How to do the safety dance

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The Safety Dance - Do You Remember?

I’m a big fan of one-hit wonders. M.A.R.R.S., Robin Beck, Joe Dolce: you know, those singers or bands who get everybody humming one song constantly for months and then are never heard of again?

Men Without Hats were another one of those groups, although to be strictly accurate they were really only one-hit wonders in the UK. They had slightly more success in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand (only ‘slightly’ mind you) but had the most popularity in their home country of Canada. 

By far, their biggest hit was with ‘The Safety Dance’, which was written as a protest song against that all-important social topic: bouncers discriminating against pogoing in clubs. Yes. That important social topic. 

To be completely fair, lead singer Ivan Doroschuk, has explained (probably more than once) that it was written more as anti-establishment in general rather than as a real diatribe on that one, particularly niche, issue but it was indeed inspired by the problem of club door security seeing pogoing to the new wave music of the time as dangerous. They would frequently stop anybody who was seen doing it and often escort them off the premises. 

It’s very hard to accurately write an accurate description of pogoing but if you follow these steps then you’ll get the idea (make sure there are no people or precious ornaments nearby when you do): 


  1. Keep your legs straight and together and hold your arms tightly to your sides.

  2. Start jumping up and down, twisting your torso fairly violently to one side or the other every now and again.

  3. Add variety by occasionally kicking a leg out, whirling your arms about or spinning round when you’re in the air.


That’s not exhaustive but you can see why many people all doing that at the same time on a small dance floor could easily cause a few injuries. 

Doroschuk has also clarified that it is not, as many think, an ode to safe sex (they would surely have changed their name to ‘Men With Hats’ if so?) or an anti-nuclear call, despite the black and white images that appear at the end of the video. He wrote it as a protest against the establishment and as a ‘call for freedom of expression’. (‘What do we want?’ ‘The right to pogo!’)

The Safety Dance was a single from Men Without Hats’ 1982 debut album Rhythm of Youth. It was released in Canada in February 1983, where it peaked at number 11 in their charts in May. The U.S. first heard it in March but they obviously took longer to appreciate it as it finally reached number three in September (it also reached number one on their specific dance chart). It was released in the UK in August of that year - getting to number six - and New Zealand saw it reach number two in early 1984. The South Africans evidently got behind the fight for pogoing more than most as it got to number one there – I hope their dance floors continue to be filled with people leaping up and down frenetically to this day. 

The video for the song was directed by Tim Pope (who has also worked with David Bowie, The Bangles, Paul Weller, Soft Cell, The Cure and Neil Young among many others) and is pretty memorable. It was heavy on the traditional English imagery: watch carefully and you’ll see a maypole, Punch & Judy, a handful of Mummers (a time-honoured troupe of actors performing folk tales) and a load of Morris dancers. Doroschuk is dressed as if he is an inhabitant of the Shires and the first scene is him striding through a field, followed by a man of restricted height wearing a jester costume (actually a 38 year old actor called Mike Edmonds who has also appeared in Flash Gordon,  The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi and Harry Potter). 

They have a bit of a sing by a wall as the jester plays a lute, then continue to walk through what seems to be a medieval village, accompanied by a dancing blonde woman and occasionally a dog. (The medieval theme falls down slightly if you notice the Royal Mail post box and electricity pylons but who’s looking at the details, eh?) After this Doroschuk leads many bopping, costumed villagers, plus the Morris dancers, through the streets, alongside another jester on a horse, before stopping in a square to watch the Maypole dancers. Some people now have chicken masks on. It all looks like tremendous fun.

It was filmed in the idyllic valley village of West Kington in Wiltshire. It sits next to the Broadmead Brook and is wrapped in green fields, hedges and trees and features beautiful cottages built of sandy-coloured stone and an archetypal parish church. It would be hard to find a better representation of middle England.  

The Safety Dance may have been Men Without Hats’ only UK hit but it will keep its place in music history as one of those songs that people recognise immediately, even 30-odd years later. The Feeling did a cover version in 2010 that was used in a Lipton tea commercial and it’s made appearances in both U.S. TV shows Glee and South Park. 

And in case you were wondering about the band’s slightly unusual name, it is actually extremely literal. Ivan Doroschuk’s two brothers, Stefan and Colin, were also in the band and the three of them grew up in Montreal which, as we know, is subjected to some extremely cold winters. Obviously favouring fashion over common sense the three refused to wear warm headgear, calling themselves ‘the men without hats’. They were lucky that they didn’t end up having to call the band ‘Men With Severe Frostbite’, in my opinion.


Injury free: the safest dance styles for kids

Many children enjoy dancing, regardless of age. Moreover, sections today are available in a variety of areas: from folk and classical to modern. But if the least traumatic types of dances are important for parents, then their circle narrows significantly. Where is the risk of injury lowest?

Classical dance

The way of dancers of different directions begins with it: both "populists", and ballet, and even dancers of modern styles. Why? “Classical dance is the basis of choreography,” says Natalya Levitskaya-Filipova, artistic director of the children's folk choreographic ensemble "Kalinka" named after. A.N. Filippov. - Thanks to him, different muscle groups are developed, stretching appears in children, by performing such movements as eversion (twine), plie (squats), etc. Classical dance creates a solid base for any dance movement and is also the safest.”

Maximum attention in the classroom is paid to the technique of performing basic elements, so the risk of injury to the child is minimal there. Children are admitted to the “classics” at the age of 4-5, when their musculoskeletal system is already quite well developed. nine0003

Folk dances

Folk dances can be started at the age of 3-4. “A child's body at this age is much more flexible than an adult and can be easily stretched, and dance moves are easy to master,” notes Natalya Levitskaya-Filippova. - In the children's folk choreographic ensemble "Kalinka" named after. Filippova, teachers with children are engaged in choreography and classical dance in order to prepare the kids for a more serious load that awaits them in the middle group. The chance of getting injured at the initial stage is minimal, and when the children move to the older group, the prepared children will endure rare sprains and minor injuries much more easily. ” nine0003

Modern dances

There are many different styles. “Among the safest, there is a new trend - k-pop dancing. K-pop is pop music that came to us quite recently from South Korea and has already won the hearts of teenagers from all over the world,” says Natalya Levitskaya-Filippova. - K-pop is distinguished by incendiary dances on stage with a large number of participants, easy to perform, but beautiful movements and, of course, its music. K-pop training studios are already opening in Moscow and in some cities of Russia. K-pop tends to be more active with arms than with legs. Therefore, the risk of injury in this direction of dance is low.” nine0003

When choosing a dance club for a child, you should think about the purpose of these classes in advance. “If it is important for parents to send their son or daughter to a studio where he will not receive any injuries, then some areas of modern dance are more suitable for training. But these circles, alas, do not imply tours and serious performances, - adds Natalya Levitskaya-Filippova. “If you want your child to do serious dancing, this is a different level of physical fitness, teachers, the amount of time and conditions in which children practice.” nine0003

It is worth making an important clarification: there are no absolutely safe dance directions, both for children and adults. “But do not be afraid of injury. Every body has a barrier of movement and no dancer can cross that threshold. After even a minor injury or sprain, the child's body becomes stronger. In the future, injuries will not be so terrible for him, ”says Natalya Levitskaya-Filippova.

Sensitive teachers, a good warm-up before rehearsals and performances, observance of the dance technique and, most importantly, the child's desire to dance and perform - this is the very "recipe" that will help the child develop in dancing without serious damage to his health. nine0003

You can also get acquainted with some types of dances for children at the online lessons "LIVE!". Our video library has classes in hip-hop, house and other modern dances.

