But back in 2011 with the release of their album El Camino they were looking for something to seal their break from indie band doldrums, and they had big plans for this song.

A big budget, 40-person cast, scripted video was planned and filmed. But when it was finished the band rejected it. “A couple of weeks after we shot it they sent us the edit and it was awful,” said guitarist Dan Auerbach. “We sent it back. They sent us another edit and it was still terrible. That’s when we said ‘What about that one guy, who had that one dance scene’? And that’s the video – the most expensive single shot ever recorded.”

That one shot was of part-time actor, part-time security guard Derrick Tuggle, whose solitary dancing and lip-synching of the lyrics was done in a single take in front of the Pepper Tree Motel in North Hollywood. Tuggle had originally been cast as an extra who would be handed a set of keys to the band’s motel room, but while on set his improvised moves drew the attention of the director. “He sort of noticed me dancing, and asked me “Can you perform?” said Tuttle. “I said, I can dance. Anybody can dance.”

“It was a complete accident,” drummer Patrick Carney explained. “We scrapped the whole thing, except for the footage of Derrick Tuggle dancing. He had an hour to listen to the song, and he memorized all the lyrics and came up with the dance on his own. And if we didn’t have that footage, we would not have a video for the song.”

That video now has around 140 million views on YouTube. And ‘Lonely Boy’ became The Black Keys’ biggest ever hit to-date. Apparently a lot of people can relate to Derrick Tuggle’s simple sentiment: anybody can dance.

* * * * * *

Full SMGM Dance Week(s) in review:

  • Jon Batiste “Freedom”
  • Fatboy Slim “Weapon Of Choice”
  • Low Cut Connie “Shake It Little Tina”
  • The Lone Bellow “Time’s Always Leaving”
  • Dancing Days Are Here Again Playlist
  • Janelle Monae “Tightrope”
  • The White Buffalo “Modern Times”
  • OK Go “Here It Goes Again”
  • Dancing Days Are Here Again (Again) Playlist
  • Black Keys “Lonely Boy”


Dancing Days Are Here Again (Again) Playlist
Soul Glo “(Quietly) Do The Right Thing” (2020)

Lonely Boy Dances - Iljeen Jo

“Lonely Boys Don’t Have Cars in Orlando” is a six-part serial essay.
During the week of January 7, we’ll post a new installment each day. Use the TOC below to find your place.

Intro | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V

Part III.

I grinned into nothing. Every electric current the music had to offer lit my central nervous system. Teeth gnashing. Eyes rolling. My feet flashed, bouncing to the juke step my best friend taught me back in college. This was EDC New York, 2013, an electronic dance music festival spanning the open fields of Randall Island.

A dude in a neon tank top and a camelback walked up, nudged my friend Tim in the arm. “Yo, let me have what he’s having.” 

Tim laughed. “You can take what he took, but you can’t have what he’s having.” Tim crossed his arms and watched me clown. I moved my feet fast enough to fly. Bounce bounce. Magic sugar sky. A Moleskine notebook with a blue leather cover bulged from my back pocket of my linen shorts.

Back then, I carried this notebook everywhere. I thought a notebook like this had power. A notebook like this, one everybody could see from my back pocket, made me a writer. The dude in the neon tank top stood next to Tim, crossed his arms, and watched the free show.

I had just moved to Brooklyn and didn’t have many friends in the city when Tim, a homie from college, told me a bunch of the Chicago people were coming to visit. EDC. Electric Daisy Carnival. Be Ready.

Electronic music wasn’t my thing, but I thought it would be nice to see Tim’s and everyone’s faces. Day one of the festival, Tim handed me a baggy of pills that I crotched past security. Inside a Porta-Potti, I popped molly for the first time, downing the crystals with light beer. When I stepped into the sun, my body dispersed like soul flow. Like soul glow. Like a blessed, Technicolor dream light show—every physical movement I had ever seen or learned wanted to claw its way out of my face.

Borrowing a Chicago friend’s Indian headdress, I ran off into the dance organism and danced my face off for eight hours. Running around shirtless, rivulets of sweat flew off my body, defying gravity. Every hour or so, a concerned person gave me life-giving gulps of water.

