Monday, April 15, 2013

The Electric Slide In The USA, The Caribbean, And In Africa

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents information about the Electric Slide line dance and showcases selected videos of that dance.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

With considerable regret, I have disabled the comment feature on this blog (and on my other blogs except for, because of the large number of spam comments that I received on those blogs.

Comments for those blogs can be sent to my email address azizip17 dot com at yahoo dot com for possible inclusion in a specific post on those blogs.

The Electric Boogie is a song that was written by Jamaican Reggae artist Bunny Wailer. That song was first recorded in 1976 by Bunny Wailer & Marcia Griffiths and was released again in 1989 by Marcia Griffiths.

According to "The Electric aka The Electric Slide is a four wall line dance that was created by choreographer Ric Silver in 1976.

In the United States, the Electric Slide is a highly participatory dance. When that record comes on at weddings, parties, and other social gatherings, the expectation is that a lot of people, regardless of gender or age, will come on to the dance floor and join in that danc.anyone who wants to join in that dance. It should be noted that the Electric Slide isn't just a feature at African American social gatherings, but is also done by White Americans and Americans of other races & ethnicities. While the Electric Slide dance was first done to Marcia Griffiths' "Electric Boogie", particularly among African Americans the 1986 record "Candy" by the Funk group Cameo appears to be the record that is most often played for that dance. This is due in part to that record being used for the Electric Slide scene at the end of the American movie "The Best Man" A video of that scene is given below as Example #1.

(The geographical location, including nation if known, is given in brackets after the video's title.)

Example #1: Terrence Howard in dance scene 'The Best Man' [USA]

kiowasioux1980,Published on Jul 24, 2012

Terrence Howard cutting the rug in this dance scene 3 3 3
The "3"s are a way of writing smiles.

Example #2: Rob Charlemagne's 50th Birthday [USA]

Pamela Rene, Uploaded on Dec 6, 2010

Cameo - Electric slide

Notice the “Go shortie. It’s your birthday” chant that is said in the beginning of this video, but not in the record. The chant "Go (person's name). It's your birthday" comes from the 1994 Hip-Hop record by Luke Campbell entitled “It’s Your Birthday”. Since that record’s release, that phrase has been frequently used for birthdays by some African Americans, often before or after the standard "Happy Birthday" song. The word "go" in this phrase means "Do your thing". Do what you're doing well". A "shortie" can mean a child or a young person. Therefore, the word "shortie" in the phrase "Go shortie" doesn't necessarily mean "a short person", although it probably means that in this instance.

Example #3: Nigeria/Jamaica Wedding/ Electric Slide Dance! USA [USA Nigeria/Jamaican wedding]

Nigeria Liberty Forum, Uploaded on Apr 18, 2009

Nigerian Man weds Jamaican Lady in New Ark, New Jersey USA.

Nigerian Ayorinde and Krystal brought out the best in the African- Caribbean culture and a mix of the sha sha dance! 17th April 2009.
Here's an interesting comment from this video's viewer comment thread
darknhansum4lyfe, 2010
"Nice, no matter what kind of gathering we as black people have it's one song gauranteed to play and mostly everyone join. Yesss! The Electric Slide,lol. Sometimes, you got to get gizzy with it and take it to the floor,lol, if your bones and joints will let you. LOL"
"Get gizzy" means to do really good dance moves. "Take it to the floor" means to dip down close to the floor.

Example #4: Quelbe Slide [The Caribbean - United States Virgin Islands]

d1spoonky, Uploaded on Mar 16, 2011

Quelbe (Electric) Slide @ Agricultural Fair 2011...People Dancing the Electric Slide Crucian Style!!!
"Quelbe" is the national music of the Virgin Islands. "Crucian" = the people who live in St Croix, Virgin Islands.

Example #5: Sheila and Eli Wedding Electric Slide Dance [The Caribbean - The Dominican Republic]


Syyeary Uploaded on Dec 10, 2009

Wedding Dance, Sheila and Eli, Electric Slide at their wedding reception at the Majestic Elegance Resort in the Domincan Republic

Example #6: Candy Dance at Nana & Russell Nii Odartei's engagment party [Africa - Ghana]

Uploaded on Oct 13, 2009

10-10-09 will always stay in my mind, because that's the day Nana & Russell Odartei Evans had their traditional wedding at home. Then in the evening they had what will go down as the best engagement party ever!!!! & the crowning was everyone joined in the CANDY DANCE !!!.
"Ghanaian engagment parties" = wedding

Example #7: African Electric Slide [Africa - Nigeria]

Efosa Igbinovia, Uploaded on Sep 27, 2011

Electric Slide 9ja style!!! Hahaha loved this
9ja = "Naija" is a colloquial referent for Nigeria. "Nigeria at 50: What does Naija mean?" October 2010

Judging from their clothing, hat and their red beaded necklace, these men are from the Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria. Notice that in contrast to the usual response to this song in the USA, the two men dance the Electric Slide alone.
Also, in Nigeria, "engagement party" also mean "wedding".

RELATED LINKS History Of The Electric Slide
** Selected Videos Of The Electric Slide

Thanks to all those featured in these videos & congratulations to all those in the videos who were celebrating weddings or birthdays or some other special occassion. My thanks also to the producers of these videos and their publishers on YouTube.

Thanks for visiting zumalayah.

Zumalayah showcases videos of dances & singing games done in circles or in lines, and other movement performance arts from African American culture, from African cultures, and from other cultures of the African Diaspora.

Visitor comments are welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment