At a time when many of us are ‘enjoying’ school summer holidays with our kids, it’s worth remembering those whose children are less fortunate than us.
You’re still not going to get a video of me dancing, though. Sorry about that.
UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, is a charity that strikes a chord with many parents. It provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.
Over the past week or so, you may have seen the #DoTheDadDance hashtag on Twitter and dad-dancing videos popping up on social media as part of a campaign aiming to unite dads around the world to have fun while raising money for less privileged children.
Many of my fellow dads have taken part in this campaign, posting videos of themselves strutting their funky stuff. I’ve loved seeing them and it’s prompted me to make a donation to UNICEF UK. But I haven’t filmed myself dancing.
If you’ve ever had the misfortune to see me dancing, (a) my sincere apologies and (b) you may still be recovering from the trauma. Fear of embarrassment and ridicule isn’t why I haven’t posted a video – I have three young children who embarrass and ridicule me on a daily basis already! – but I’m not going to explain my reasons for not doing so here. (In truth, I don’t think I have a reason: I just haven’t done one.)
So, instead of posting a video of my own, I have delved into the wonder of the modern world that is YouTube to bring you eight alternative videos featuring some of the finest examples of male dancing on the planet. Well, seven and Rick Astley.
1. Footloose (1984 & 2011)
The climactic dance scene of the 1980s classic, from the days before Kevin Bacon did those annoying EE adverts. And, for comparison, its not-so-classic modern remake.
2. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
The film that took disco into the mainstream. That white suit. The Bee Gees. Those moves. The only thing missing was Huggy Bear.
3. Billie Jean (1983)
A song about a paternity claim but it’s really all about Michael Jackson’s dancing and that crazy pavement where each tile lit up when he stood on it. I still wish we had kitchen tiles like that.
4. The Evolution of Dad Dancing (2014)
As performed by Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show to celebrate Father’s Day in the US. His rotund dance partner is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. I bet you’ll never get Boris Johnson doing that.
5. Mary Poppins (1964)
I still need rather more than a spoonful of sugar to make Dick Van Dyke’s Cockney accent go down, but Step in Time is an oft-forgotten gem from the Disney film that brought us more iconic songs than Frozen. (Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Chim Chim Cheree, Let’s Go Fly A Kite, A Spoonful of Sugar – need I go on?)
6. Dirty Dancing (1987)
Nobody puts daddy in the corner when I’m busy having the time of my life. Or something like that. I’ve never actually watched Dirty Dancing in its entirety but I must have seen the final dance scene or one of its many parodies at least a hundred times.
7. Flashdance (1983)
I will admit it: as a piece of serious cinema, Flashdance is a God-awful film. But it’s also compellingly brilliant in its awfulness and it’s right up there with the likes of Desperately Seeking Susan in its quintessential Eighties-ness. It also has one of the best soundtracks of any movie ever.
Now before you point out that Jennifer Beals’ character Alex is most definitely neither a dad nor a man, here’s a little fact you may not know. The final audition scene actually features four performers: Beals herself, her primary dance double Marine Jahan (sporting a wig that is so obviously not Beals’ hair that it’s positively comical), gymnast Sharon Shapiro (who performs the flying dive) and a break-dancer by the name of Crazy Legs – who is a man. He only features for about five seconds (from 3:52 in the video) but I’m counting him. So there.
8. Never Gonna Give You Up (1987)
Quite simply the ultimate in dad-dancing, setting the bar for what we should all aspire to. Hey, you can’t have a ranking without it being Rick-rolled, right?
I’m sure there are many great examples of dad-dancing I’ve omitted from my list. Do you have any other favourites?
You can donate to UNICEF UK directly or via the JustGiving page set up by Al at The Dad Network. Video or no video, do please support this important and worthwhile cause.