Dancing as a sport: choosing the right direction

October 31, 2016 Health

If you're tired of the treadmill or the monotonous fitness routine, then it's time to go dancing. Lifehacker will tell you about the advantages of different dance styles and help you choose the right one for you. nine0003

Why dancing is worth it

  • Regular dancing will make your body slimmer. During training, from 200 to 800 kcal are burned per hour - no worse than when doing fitness.
  • You can strengthen the respiratory organs and the heart, increase the endurance of the body, cleanse the blood vessels of cholesterol.
  • Beautiful posture and gait - something that you can be proud of after regular exercise. Dancing will help you learn how to hold your back correctly.
  • You will develop excellent coordination, responsiveness and flexibility of the body. nine0038
  • Become sociable and self-confident.
  • Learn not to be ashamed of your own body and move beautifully to the music.
  • You will have the opportunity to express yourself. In dance, a person is completely liberated, which contributes to psycho-emotional unloading.
  • You are in a great mood. After a gym or fitness training, many people feel tired, and after dancing, on the contrary, a surge of strength and vigor.

Which direction to choose


Hip-hop is a cheerful, perky and very energy-intensive youth dance direction. You will be able to express your emotions, feelings or protest, to be liberated thanks to the movements that the body itself suggests. This is drive and adrenaline, the spirit of competition and leadership. Rules and restrictions are blurred here, but at the same time, a bright, clear style is felt.

This direction is characterized by downward-facing movements, relaxed half-bent knees and a low body position. High jumps are replaced by sliding on the floor, there is a quick and unexpected transition from undulating and slow movements to sharp and clear ones. The dancer should appear completely relaxed, and the dance should be cheeky. nine0003

Who suits

Anyone who is young or feels young, confident and bold. Hip-hop can be a useful hobby for your child. For children and adolescents, it will help strengthen the musculoskeletal system, correct slight stoop and form a proportional figure. Moreover, this dance direction brings up strong-willed qualities and determination, helps to show individuality.

According to the study, hip-hop is the most useful dance direction for a child: 57% of the training time a person is in motion. Scientists recognized flamenco as the least active: in this case, the children were mobile only 14% of the time. nine0003

  • The main distinguishing feature: hip-hop is not danced to the rhythm of the melody, but to the beat, which must be recognized and clearly captured in the musical composition.
  • This is not just a dance, but a way of self-expression and a way of life. Hip-hop fans often wear clothes that emphasize their freedom: wide leg pants, sneakers, baseball caps, hooded sweatshirts.
  • Hip-hop is always open to experimentation and improvisation. An important role in this direction is played by character, namely, confidence, self-affirmation, a certain stubbornness and perseverance. This type of dance will help you become more daring, psychologically liberated and open in communication. nine0038
  • This dance perfectly works out the muscles of the legs, arms and shoulder girdle, improves fine motor skills.

Hip-hop can be considered a set of anaerobic exercises, so the contraindications are standard, as well as for regular workouts. People who have problems with their knee joints should be especially careful with such activities, as they have a large load.

Strip plastic

Training combines aerobic exercise with elements of a seductive dance. Each lesson includes a warm-up, including stretching, and learning the dance sequences. The muscles of the legs and arms, hips and buttocks, abdomen, back and chest receive an excellent load. nine0003

Beginners will have to master the basic elements: waves with the body and arms, circular movements of the hips and chest, arches in the back while standing, sitting and lying on the floor. As you progress, the training includes complicated dance combinations with elements of acrobatics (splits, flips, racks).

Who suits

This type of dance is created for all girls and women, regardless of their physical form, appearance and age. If you not only strive for a beautiful figure and graceful walk, but also want to learn how to love yourself, attract and seduce the opposite sex, then strip plastic is ideal for you. nine0003

