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Doin' Da Mayor at the Endup 

Local candidates for national dance crazes

Wednesday, Apr 4 2007
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Not since the "Macarena" has our country been so receptive to dance crazes. But while that insipid Latin tune and its related hustle mostly bypassed urban communities, the new chic club sensations sprout from the choreographic ingenuity and infectious tunes of city trendsetters — and are later propagated suburbward by YouTube et al.

Last year, Harlem and Atlanta generated the most popular dances. The former region spawned DJ Webstar's "Chicken Noodle Soup," a song featuring Young B that produced a poultry-ish flapping of elbows and side-swinging of legs, "with a soda on the side." Atlanta offered a host of steps, from the "Motorcycle Dance" — propagated by Yung Joc's No. 1 hit "It's Goin Down" — to the exaggerated, booty-protruding walk known as the "Poole Palace" (named after an Atlanta nightspot).

The time is right for San Francisco to offer up the next craze. It's not like people aren't watching how we step. In 2005 the circular, head-jerking boogie in Kanye West's "Gold Digger" video sparked Bay Area hip-hop educator Davey D to claim its distinct similarities to the "Get Low," a dance from the streets of the Fillmore District. And thanks to the national airplay of Bay Area videos like E-40's "Tell Me When to Go" and Too Short's "Blow the Whistle" last year, kids across the country got an infectious taste of our inner-city lifestyle, from frantic dreadlocks shaking in hyphy rapture to the distinctive sour expressions and wavelike slide of the "Thizz Dance."

Below, some worthy aerobic struts that folks may have missed. If we play our dance cards right, one of them will surely be the next "Mashed Potato":

"The Marina Preen": Not unlike Madonna's "Vogue," this one requires the ability to "strike a pose." But the "Preen" adds a pocket mirror dangling from a dancer's headband for the instant administration of Botox injections. Advanced practitioners have been known to bust this move while ghost-riding their Beamers and balancing pocket dogs on their shoulders.

"Da' Mayor": Between his lurid affairs and his insane stalker, the Gav has plenty of reasons to look over his shoulder. It's about time someone turned that precautionary glance into a funky dance directive. Be sure not to bend the knees for city supervisors, though; it'll look a bit too much like the "Get Low."

"The Critical Mass": A dozen militant beanpole punks are required to properly pull this puppy off; form a conga line, curse cars, and avoid bloodthirsty commuters while rolling arms around like wheels. Bonus points for causing bottleneck cacophony on Market Street.

"The 100% Organic Grind": As S.F.'s answer to "Chicken Noodle Soup," this trick looks similar, but is actually a dairy-, wheat-, sugar-, hormone-, flavoring-, and preservative- free vegan dance alternative that won't harm the environment, so long as it's performed only during the sustainable tofu season. Plus it's much less gassy.

"The Endup": In tribute to perennially sleazy late-night joints, bump booties with strangers while surveying the floor for illicit groundscores. Given the country's preoccupation with fetishizing posteriors and crowding bathroom stalls, this move is tipped as the next to blow.

About The Author

Tamara Palmer

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Slideshows

  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.

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