Above this text is a link that leads to Jordan Frisbee and Tatianna Mollman’s performance at Swing Diego in 2007, performing “Pump It” by The Black Eyed Peas. I chose to write about this routine for a variety of reasons. One, the music and tempo are fast-paced and make the appearance very lively. Two, the movements performed in this routine have a lot of “pump” to the song that make the routine more enjoyable to watch; the “pump” is in the dancers, the dance, and the lyrics: it’s everywhere! And finally, the dancers themselves correlate their movements so well with the song, as if the dancers can predict what the audience want to see as the dance moves through the song.
West coast swing is a dance that has six beats per basic and the triple steps built in the step may be difficult to achieve if you’re moving to a fast-paced song. However, Frisbee and Mollman are professionals and know how to grab the audience’s attention. Throughout the dance the two move in synchronizing motion side by side or down a parallel line. As the two move down the line, their upper bodies are still, including their heads: only the feet move.
There are so many examples as to how pump is embedded in the genetic codes of this dance: the song, the lyrics, the dance itself, and of course the dancers with incredible attitude that make the performance come to life. One example is the song itself. “Pump It” by The Black Eyed Peas has many over-emphasized sounds such as the guitar strumming and when the singers say, “pump it,” their voices are projected louder compared to when they sing the rest of the song. Second, how the dancers use the specific moments in the song in order to make a dance come to life with specific singers, either being male or female. For example, in the middle of the routine the song goes, “hey can you check this out right here,” said by the male singer, and Frisbee takes advantage of this by sliding across on the other side of Mollman, because he’s a male dancer and is making a connection between the dance and the lyrics. Another example is after Mollman does multiple spins and a female singer says, “la da di da…,” Mollman slides across Frisbee to make another connection between the dance, dancers, and music itself.
Frisbee and Mollman move in synchronization so well: feet, arms, body movements and body rolls, as well as with the beats of the music. Again, the song has specific, over-emphasized motions, whether it’s the lyrics, beats, guitar, etc, the dancers make every connection possible and have the audience satisfied with whatever is happening. For example, throughout the song there are loud beats. Frisbee and Mollman will strike their arms in the air as they continue to move their feet. That way, the beats are shown through the movements of their arms and the guitar is still shown, through the movement of their feet, since only their feet move when in a line together.