“Okay. Thank you. I love you. Bye bye.” I bowed ninety degrees, grinning at the hilarity over everything. Moving like a jellyfish, I danced to be one with the Universe, believing with one hundred percent certainty the Universe had once again gifted me the ability to pop and lock. Maybe it did. Maybe it didn’t. Maybe pop and lock is a state of mind.

Yellow and red feathers flashed from my head. Some feathers wilted over my face from the capillary action of my incredible sweat. This was before I knew it was racist to wear an Indian headdress and dance to be one with the Universe. Back then, I didn’t care. Something about the feathers spoke to me. The moment we saw each other, I knew we belonged together. And I thought maybe Asians got a free pass.

Maybe I’ve always been sad and I just wasn’t aware of it. I first became aware of the sadness during my time in Peace Corps Honduras. During those two years, distance in body and mind isolated me from home and family. Sometimes, the loneliness got to be so overwhelming that I spent days in bed to hide from reality.

Living in the Department of Santa Barbara, I closed my blinds for the third day straight. I curled on my thin, cotton mattress, draped beneath a swamp green mosquito net that I had jerry-rigged to the metal beams in the ceiling with twine. Geckos darted up my chalky, cinder block walls into the gap between wall and tin roof. Heat surrounded me like a lost Asian man in an easy bake oven.

I cradled a cold, three liter bottle of Grape Fanta like the battery to life support until the sun went down. The moon came up and the atmosphere chilled. I opened my front door to let the cross breeze in, the streets emptying of sound. From the ease of the night, an abstract desperation came over me, a possible infinity that made me squirm, an exasperation that could cut skin. My will to live had hit an all-time low, making me feel so crazy, I had to give a wordless prayer, imagining a flowing, silvery blanket made of stardust hovering over me. Eyes closed, I held on to this feeling. Somehow, the imagination of God let me drift into my dreams where I felt safe and protected.

The next morning, I woke before the sun came up. I had to get out of site and find a friend. I needed to find some goddamned love. I locked the front gate of my one bedroom apartment, and took a straight shot down the road to the town entrance. Gravel crunched beneath my feet. The town river gurgled. I crossed the bridge and passed the two-lane highway where I waited for a chicken bus with other shadowed figures, grateful for the cover of pre-dawn hiding my Asianness.

In a school bus pimped with chrome wheels, tinted windows, and red dragon flames, I rode for two hours to Santa Barbara, a city central to a group of five volunteers spread throughout the Department.

Around noon, I got to our usual place, a bar whose name I forget, a place you had to walk through a tunnel to get to open concrete floors buffed to a shine—a place where men spat on floors and watched you get smashed out of your minds with a frightening look of detachment in their eyes. All the other volunteers were already there, sitting on the yellow plastic chairs and drinking Salva Vida beers, the local lager. Fast moving ceiling fans spun overhead. Ranchero music whined from a tube TV mounted on the wall. We drank.

After collectively consuming a mountain of brown-bottled beers, the five of us went back to Lisa’s place, the veteran volunteer who had come to country a year before me. Grabbing a chicken bus to the base of her mountainous village, we then hitched a ride in the back of friendly person’s pickup truck to her house. In Lisa’s house, an expansive four bedroom cinder block with a sprawling backyard, we blasted blasted bachata on the radio and doused ourselves in Flor de Caña rum.

Heated, Lisa opened her screen door for airflow. The village looked ghostly. A mist hovered over the streets. Not a soul whispered except a belly-bloated horse across the street, twitching next to a solitary, adobe wall. We sauntered outside with the radio on low.

Jay and Lisa held each other, dancing. Jay, another veteran volunteer on the other side of Honduras, had taken a fifteen hour chicken bus ride to see Lisa. Seeing them together like that made me happy, but reminded me of my own loneliness, so I swayed with one hand on my navel, the other out like my palm was catching warm water.

I danced with myself.

The stray dog Lisa took in watched from behind the screen door. The entire village slept. The belly-bloated horse shivered. We danced under the mist and stars. Starved by the desire to be around someone who understood, we were allowed to have these moments, melodramatic or not.

Throughout the great spiral of time, we all tell the same story, even if the location changes.

I wake up feeling raw and lonely in Honduras.

I wake up feeling raw and lonely in Brooklyn.

I wake up feeling raw and lonely in Orlando.

