06 October 2009

Freestyle Dance and Bhutanese kids

A dance format that has no format at all is called freestyle; even wearing a cap is a big step there, not to mention that any physical stunts you can do will be counted, regardless of whether they go with the beat. That's what I have seen so far in Bhutan- of course I have seen the true freestyle dance on TV and it's no where similar to the ones we see here.

Good thing about the dance is that it is very physical and engaging.and that any hyperactive kid can do it but the bad thing in it that the dance and dancers are everything but decent; from the way they keep their hair, to way they dress, to speak, to their gestures. All these must be normal elsewhere but Bhutan gets shocked. From so far as I have seen and know- beginning from my school- these very dancers are the kids who are least interested in studies and gets involved in troubles, not to mention smoking and doing drugs.

My son is one among these 'future of the country'. He comes home every day with a new step or a story of how people applauded on one of his steps in sheer excitement. He is very sharp though but I was not surprised when he failed in five subjects last summer. As far as the dancing goes I am happy he is one of the bests, but I fear he might lose himself among the rotten habits and never even come back to become what he deserves to be in life.

Last Saturday I went to his school variety show and much to my surprise there was no show if it weren't for his freestyle dance. Crowd went wild at his stunts and I for once thought he is so gifted. But the very next evening, I was at home, I got a call from his class teacher saying my son has broken his finger on the stage. That scared the breath out of me. My wife was almost crying, she felt that the teacher is lying and that the injury must be deadlier. We rushed to his school. Thank god it was only a finger and not his neck, which I know will be if he continues his dance.

Following is the freestyle dance my son performed in his school's Variety Show, the day before he broke his finger:


  1. I think your son is very cute...sorry to hear about the finger though. But really, I don't know. U are anti tattoos and anti hip hop dance steps... isn't it whats inside that matters? I mean does it matter if you do hip hop or freestyle, if you still like to walk the old lady across the street?I don't know why you would call his dancing habit 'rotten'. He could well become an entertainer, in his own right, and make a living out of himself that way. I know many kids who did not do well academically, and they felt their whole lives that they were worthless. But u know, actually awesome, its just that in our society we let academics define our worth to such a large degree. I know a guy who scribbles on walls (graphiti?) but it is just so beautiful, and he actually writes great messages about hope and love...and he has a fantastic way of combining contemporary art with Bhutanese themes. I don't know, thats my opinion, of course, being a parent might have changed my perspective.
    But again, you sort of group all these hip hop kids together and assume that they do drugs and smoke because they dance....
    if i am a kid, i see it that dancing is cool, and if it must come together with smoking and drugs they must be cool too. unfortunately a lot of media lump these together so that in their minds these things are all the same. I wonder where your son is learning all these steps, and if wherever he sees it there are any images of people smoking (shocking to see how many music videos actually show that now).... I guess the only thing you can do as a parent is help him differentiate between the dancing and the other things. sorry if i sound preachy...i am not even a parent so i don't know what I am talking about, but i saw some kids doing the freestyle thing and i thought, wow these kids are talented. They are not shy, like we were in school, either. They want to be everywhere and do everything...and actually, doing something awesome, that gives them a feeling of worthiness...actually keeps them away from stuff because it gives them a value for life.
    ABout the broken finger....a lot of people get injured while playing sports....and sports like basketball or football are not part of our culture, but we recognise that they are important.....

  2. Hi Di,
    Taking this huge time out already tells me that you are concern about my perspective. Actually I love freestyle so much that we wait desperately for StepUP 2 to release and we sat together watching it. Strange thing though I did that dance before him and in the on set I was his guru but as time went by he lost his interest in studies and whenever he goes out he is with those kids in the town who I already know do all these bad stuffs.
    I still love freestyle so much and I didn't mean "rotten habit" for the dance... You could make out how much I love him dancing just from the movie. I shot that, coming right in front of thousand people, kneeing on the concrete floor to catch the best shot...


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