  • Strip-plastic will help to overcome complexes more easily, give you the opportunity to see your body and its advantages in a new way, as well as correct or hide imperfections. After regular exercise, you will not only look better, but also feel more confident and attractive.
  • When teaching this style, great attention is paid to posture and stretching, without which it is impossible to perform high-quality dance elements.
  • The program also includes a fashion show. It will take a few weeks, and you will begin to move smoothly and uninhibited, and the gait will become easy. nine0038
  • Another advantage is that many of the movements are done with arch in the lower back. Usually these muscles are poorly developed due to a sedentary lifestyle. This type of dance will be an excellent prevention of diseases such as scoliosis and osteochondrosis.
  • During such a training, reincarnation takes place, you will be able to reveal your sensuality and tell about secret desires, try on different roles - from a modest housewife to a vamp. You will master the art of attracting men and learn how to arouse their interest. nine0038

Diseases of the respiratory system, heart, blood vessels and joints can become an obstacle to exercise. With osteochondrosis, there is a limitation: you can not twist strongly in the spine. At the same time, strengthening the muscles of the back and abs, stretching the muscles of the hips, shoulder girdle and pelvis will help to significantly alleviate the manifestations of the disease.

Belly Dancing

This is one of the sexiest trends that helps to prolong a woman's youth and attractiveness. Mandatory components of oriental dances are strikes (sharp movements of the hips) and vibration in combination with smooth waves, circles, eights. Movement coordination is very important. The dance pattern should look holistic, capturing all the attention of the viewer. nine0003

Who suits

Ideal for mature women. Unlike jogging or aerobics, belly dancing is a gentle form of physical activity. This means that you can perform movements without putting too much stress on your knees, shins and feet.

  • You can start mastering the eastern direction even in poor physical shape: belly dance will independently prepare your body for the necessary loads.
  • This type of activity helps to form a feminine figure. Since the movements of the hips in this dance are quite complex in terms of coordination, those muscles that are difficult to use during normal exercises are being worked out. Such physical activity contributes to a healthy pregnancy and facilitates childbirth.
  • After 2-3 months of belly dancing, women feel better in case of gynecological diseases. Blood circulation improves, especially in the pelvic organs, inflammation of the appendages disappears, menstrual pains are forgotten. nine0038
  • It is impossible to create a perfect figure by practicing only oriental dances, as this is a fairly uniform load. Not all muscle groups are involved here, for example, the back of the thigh, the gluteal muscle, and triceps practically do not work.

Classes are not recommended for gynecological exacerbations, as well as cardiovascular diseases and problems with the spine.

Latin American dances (salsa, bachata, cha-cha-cha, mamba, rumba)

Latin American dances are known for being energetic, impulsive and positive. Classes consist of three parts:

  • Warm-up - semi-circular rotation of the head, hips, circular movements of the shoulders and the like.
  • The main part is the learning of movements and their repeated repetition.
  • Cooldown - usually static stretching exercises and dance moves at a slow pace.
Suitable for

This type of training is ideal for energetic and emotional people. It embodies the incendiary rhythm and clarity of movement. Latin American dances are also a great way to warm up relationships in a couple or make new acquaintances. nine0003

  • The main feature of such dances is the constant work of the hip muscles with a fixed back position and a springy step. Therefore, the main load falls on the muscles of the shoulders, lower back and legs. Also, this type of dance helps to improve the heart rate.
  • One of the important features is that you will not even notice the load on the body as a whole. The maximum that you will feel is a slight pleasant fatigue. This is due to the proportionality of the load on the whole body. nine0038
  • Actively practicing Latin American dances, you can not only lose weight, but also pump up your hips, if you have a tendency to do so.

In the presence of cardiovascular diseases and problems with the musculoskeletal system, such dances are contraindicated.



Zumba is one of the most popular weight loss workouts. It has been distributed in over 180 countries. This fitness program combines elements of hip hop, salsa, samba, merengue, mambo, flamenco and belly dance. Its goal is to work out the maximum number of muscles, while not exhausting you with repeated repetitions of trivial exercises. nine0003

The direction was invented by Colombian Alberto Perez in the late 90s. He was a professional choreographer and devoted his entire life to teaching others Latin dances. Later, zumba became the basis for the training of many stars (Shakira, Beyoncé, Britney Spears).

