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I’m Gonna Teach You, Teach You, Teach You…About the Electric Side Music Video!

Did you know that the Electric Slide was a dance before the 1990s, and even before the 1980s? Did you know the song associated with this dance actually came out in 1982?


Well, let me teach you, teach you, teach you, teach you about the Electric Slide…song and music video!

Earworms – catch the excitement!

Last week, one of my co-workers (I’m not sure how she would feel if I mentioned her name, so I’ll keep her anonymous) asked me to find “The Electric Slide Song” for a weekend program she oversees. The goal was to get the people who participate in the program to dance as exercise, and the theme was the letter “E.” If there is one thing I’ve learned working in an agency that supports and advocates for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, it’s that the people this agency supports love to dance. And when I say love, they’re like kids in one unending dance recital, except they want to be there. And there aren’t any costumes or makeup.

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You know, like this!

So, naturally, I went straight to You Tube to find the song, and we were treated to what I can only believe is one of the biggest ’90s assault on the eyes and ears I’ve witnessed since the last time I made this claim (which probably wasn’t all that long ago, but memory doesn’t serve, so just run with me). I mean, we know what to expect with the song, we’ve been hearing it at every school dance, prom, wedding, and special occasion we’ve been to since the 1990s. But then there’s the music video that accompanies it. And there’s a story about this dance.


You REALLY didn’t think I was going to just let you get away with watching a music video (or a bunch of GIPHY Overloads), right?
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“The Electric Slide” actually began its life with a song that is actually called “Electric Boogie,” and it’s sung by a woman named Marcia Griffiths, from her 1982 album Carousel. My co-worker was right about her having “island” accent – Marcia hails from Kingston, Jamaica, and for several years, she performed in a female vocal group called I Threes, who were backing vocalists for Bob Marley and the Wailers.

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She also likes wearing hats with lots of decorations and pointing at the camera.

“Electric Boogie” was originally recorded in 1980, but wasn’t released until 1982, and while it was a hit upon release, it actually peaked at #51 (the highest it went on the Billboard Hot 100) in 1990, and became the staple of every event you went to thereafter.

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One could never escape the group of people doing the four-walled dance – think flash mob but more ’90s. The dance itself was actually created in 1976 by Ric Silver to Marcia Griffiths’ demo version of this song. It has 22 steps, and prior to May 22, 2007, if you want to do the 18-step version (or any of the other versions, including the original), Ric Silver would have made sure a DMCA-based takedown happened to you. This is no longer an issue, as the dance now has a Creative Commons license. Which means if you’d like to post yourself trying this dance (or any of its variants), credit Mr. Silver as the choreographer.

Or just be like me and believe you can create your own dance. No, I don’t have any videos of me self-choreographing or doing The Electric Slide.

Or this.

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They’re doing the NSFW/NSFGF (GF = Group Functions) version, which is not based on the Electric Slide, but instead based on some leftover moves from Breakin’.

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As I said, “Electric Boogie” reached its peak on the charts in 1990, so obviously, this was grounds for a music video, featuring Marcia Griffith and a bunch of dancers. And if nightmares could be made of neon, Zuba pants and spandex…yeah, there are plenty of those.

And now that you have the song and dance stuck in your head, the images of Electric Slide Flash Mob Glory are also stuck with you.

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Let’s just say I taught you, taught you, taught you, something you didn’t even know!

Allison would also like to teach you, teach you, teach you, all about the obscure, while giving you a few heartstring-tuggers, over on her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can also follow her blog on Facebook, and on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

She hates The Electric Slide because she is awful with right and left…and can’t remember which way to turn during this dance. Perhaps someone should teach her, teach her, teach her…

She’ll stop, she promises.

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