Teach me how to cook dance

Everything You Need to Know About Doing the Cooking Dance

Now that Lil B's signature dance has proved its staying power, it's time to crank some Cooking Music and make sure your wrist game reaches its full potential.

Chris Schonberger

There have been many food-themed dance crazes through the ages, from the Mashed Potato to the Peppermint Stick. But none captures the joys of culinary creativity as fully as the cooking dance, a trend that can be traced back to rapper and Internet legend Lil B (a.k.a., the Based God).

Lil B refers to many of his songs as Cooking Music, and they’re helpfully labelled as such on his YouTube page. These songs provide the ideal soundtrack for the cooking dance, which essentially involves simulating various kitchen maneuvers—whipping a pot, putting a tray into the oven, spooning food onto a plate—to the beat of the music. Part of the fun is trying to figure what, exactly, the dancer is imagining he’s doing while performing each move. Pounding out a schnitzel? Slicing pineapple of the top of an al pastor spit? Plating a modernist dessert?

After the Based God set the table, the cooking dance exploded as a viral sensation around 2011, starting with amateur YouTube videos and spreading to athletes and other celebrities who busted it out as shorthand for cultural savvy. But what’s most remarkable is it’s longevity—from Little Leaguers to the Aubrey “360 with the wrist” Graham, people have embraced the simplicity of the dance and transformed it from a flash-in-the-pan meme to something far more powerful.

Here at First We Feast, we believe there should be more dancing in the food world. Why don’t more “rock star” chefs have rock star moves when they’re tweezering microgreens onto a plate? And why don’t more restaurants have impromptu 50 Cent dance breaks like Ricardo’s Steak House in East Harlem?

If you love the kitchen and you love to dance, the cooking dance is for you. Here’s what you need to know to master the art.

There are only two appropriate things to say while doing the cooking dance.

One is “let that boy cook.” The other is “swag.”

Garish, impractical jewlery will only enhance your chances of cooking-dance success.

Soulja Boy, tell ’em.

You can flaunt your cooking cred by incorporating moves from your favorite celebrity chefs.

Emeril was doing the cooking dance long before Lil B uttered his first “swag,” tbh.

The cooking dance is appropriate for celebrating life’s triumphs, like scoring a goal in an international soccer matches…

Spread the cooking gospel to the world.

…or scoring a touchdown.

NFL Sundays are practically dancing feasts.

The most important ingredient you can bring to the dance is energy.

Don’t limit yourself to the cooking music of Lil B.

It is acceptable to do the cooking dance while holding actual food.

Some fine Internet denizens have created these GIFs to demonstrate.

When possible, coordinate your cooking with friends.

Every chef de cuisine of dancing could use a sous chef.

Or a whole

brigade of sous, sauciers, and chefs de partie.

The VCU men’s basketball team shows us how it’s done.

When in doubt, look to the Based God.

Don’t forget that eating is a part of cooking.

This move is particularly good for beginners with no rhythm.

Remember that the cooking dance is sort of about drugs, but it’s okay.

When 2 Chainz said he “made a million, off a dinner fork,” he wasn’t talking about making soufflés. He was talking about cooking crack. When visualizing your own cooking dance moves, you should probably focus on motions you’re more familiar with, like beating Betty Crocker brownie mix.

Keep it G-rated.

C’mon, Nicki—the cooking dance is for the kids!


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Dancing, painting and cooking your way to fluency » Fluent in 3 Months

written by
Benny Lewis

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What are you doing with your target language? Reading? Listening to Podcasts? Watching movies? That's nice, but why should everyone else be having all the fun and leave you to be nothing more than an inactive spectator?

It's time to get active with your language and/or travels! This doesn't just mean finding ways to meet people, it means incorporating the language into your every day activities.

Active learning as a means of cultural exploration

One aspect of my travels I always aim for, other than speaking the local language, is to be able to DO something that is unique to the country.

Many travellers enjoy experiencing other cultures passively, and will create more beautiful photos than I ever can, or be able to tell you interesting facts about that place, but sometimes I wish they would go beyond slide-show mode and bring something other than gift-shop souvenirs back with them.

And when learning the language: even when it isn't culturally relevant, doing something not related to languages, but in a foreign language, will have you thinking on your feet and create a much more interesting and practical context to help you improve your conversation and understanding skills much quicker.

Uno dos tres, cinco seis siete…

One thing I love to do to learn more about a culture is to learn one of its dances.

