Lorde is taking some flak after performing her new song “Green Light” on SNL this past weekend, and if you haven’t been following the situation, you may be asking yourself why.
Did she get caught lip-syncing and do an incredibly awkward jig to deflect from the mess, à la Ashlee Simpson?
Did she sing off-key and ruin the song?
Did she scandalize in barely-there clothing or tear up a picture of the pope?
No to all three, my friends. Lorde performed beautifully, singing her own song in appropriate clothing and as far as I know, she has no beef with the pontiff. Instead, Lorde stands accused of dancing weirdly.
Yeah. This is a real thing people are getting worked up about.
Here’s the performance in question:
Now, let me break this down.
First, I mean, yeah. OK. Her dance moves aren’t exactly the type that people are going to spend hours in front of YouTube tutorials trying to learn.
There’s a reason for that.
It’s because this kind of dancing can’t be taught.
I guarantee you that Lorde has spent exactly zero minutes in front of the mirror or a video camera trying to see how she looks dancing. I guarantee you she never worries about how her movements will play to an audience or look mashed up into GIF form.
How do I know this? Look at the image above.
Look at how much fun she’s having! Name one other young female singer today who looks like she has this much fun performing.
I’d take a million of these unconventional Lorde dance moves over yet another singer in lingerie writhing around giving fuck-me eyes to the camera.
Lorde doesn’t dance to make herself look good, to make herself look sexy or to appease the voracious male gaze. But you can tell that she feels good, she feels sexy. She’s confident.
This dance comes from the roots of her soul. She’s feeling the music and letting it flow through her and shoot out of her fingertips and her elbows and the wild tendrils of her hair.
We all know people who dance like this.
They’re always the most fun at parties. They’re the ones you can let down your guard with. They’re the girls who become your best friends because they’re so unabashedly themselves that it’s impossible not to love them.
I’ll tell you who I know that dances like this: my little sister Hilary and my 4-year-old daughter, Olive. Both dance like they give absolutely zero fucks; their movements are odd amalgamations of wildly flailing arms and tossing hair and swinging hips — sometimes even a few little kicks thrown in to honor Elaine.
And you know what? They look incredible. They look happy. They look like they’re letting the music take over their bodies and transport them somewhere else entirely, away from self-awareness and self-consciousness and judgment.
When I watch them dance, I get the same smile I get when I watched Lorde on SNL.
She’s always been a weird dancer.
And I hope she always will be.
In a statement posted on her Facebook profile after the entire world became dance critics overnight, Lorde said, “one day i will do a normal dance choreographed by a nice person and I will look more like your other favourite performers but we have not yet reached that day.”
No! I speak on my own behalf as well as for and Hilary and Olive and Elaine and all the other unabashedly happy “weird” dancers in the world when I say, no. Please, Lorde. Don’t ever change.
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