I am a couple months into the MFA program, and I need to dance. To move. To something before I get to another boiling point and want to stomp a face in. But I have no chicken bus to take me to an oasis, no friends coming for a dance festival. New to Orlando, I have no idea how to go about releasing. Friday night, I send a distress signal on the Facebook MFA group. Something like… Hello? Is anyone out there? Does anybody care?

No one answers the call. I have to go alone. After some Googling, I find a bar called Lil Indies on Mills Avenue where a DJ spins Hip-hop beats on Friday nights. I start my party prep. Toothbrush, phone charger, and a miniature thing of face wash in my jacket pocket. Then, I call a Lyft, splurging the eighteen dollars from Union Park to Mills Ave, mentally prepared to spend the twenty something bucks on the way back, because I am desperate for human affection.

At Lil Indies, a hipster bar, no one is getting into the music. People pause conversation and stare at the empty dance floor like someone left on the TV. So, I decide to get wasted out of my mind until I believe in myself. I order a beer and down the brew in three gulps. My stomach rumbles. A rush slips past my head from drinking on an empty stomach. I polish a few more beers and a shot when several friends from the MFA program show up.

Minute by minute. Hour by hour. I drink faster and faster until a grin I can’t wipe off plasters my face. Fellow MFA cohort members and I create a dance circle and pull people in with the promise of anonymity, the only way you can get most people to dance. The dance organism builds. Time ceases to exist. Riding the wave, a high rushes over my body.

A group of girls walk up. They want to talk, not because they want to be sexy, but because they want to be friendly. Having friends is better than having nothing.

“Group hug!” I scream.

Girls. Guys. A jumble of arms. We all embrace. I disappear into the physical contact, because this is the first intimacy I have had with anyone since moving to Orlando, and I’m starving.

“You need eight hugs a day if you want to live,” I say. Emboldened by the beer and the good vibes of the night, I run around like a child hugging strangers, giggling into my chin like fat, drunk baby, stumbling up a stairway to nowhere until I scream into the abyss.


Just dance.

Dance until last call.

Dance until the bar closes.

Dance until the end of the Universe.

Wonder if there is an afterparty.

Wonder if there’ll be yayo so I can stay up.

You can go on forever, ilgenius jo. You are

champion of the world.

“I am champion of the world,” I scream. Then my body shuts down. I need bed. I stumble out of the bar without saying goodbye and hail a Lyft ride home. Ninja Vanish.

Trying not to puke my guts out in the Lyft, my head lolls around like I’ve got a baby neck.

“Are you okay?” the driver asks from the front.

“Yes,” I say, spitting into my sleeve when he’s not looking to keep from puking. “I am fine. I am just baby neck drunk.”

An eternity of closed eyes later, we arrive at my apartment complex. Home never looked so good. I push open the car door with my foot leaving a chalky print, take a deep breath, and carefully step out.

“Thank you so much for the ride, sir. ” I bow, still clowning a little but being extra careful to be polite so that I don’t get a low rating for almost dying in his car. Then, I stomp up the stairs to my apartment and crash without washing up, not caring about anything but sleep, swirling into a frenzy of alcohol dreams.

I wake up feeling embarrassed, remembering myself from the night before. I was so thirsty for attention. So thirsty for affection. I am glad that I am in Orlando, a new city where no one knows me, where no one will remember me, because this party version of me is not me. I used to think this version defined me, because alcohol made me fun and interesting and provided me a way to make instant friends. But the come down has made my highs underwhelming. Maybe when you do things outside your sense of self, you leave yourself with nothing.

I scroll through my phone, avoiding Facebook messenger because at this point in my life I don’t need to know what stupid shit I message people in my blackout state. Instead, I deactivate Facebook, remove the app from my phone, and text a handful of people I love, asking them for reassurance that I am a good person.

I stare at the ceiling. “Oh God,” I say. “Oh God.” I roll out of bed and into the shower. “Who am I?” I hock a loogie congealed from a night of chain smoking. I clear my lungs and sing. “Hakuna Matata. What a wonderful phrase. Hakuna Matata. Ain’t no passing craze. It means no worries. For the rest of your days…”

No more drinking, I promise myself. No more drinking. At least for a little while.