Two years ago I was living in Buenos Aires and made the effort to genuinely learn how to tango. Rather than take just a couple of classes (which pretty much all foreigners do), I devoted time every day to getting intensive lessons or going out to practise.

There is something to be said for actually doing this yourself that thousands of hours of watching or reading about its history can never give you. You can see my tango experience below:

You can also watch this video in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Esperanto and Irish.

Putting aside cultural discovery for a second, there are so many other benefits of learning how to dance. By going somewhere to get lessons, you will meet equally minded people and expand your social circle – it breaks your daily routine and gets you physically active – my mood always improves after a dancing session from an otherwise dull day of sitting down working.

And of course, if you are lucky enough to find someone to teach it to you in the language you are learning, you can finally get out of this bogus academic view of a language and use it in a real-life situation.

So many other ways to get cultural and linguistic immersion!

Maybe dancing isn't your thing. So many travellers brag to me that they try all the local foods (which, as a vegetarian, I do less of), but almost none of them can prepare these themselves!

If you want to take something home with you, rather than physically bring a local food, or a “story” of trying a local dish, why not actually learn to cook it yourself? This way you can take it with you around the world and prepare it for your friends when back home.

Even with my more restricted diet, I still make a point to learn how to cook local foods that I would be able eat myself. For example, there's a technique in making a Spanish Omelette that involves flipping it at precisely the right time, which my flatmates in Spain helped me master. So I am happy to bring that piece of Spain with me everywhere.

When I was in Brazil and was still getting a foothold with the language, I decided to take some windsurfing lessons in Portuguese. Windsurfing isn't an especially “Brazilian” thing to do, but boy did I ever improve my Portuguese in those classes! When the pressure is on and you are being yelled at to pull back or change the position of your feet, you have to apply what you hear immediately or you'll fall off and into the lagoon.

Active involvement in the language

This involvement in the language meant I had no choice but to understand as quickly as possible. This lack of pressure is one reason those focused on a more academic approach see such a slow rate of progress. I'm not smarter than any of you – the difference is I'm in higher pressure situations that don't allow me to not improve.

This isn't about being in a country, it's about doing something in the language.

Seriously, I don't have a choice! If I were to put all my time into studying, then not improving would be an issue of me not focusing correctly or not having an efficient enough memory technique. There are too many ways that you can fail in this situation. But by getting out of the house and speaking with people or doing something active with others that involves the language in some way, and doing it regularly, I have to improve my language skills.

It's necessity rather than pure desire. I have no doubts that everyone reading this “wants” to improve their language skills and cultural understanding, but ask yourself if you really NEED to. Without putting yourself in real situations, you may never have the push you need to get you going in the right direction.

So if you are a traveller, get a dancing / cooking / painting lesson in the local language!

If you are at home and can afford it, try to get a private lesson from a native speaker experienced in one of these (rather than getting a language lesson), or if you are on a budget offer them an exchange for another skill you have.

A “language exchange” doesn't always have to be simply about talking. DO something! Be active and use your language in other ways!

My salsa lessons

Here in Medellín, I'm getting daily lessons in salsa. I even have a goal I am aiming for: My last week in Colombia (in December) will be in the city of Cali – the “capital of salsa”. I'm hoping to go out every night that week with some of the most experienced salsa dancers in the world.

I'll record a video at some stage to show you how I'm doing.

Even with an hour a day for the next month and a half, there's only so much I can progress. I don't think I'll impress them with how amazing a dancer I am (I got a great start on tango as seen in the video but am far from an expert), but maybe I'll get deep enough into these places to appreciate an aspect of Colombian culture not seen by the majority of other foreigers.

And even if I don't, it's great fun! 🙂

So stop thinking of a language in terms of vocabulary, grammar and syntax and get out and use it! Or try to discover an aspect of the country you are so interested in by being able to DO what they do, rather than just experience it from a distance.

Benny Lewis

Founder, Fluent in 3 Months

Fun-loving Irish guy, full-time globe trotter and international bestselling author. Benny believes the best approach to language learning is to speak from day one.

Speaks: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Esperanto, Mandarin Chinese, American Sign Language, Dutch, Irish

View all posts by Benny Lewis

Taught the waltz of future generals: 60 years of teaching experience was noted by the dance teacher of the Suvorov School

There is an old oriental parable. A man came to a sage and said to him: "O sage, teach me to distinguish truth from falsehood, beauty from ugliness. Teach me the joys of life." The sage thought and taught the man... to dance.

