Why walk when you can waltz?

By Charlotte Oliver
December 24, 2013
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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