Saturday, 18 May 2013

Finnish Men Can't Dance

Finnish men can't dance. Fact.

OK, OK, I admit: like most things I write about in this blog, I don't really know what I am talking about. This week however, I was reminded of some classic Finnish dance videos when I saw an animated GIF picture of a middle-age man showing off his disco thrusts.

The man in question is Åke Blomqvist, Finland's answer to disco-era John Travolta.

Disco Heroes: John Travolta (left!) and Åke Blomqvist
This king of the dancefloor held a master's degree in dance teaching (qualifications are everything in Finland) and also had a prime-time TV programme on Saturday nights, teaching Finns how to shake their booty.

A video of one of Åke's disco lessons from the 1980s went viral in 2007, when the world suddenly became aware of this dance teacher's amazing ability to take Afro-American, gay and latino moves, and remove all style, energy and panache, for the consumption of Finnish audiences.
 
 
However, Åke Blomqvist was not alone in struggling with disco.

In an other video that went viral in 2007, Finnish singer Gregorius performs a remarkable cover of the disco classic YMCA – remarkable in that he manages to out-camp the Village People, while being both a terrible singer and dreadful dancer. Possibly not by accident, he and his backing dancers are dressed in Swedish colours, pandering to the Finnish cliché about all Swedish men being gay.
 
 

Now combine the best of Åke Blomqvist and Gregorius, and you get the fabulously bad Armi and Danny, with their classic "I Wanna Love You Tender", which includes the following heartfelt lyrics: "I love you, I wanna love you tender / You could be my only sweet surrender / I would never bring you any kind of sorrow" and "I love you, I wanna love you tender / I just want to be your loving fender / I would like to take you / I know I can't deceive you". This too was an Internet sensation, back in 2006.


"Ah, but those are ancient videos, which have been around for ages on the Internet", I hear you say.

Well think again, for here are more recent examples of Finnish men showing off their dancing skills (the first one is a whole 15 minutes long!).



Right, so based on these performances, the evidence seems to point overwhelmingly to just one possible conclusion: Finnish men really can't dance. Disco at least.

Agree?

16 comments:

  1. The problem isn't that Finnish men couldn't dance. The problem is that only those who can't actually want to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may well have a point there!

      Delete
  2. Director's cut here
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4riV9A5KRBU

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most excellent! Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
  3. I dunno, I'm kind of digging Buffalo Bill there in that last one. If you've got it, flaunt it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. AFAIK the YMCA bit is from an old sketch comedy show, so I don't think they were even trying to look good. Unlike Åke and Armi&Danny...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just shows the distinction between comedy and reality is sometimes blurred.

      Delete
  5. Wow, what an insightful blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard it called worse things! ;-)

      Delete
  6. My husband is Finnish (I am Canadian) and he is the best dancer on earth.

    ReplyDelete
  7. For some reason all I could think of after that headline was this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICcAY9_SIhA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that's a thought: maybe the Harlem Shake is actually a tribute to Åke Blomqvist!

      Delete
  8. Not true! See this guy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAxImqk91MA



    ReplyDelete
  9. Not true, proof:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bF6r8njjKg

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hahaaaaa, haaahhhaaaaa hahahaaaaaahaahahahahaha hhah.

    ReplyDelete