Our school has its own sage, an amazing person who has been teaching the art of dance to Suvorov students for 60 years. All these years, Eduard Ivanovich Kucherenko daily passes through the checkpoint of the Ussuriysk Suvorov military school in order to teach dance art to Suvorov students, and with it to instill love for the motherland and his people. What dances mean in the life of a teacher, how the school and the Suvorovites changed, whether there were any unfulfilled plans - we talked about this and other things with Eduard Ivanovich.

— Hasn't there been a desire to change jobs in 60 years?

— There were disappointments and disappointments, but never a desire to leave the school. Dancing is my life, and I put all my knowledge and all my soul into the upbringing of the Suvorovites.

2021 - presentation of the medal Army General Khrulev. Photo: courtesy of USSVU

— Tell us about your childhood, where does your passion for choreography come from?

— Born in 1942 in the fishing village of Kuznetsovo, Terney region. We had nine children. Times are tough, wartime. Saved by a large farm, a garden and the sea. From early childhood, all the children worked in the field, harvesting hay, helping their parents in the garden, and fishing. Two of my brothers fought, three became mechanics, like my father, my sisters went into trade. Already in the first grade I went to a dance club at school, which was led by a singing teacher. In the sixth grade, he moved to the club. My first dances were to the music "The moon shines", "Apple", "Lady". This childhood hobby determined my profession. After the ninth grade, he entered the cultural and educational school and graduated with a degree in "organizer and methodologist of club work" (leader of an amateur dance group). Already from the second year I had an internship at the Ussuriysk Suvorov Military School. Organized evenings of rest, held dance classes. At the same time, he worked with children at the local House of Pioneers. After graduating from college, I was invited to the USVU to teach dance. I can’t even believe that so many years have passed, because I remember a lot like yesterday!

— Do you remember your first lesson?

- Surprisingly, I remember the first, second, and third lessons. The first lesson was for 11th graders. The lesson was held in a specially equipped dance class with machines. There were no tape recorders or players. Music on the button accordion was performed by the assistant platoon commander - a conscript soldier. I was 18 years old, and some of my students were 20-21 years old. I was very worried. The theme of the lesson is "About the culture of dance and dance ethics." The lesson was attended by the Deputy Chief for Academic Affairs, Lieutenant Colonel A.P. Kislov. For a while, I forgot what to say because of my excitement. The Suvorovites patiently waited for the continuation, the lieutenant colonel offered to use the abstract. I got over my anxiety and continued with the lesson. Soon he heard a child crying outside the door. After the lesson, it turned out that the wife and child were waiting for the Suvorov student from the lesson. Here's how, the guys already had families and children, and they mastered the art of dance.

— Did they really need it?

— The guys went with pleasure. Evenings were often held at the school, girls came to dances. I taught not only the ability to move, but also good manners: how to invite a girl, how to hold her during a dance, what to talk about, how to see her off. For many guys, the skills were useful for performing the waltz at their own wedding.

- Can you roughly name how many boys you taught to dance?

- What are you! I did not count. Previously, dancing was a compulsory subject, the grade was included in the certificate. And I'm sure it was right. After all, the task of the Suvorov Schools is not only to prepare students for further military service, but also for the harsh "school" of life, the education of a comprehensively developed personality, deeply educated people, which is impossible without a common culture. It is such subjects as "Fundamentals of dance training", "Etiquette of the future officer" that contribute to this.

Even Peter I took care of the development of a broad cultural outlook among the pupils of military schools, future officers. They were taught drawing, fencing and dancing. The level of dance training of the cadets of the gentry corps, established in 1731, was so high that, with a shortage of performers, they were invited to perform in the corps de ballet of the Italian opera and ballet troupe. The military were considered not only the most educated people, but also rightfully the best dancers. In my opinion, these traditions should not disappear.

— What areas of dance art did the Suvorovites master?

— Under my leadership, a dance group "Youth" appeared in the school. The Suvorovites danced a waltz, a mazurka, a polonaise with the girls from the cultural enlightenment school. With performances, we traveled to many cities in Primorye and Russia - Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk, Moscow.

In 1976, our team honored the President of Czechoslovakia Ludwig Svoboda and his wife Irena, danced a polonaise and a mazurka. Then, for several days, the choreographer of the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theater prepared the Suvorovites for the performance. The audience gave the boys a standing ovation.

Today the guys are dancing the waltz, learning tango, but of course, they are also interested in other areas: hip-hop, tectonics, break.

