Some dance forms, such as swing dance, have us energized and tapping our feet to the fantastic moves people can showcase. In a video from Jan. 5, 2020, two dancers wowed the crowds at the annual BudaFest dance event at Hotel Intercontinental in Budapest, Hungary. Emeline Rochefeuille and Jordan Frisbee made the crowd cheer with their West Coast Swing rendition of the popular 1996 song “Macarena” by Los del Río. They were randomly paired and improvised the crowd-pleasing number. This video is sure to make you want to get up and dance as well!
For dance enthusiasts out there, how would you feel about performing a dance with no practice at all? Improvisation in dance numbers is an exciting thing to see because it requires intense creativity on the dancer’s part. This is even more true when two dancers have to improvise without knowing the song they are performing in advance.
This is the case when it comes to BudaFest, a dance event in which partners are randomly paired moments before taking to the dance floor. Frisbee was no exception. Once his partner was randomly chosen, he looked visibly relieved as he embraced her. His partner was Rochefeuille, a professional dancer who is originally from France, while Frisbee is a swing dance champion from America. Despite their differences, together, the pair created charismatic choreography that intrigued viewers long after the video was posted to YouTube. Despite the rather funky beat, the pair created a West Coast swing/Macarena-style fusion dance that was unforgettable, even years later.
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video
After Rochefeuille’s name was drawn, the pair got to listen to a short song snippet. Members taking part in BudaFest are allowed to choose any one of three song choices presented to them at first and can decide to skip a song for another one. The facial expressions of this talented duo revealed that they were both carefully focusing on the music. There was one excellent reason for their concentration; they were going to dance to the chosen tune.
The couple chose to move on from the first selection quite quickly after they heard it. After hearing the second choice, the host joked, “You don’t know what that was,” as he performed a few relevant moves. The couple, however, was intrigued. They knew then that they wanted to dance to Los Del Río’s ’90s dance tune “Macarena” while adding their own swing twist to it.
The band Los Del Río is most significantly known for the “Macarena,” which remained in the top charts for a long time. After the Bayside Boys added their own remix to this song with English lyrics, it caught a feverish hold in the Western hemisphere thanks to its fast-paced 103-beat-per-minute tempo. The Macarena was a hugely popular song in the ’90s for good reason: the beat made everyone want to get up and dance! The signature dance moves that come with the song were simple enough to allow people who aren’t confident to have fun with it and gave enough leeway for pro dancers to add their own variations to them. This dancing duo knew exactly how to make this song their own.
Both Rochefeuille and Frisbee instinctually chose to perform a swing version of the “Macarena.” Swing dancing, which has long been a popular form of dance since the 1920s, works really well with fast-paced songs that allow a variety of vibrant movements. Interestingly, “swing” is actually a form of jazz music that, in turn, influenced the dance form we know today. It’s also known as the “jitterbug” in many professional dance circles, which is an umbrella for all types of swing dances, such as the Lindy Hop, Shag and Balboa.
As the couple took their places on the dance floor, there was quite a bit of excitement surrounding them. After all, they had been paired only moments before and had even less time to think about the music. They also had absolutely no rehearsal time to work out some moves for their improvisation. Although they are professional dancers, improvising an entire routine is still quite a feat! Looking at them owning the space and performing dance moves as if they were speaking or breathing was so inspiring. The two even managed to have a great time, laughing as they created a routine from scratch and on the go!
As the routine unfolded, the crowd was enthralled. The couple had risen to the challenge, and everyone was having a wonderful time basking in the glow of their success. The crowd cheered as the two dancers seamlessly integrated classic “Macarena” moves into a smooth West Coast Swing routine. It is clear from the video that both dancers are extremely talented. While there were elements of the original macarena dance incorporated into the song, each dancer took a unique route in their expression.
While Rochefeuille provided more movement, Frisbee supported her with more minimal but defined moves. Together, their chemistry flowed so well that it is surprising to think it was all improvised! When the performance was over, everyone beamed, and the auditorium shook with thunderous applause. It was certainly warranted! Both dancers also looked quite happy with their performance as well. This dance routine is surely going to be one to remember for both of them.
Dancing is a wonderful form of expression that permeates all cultures in the world. It is almost a human instinct to move your body to the tune of music. Recent studies have also shown that dancing and movement can be therapeutic for many people. Among other benefits, dance therapy can help with stress reduction, disease prevention and mood management, according to Good Therapy. When working with a qualified therapist, dance therapy can also promote self-awareness, self-esteem and a safe space for expressing feelings.
The most important thing about dancing, in general, is also the enjoyment it brings. For example, the “Macarena” is almost a staple at parties and weddings not just because it allows every segment of the population to dance together, but also because it creates unity as everyone can choreograph on the go. Often, it also creates a bond between strangers as they dance together in unison. It is one of those rare songs that is recognized throughout the world. It was a treat for us to watch this dynamic duo’s talent as they created this unique “Macarena” dance.
Frisbee and Rochefeuille’s routine brought talent, style and remarkable showmanship center stage. What do you think of the pair’s marvelous improv? Take a few moments and inspire others here or at another social media venue with your own tales from the dance floor.