Intro | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V

Lonely boy - translation into Russian | English-Russian EnglishespañolFrançaisPortuguêsRussianTürkçe

English phrases | Russian phrases | Turkish phrases

EnglishSpanishFrenchPortugueseRussianTurkishEnglishSpanishFrenchPortugueseRussianTurkish / English → Russian / [ L ] / Lonely boy

85 parallel translation

Such a lonely boy, away from home for the first time and going off to war.

Such a lonely boy, away from home for the first time. He left for the war.

A lonely boy with no father.

A lonely boy who grew up without a father.

They feared the mutants, plagues the universe will return with his tail between his legs? They have failed to take an a lonely boy.

the scourge of the universe is running with their tails between their legs because they failed to disarm one overgrown boy.

[Man Singing] I'm just a lonely boy

I have nothing to do.

Hey, Gustav, can you send me up the Lonely Boy Special?

Hi Gustav, will you send me a special singles dinner?

boyle 310
boys 7010
boyka 121
boyd 649
boyfriend 977
boyce 31
boyfriends 122
boyo 55
boy meets girl 28
boy or girl 87

boychik 17
boys and girls 256
boy wonder 27
boy scout 43
boys will be boys 42
boyd crowder 43
boykewich 37
boycie 17
lonely 207
loneliness 86

Spotted. .. Lonely boy. Can't believe the love of his life has returned...

A lonely guy... still can't believe that the love of his life has returned.

Spotted- - lonely boy's rude awakening.

Noted - Lonely guy was rudely awakened.


Luck for a single guy, but for us it's more than just another tale in the mailbox.


Es and a lonely guy, he is lighter than air, towering over the city center


We heard it can be stolen by a single guy.

And lonely boy macking in the meat packing.

Spotted... Es and a single guy finally meet on a date

Spotted - a lonely guy on the upper east side has learned the lesson that nothing is lost for long.

And lonely boy Locking lips like all is forgiven.

Es and a lonely boy kiss as if everyone is forgiven.

It Turns Out Lonely Boy Is A Worthy Opponent, And It's Time For S. To Bring In The Calvy.

It so happened that the lonely guy became the worst enemy, and it was time for Es to withdraw the cavalry.

Better hurry up, lonely boy.

You'd better hurry, lonely boy.

Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass Placing a wager on the takedown of lonely boy's b.F.F.

Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass plan to destroy a lonely guy's best friend.

We heard a lonely boy's b.F.F. Still carries a torch for nate.

Apparently the single guy's girlfriend is still unrequitedly in love with Nate.

I guess that means lonely boy was all alone When the clock tolled 12:00.

- S. and lonely boy kicking off the new year like it's last year.

S and Lone Guy start the New Year just like the old one.

Spotted at victrola, lonely boy And Chuck Bass, having a heart to heart What or who do they talk about?

Spotted - single guy in Victorola and Chuck Bass, face to face, what or who are they talking about?

Is lowly lonely boy cheating on our queen?

A cute single guy cheating on our queen?

"nothing yet on'lonely boy,' But we did find out " He brown bags it for lunch,

" , and this one's a doozy.

"Is... is lonely boy giving a certain new teacher more than just an apple?" What does that mean, and... and why is it written on your hand?

"Did the lonely boy give the teacher something more than an apple?"0003

Spotted... lonely boy going from teacher's pet to persona non grata in the pitter-patter of a heartbeat.

As for lonely boy, I suspect tonight's going to be strictly a family affair... to remember.

Even perez hilton knows our lonely boy Is going to be getting a halloween treat.

Even Perez Hilton knows our single guy is sure to get his Halloween treat.

- I used to think that s. And lonely boy

I used to think that Es and "lonely boy"

Watch out, lonely boy.

Watch out, Lonely Boy.

Looks like a lonely boy has a baby boy.

Also spotted - lonely boy's baby mama looking like one hot mama on the beach in St. Barts.

The mother of a single boy's baby is also seen, looking like one of the hot moms from St. Barth's beach.

Word has it lonely boy and golden boy both declared their love.

The word of the lonely boy and the golden boy both declared their love.

Will lonely boy ever learn that s. Can't tell time,

Will the Lonely Boy ever figure out that C is out of whack with time

Watch out, lonely boy.

Beware, lonely boy.