1976, Khabarovsk. The dance group of the school at a concert in honor of the President of Czechoslovakia Ludwig Svoboda and his wife Irena. Photo: courtesy of USSVU

— How do you feel about modern dance?

— My favorite direction is ballrooms. Until the age of 43, I went on stage with ballroom dancing. He was very reserved about modern ones, until he mastered them himself. I went to refresher courses, watched video tutorials on the Internet. Any dance has the right to life. After all, this is, first of all, self-expression, and everyone has the right to do it the way he likes.

— Have the Suvorovites changed in 60 years?

- Today's children are very smart, quick-witted, inquisitive. But because of the Internet, they have superfluous and often age-inappropriate information. To my regret, the culture of behavior of modern young people leaves much to be desired.

Previously, there were many orphans among the Suvorovites, from incomplete and poor families. But the guys were distinguished by their upbringing, respectful and reverent attitude towards elders, especially towards teachers. And now they can pass by and not say hello. Therefore, in etiquette classes, we talk about good manners, learn the culture of speech, correctness, tact, discuss on the topics "Who is a knight", "What is the beauty of a person", get acquainted with the rules of behavior at the table, in the theater, in the cinema, on the plane .

Eduard Kucherenko at a dance lesson. Photo: courtesy of USSVU

— What period of the school's life do you remember the most?

— Today the school is in its prime. There have never been such wonderful living conditions and material support. With a shudder, I remember the times when we danced on a leaky floor, and I led rehearsals in outerwear because of the terrible cold in the dance class. Those were the difficult years of the 60s and 70s. But I miss the communication and traditions that were then in the team. Everyone knew each other well, celebrated holidays, there were many evenings and discos for the guys. Today, everyone is a little divided.

— What makes you happy and sad about the Suvorovites?

- They please with their curiosity, flexible mind. They don't upset.

I think that we, teachers, should be more attentive to the mood and aspirations of the child. If the lesson does not add up, I look for what I did wrong. It upsets, perhaps, when a child, in whom he put his soul, quits classes, because he does not have time to dance because of the heavy workload.

— What difficulties do teachers face in their work?

— It is necessary to be able to adapt to the different characters of children. It is necessary to see not the bad in the pupil, but to discern and develop the good. I love my job very much, and I can't live without dancing.

— Do you keep in touch with graduates of different years?

— But what about! I knew not only the children, but also their parents. Previously, Suvorovites wrote letters, now they make phone calls.

For two years I taught dancing to A. V. Dvornikov (general of the army, Hero of Russia, commander of the troops of the Southern Military District). I remember that the waltz was difficult for him. And then he said thank you, because thanks to the skills gained at the school, he was able to teach the waltz to his wife, daughter and granddaughter.

At graduation in 1969, the mother of Suvorovite Vladimir Kuzmichev (colonel general, head of the Military Academy of the RF Ministry of Defense) gave me flowers and thanked me for teaching my son how to waltz. Yura Gavrikov danced in our team. Even before entering the USSVU, he graduated from the ballroom dance school in Khabarovsk. After our school, he entered TOVVMU (Pacific Higher Naval School) and continued to dance in the Amur Dawns ensemble. And recently I learned that he was recognized as the best sculptor in Vladivostok.

Many graduates who have visited different countries with diplomatic receptions have come in handy with the rules of etiquette and table manners

— How do you keep yourself in such excellent physical shape?

— I have been doing exercises every day for many years. I start while still lying in bed, with a warm-up of my toes. I wipe myself with cool water, go to the sauna for a long time. I love baths and hot steam.

— What other hobbies do you have?

- I enjoy going to the theater, watching hockey, I like to go for walks.

- Do you have an unfulfilled dream?

— I dream of creating a ballroom team in our school. There is more culture in ballroom dancing - it is graceful, aesthetic, very beautiful, but it requires a lot of strength, energy, endurance. If the folk dance is performed in bright costumes, then here the Suvorov dancer dances in uniform. This is also an important educational moment.

Eduard Kucherenko gave an interview to the cadets of the school. Photo: courtesy of USSVU

And I dream that the school would host balls, not discos, but balls to which girls would be invited. I attended two Pushkin balls in the city. Young people in chic 19th-century outfits danced minuet, waltz, padegras, gavotte. It means that young people are interested and need it. Let our children learn to love art, understand its intricacies, understand and appreciate beauty in all its manifestations.

UssSVU Junkors Danil MYGAL, Yaroslav Mogilnikov, 8th grade

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Teach me how to cook, teach me how to dance

Teach me prepare, teach dance.

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