3 Powerful Lessons The Electric Slide Teaches Us

three people in a line dancing
Leslie Taylor-Grover
January 24, 2024

First created in 1976, the Electric Slide became a runaway success in 1989 when it was remixed by Marcia Griffiths. And while the rest, as they say, is Black history, it’s also a powerful primer on Black liberation. Here’s what this cultural bop can teach us.

#1 Resist joyfully: After the murder of George Floyd, protestors created moments of joy in the midst of painful moments of demonstrations. The Electric Slide brought together those in mourning, those who were angry, and those who were exhausted, all for collective action.

#2 We work best when we work together: The easy four-count step sequences make the dance easy to do to a number of songs across genres and generations. No matter the tune, we can all move together.

#3 Always remember our roots: Though the Electric Slide has been around for a long time, it’s part of a long history of line dancing dating back to the Harlem Renaissance. When we participate in the Electric Slide, we honor a tradition of joyful history.

Fighting for liberation is a nuanced process that requires us to watch our steps and control the direction of the movement, just like the Electric Slide. And like the dance, no matter when, where, or how we choose to get down, our best bet is to move together.

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