Why walk when you can waltz?


By Charlotte Oliver
December 24, 2013
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Getting into the spirit of things at "Strictly Ethiopian Dancing"

Getting into the spirit of things at "Strictly Ethiopian Dancing"

In the last two days, I have seen things I will never un-see.

I have witnessed a raucous group of Israelis “get down” at a silent disco rave…in the middle of the conference foyer.

Imagine the scene: a cluster of headphone-wearing jitterbugsters waving their arms and legs in muted hysteria, while those sitting and chatting around them barely blinked an eye.

I have watched as a couple in their late-70s channelled their best African spirit with some traditional Ethiopian dancing. Shoulders popped, knees bent to the ground – and not a hip replacement in sight.

I have marvelled as a motley crew of old and young did their very best cha-cha to the slightly incongruous sound of Israeli funk. (Jumba, for all those wondering, is like dousing Zumba with chicken soup - and just as delicious.)

I have seen these (and more) bizarre moments of pure, unadulterated disco and - though it shames me to admit - I have struggled to keep up.

The energy here is out of this world; as if Popeye’s spinach has dissipated into the ether of Warwick’s campus.

And what is more incredible: everyone mucks in. I have yet to see one person taking a breather in the corner - well, apart from me, of course.

My point is, there are many lessons to be learned at this year's conference.

But my number one must simply be: whoever said that Jews cannot dance clearly never went to Limmud.

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