Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hardcore Dancing

I had the following email exchange with someone that does a television show called "Elements" on something called "Uth TV" (Youth TV). One of the segments in their 5th episode featured a 4 minute segment on "Hardcore Dancing," and as you may have guessed, the feature is as silly as its title.

Anyway, I went back to the site to check "hardcore dancing" out again, but the link for the segment had been removed. I wrote to the show to ask why and got a reply. I've posted their response below, along with my reply. You can see the feature yourself at the "Uth TV" website. Since the link to the feature itself is no longer posted, you can only see the "hardcore dancing" segment by viewing the full broadcast of "Elements" (episode 5). The clip begins at 6:11 and ends at 10:19 of the bradcast. It's a hair over 4 minutes long.


What happened to the hardcore dancing segment you had posted to your website? I’d like to view it, but it’s not there anymore.



We took it off the site. Some people in the hardcore community were sending extremely threatening messages to a few of the people in the video, and it just wasn't worth it for the harassment factor.

Out of curiosity, have you seen the piece and what was your reaction to it?



I got into hardcore in the mid-80’s when skinheads would target people in the pit for a beating when some poor bastard had long hair, or the skins didn’t like the way someone was dressed, or if someone was wearing Doc Martins without being a skinhead, or some other really important and urgent reason like that. So, to me your feature looked a little silly. But like I said, I came in at a time when people routinely got stabbed while dancing at shows. Hardcore was hardened city kids and dysfunctional suburban kids. It wasn’t a very welcoming environment.

In my view, to see some goofy kids just “moshing in place” was kind of funny. But to be honest, I’m glad the worst thing anyone has to worry about in the pit these days is an errant elbow rather than a broken bottle being swung around.

I think your piece might’ve had a little more “cred” if you had sought out people who are legendary for their prowess in the pit. Did you ever see that Sick of it All video with all of the dudes demonstrating dance styles? I can’t recall which song it was, but it had a lot of people in the video that were sort of well known back then simply for how they danced, which is one of those weird accomplishments you’ll only find in the hardcore scene. But every hardcore scene has its kids that “rule” the pit, and I can guarantee you none of the Abercrombie-looking kids you had in your feature are the type. Your casting basically had a bunch of mathletes giving a demo on how to play football. Does that make sense?

If you don’t mind the critique, I thought it wasn’t a good idea to solicit the opinions of outsiders that basically just made fun of the hardcore kids for how they dance. They get that every day, and then when there’s something on TV trying to explain it, people are still there laughing at them. It was like you were trying to explain the phenomenon, and then in the same instance show how stupid everyone outside of the scene thinks “hardcore dancing” (“skanking” in my day) is.

Also, the live footage looked like a goofy cardio kick-boxing class with everyone moshing in place lock-step. My guess is you filmed it at a local show, which is fine, but if you really want to see some seriously destructive dancing at it’s finest, get your clips at shows that have bands like Terror or Internal Affairs playing (both very well-though of California hardcore bands that seriously know how to throw it down).

I think your show is kind of cool and very well done over all, but hardcore is one of those things that, if you’re going to cover it in a segment, the producer really needs to know his stuff on a very real street level. No “hardcore” producer would EVER even think of calling what goes on in the pit “hardcore dancing.” Hardcore kids don’t even like to call it moshing anymore. Well, the kids that know better anyway.

Ronny Little

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