Who suits

Zumba does not tolerate restrictions, it can be practiced by people of any age, men and women with any abilities and skills. All choreographic movements are simple and clear.

  • The workout is like a party where everyone dances using simple combinations of movements.
  • You don't need any special physical training to get started, so Zumba is great for beginners.
  • The dance program is very diverse, which means you won't be bored.
  • The emphasis in training is on the lower body, which allows you to tighten your muscles well and get rid of cellulite.

Categorical contraindications are hernia of the lumbar spine, displacement of the vertebrae, diseases of the bones, ligaments, joints, thrombosis, problems with the heart muscle, high blood pressure, post-traumatic period, pregnancy at any time. nine0003


Contempo is a combination of dance techniques from Western (classical dance, modern jazz) and Eastern (qigong, taijiquan, yoga) arts of movement.

Basic exercises are built by analogy with classical and modern ones: from simple to more complex. The lesson includes exercises in the stalls (work on the floor), relaxation techniques, as well as stretching.

Suitable for

Amateur and professional dancers. Height, weight, complexion of a person are not important here. Contempo is suitable for you if you want to not only keep a good shape, move beautifully, but also know yourself. nine0003

  • Globally, contempo differs from other dance styles by its inward orientation, interest in the quality of the moving body, its relationship with space, time, partner. The dancer accumulates energy, thoughts, emotions inside himself, and then gives them to the viewer.
  • The peculiarity of the dance also lies in the alternation of muscle tension and relaxation, falling and lifting, abrupt stops (often on straight legs), balancing.
  • Breathing during contempo should be measured, as if it continues to move. Martial arts brought this requirement to the dance. nine0038
  • The contempo gravitates towards the floor, while the lightness and expressiveness of the movements are emphasized. Usually danced barefoot.

Standard restrictions for physical activities. Moreover, this type of dance is quite difficult, exhausting, and you need to be in excellent psychological shape for training. Long stretches, practicing jumps can exhaust a person with a fine mental organization and lead him into a state of depression.

Celtic dances

This is a rather complex set of movements, during which you need to keep the whole body in tension. Training is often exhausting, with a fairly large load. Before starting, a 15-minute warm-up is necessary to warm up the main muscle groups, after which the basic elements of the dance begin to be worked out. For the performance of this style, not only the movements of the dancer are important, but also their appearance, especially shoes. The most famous type of Celtic dance that everyone knows about is the step. nine0003

Suitable for

Patient people who are attracted to the theme of social dancing. Complex combinations are inherent in this style, the elements of which will have to be learned not only in the classroom, but also at home (perhaps even mentally).

  • You have to get used to a rather unusual position. The dance is performed on half-toes (the dancer raises his heels and stands on his toes), the upper body is motionless, the arms are always lowered. The basic rule is fast footwork. nine0038
  • This is a group dance, therefore, on the one hand, you will have to give up any liberties, on the other hand, you will have to develop a sense of partnership when you feel yourself one with other people. Psychologists say that such training is especially useful for those who have difficulty joining the team or are afraid of communication.
  • Music has a clear rhythm and requires the same exact steps. It is important to hit both the note and the foot.
  • Another curious feature is that it is better not to practice any other dances before starting training. Classical choreographic training often gets in the way. For example, in ballet, the feet and hips are strongly turned to the sides. Here, on the contrary, the legs are always crossed. And forget about the hands. nine0038
  • The system of Celtic dances is extremely interesting because it heals the spine without missing a single section, just like a real doctor. The habit of keeping your back straight will form after a few weeks of regular practice.
  • Constant training will form the ideal calf muscles. Although any kind of dance has a positive effect on the muscles of the legs, the Celtic ones receive a well-deserved gold medal.
  • This type of activity does not give any load on the hands, so if necessary (or if desired) you need to work out this zone separately. nine0038

Large shock loads (jumps) do not allow those who have problems with the heart, blood vessels, spine and joints to practice Celtic dances.

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