Spotted... a lonely boy trying to save an innocent man.

Spotted... Lonely guy trying to save an innocent man.

You and Lonely Boy are having an affair!

You and the Single Guy are dating!

It's lonely boy, and it wasn't an affair... just a kiss, which made me see how much I wished it was with Chuck.

It's a lonely boy and it wasn't a fling... just a kiss that made me realize how much I wish it was Chuck.

Sorry, lonely boy, but it looks like this is going to be a "surrender the pink" party for you.

I'm sorry, lonely boy, but it looks like your party will be "betrayal in pink. "

♪ I'm a lonely boy ♪

* I'm a lonely boy *

♫ That I'm just A lonely boy ♫

My dream has now come true

Lonely boy learning three words, eight letters don' t come out right when no one wants to hear them.

A lonely guy remembered that 3 words, 10 letters should not be heard when they are not wanted to be heard.

" being offered refuge at Lonely Boy's loft. 9

" received an offer to hide in the Lonely Boy's loft.

Poor lonely boy, even on the outer boroughs of love.

Poor lonely boy. I was a lonely little boy Until you came

Now I'm lonely too, Sonny Boy #

It's a children's story about a young shepherd boy who gets lonely while tending his flock so he cries out to the villagers that a wolf is attacking the sheep.0003

- This is a children's story about a little shepherd boy who is lonely tending his flock. Therefore, he constantly shouts that the wolves are attacking the sheep.

Such a lonely little boy.

Such a lonely boy!

That there comes a time, Time Lord, when every lonely little boy must learn how to dance.

The time is coming, Lord of Time, when every lonely little boy must learn to dance.

That boy is doing major damage, and it's getting kinda lonely in here.

This guy has done some serious damage, and I'm kind of lonely here by myself.

You know, one day real soon, you're gonna be a lonely, rich boy cowering away in punk city, terrified every day of your life.

You know, very soon you will become a lonely rich man and will cringe at the daily horrors of your life.

  • translate to "lonely boy" Turkish

Lonely Boy - l


Someone once told me to live for the little things. Live for sunrise at 5am and sunset at 5pm, live for road trips, bike rides with music in your ears and wind in your hair, live for dancing in the rain, live for laughter until your stomach hurts, live for your favorite songs and good books , for smiles for no reason, for long conversations, for cookies and tea, for rest after a long hard day, for a sparkle in the eyes. Live for the adventures of the night and for the stars that walk you home. Live for people who remember that you drink tea without sugar and hate onions. To live for the first kiss and long walks, for hugs and new acquaintances. For the sake of unexpected gifts and the long-awaited "yes". Live for the little things that make you feel alive.

Sitting in the room, sending a new article, I suddenly felt some kind of suffocation, as if it was +70 in my room and at the same time someone was choking me with a rope. I experienced this feeling for the first time, I didn’t like it, therefore, trying to get rid of him, I went around the room, turned on the air conditioner, drank water, but nothing helped. I went to the window, pulling sharply, I hung the curtains, a bright light flooded over me and I involuntarily grimaced, getting used to the sudden light, I, unexpectedly for myself , noticed in the house opposite that he was about five meters from my house, in the next window that girl from the souvenir shop, the window to her room was open, she was sitting at the table and writing something, the wind blew her in a draft. I stood like that for 10 minutes, like a distraught maniac watching the victim, but I didn’t want anything bad for her, on the contrary, I was even wondering what kind of irony of fate, I couldn’t find her for 2 weeks, coming to that shop, but I met her here now, just going to the window. I went for coffee, took a chair, sat near the window and began to watch her, I know, maybe this is wrong and any other person did not approve of my act, and maybe even she, having found out what I was doing, she began to have a bad opinion of me, but at that moment it was this that gave me interest, removed my boredom and that feeling of suffocation. she lay down on the table, apparently tired. name, what color does she like, what kind of coffee does she like and does she like it at all. These questions did not leave me, they appeared in my head one by one, like in a quiz, and I couldn’t really answer any of them. I got up to stretch, she was still lying on the table, I looked at a bird flying past, so colorful, which are not found in our on the edges, as if from a pet store, from which she miraculously got out, only this is not her homeland and soon, due to the cruel conditions of this environment, she will most likely die.

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