Funk Part 4 supplement — Soul Train Lines

The immortal Don Cornelius, creator and host of Soul Train.  Image via

The immortal Don Cornelius, creator and host of Soul Train.  Image via


We’ve been looking at how group engagement with the groove fosters individual expression.

In the previous two posts, we’ve seen videos of dancers finding their individual voices as they perform dances similar to those all around them.

Here’s a familiar twist on that, where the group surrounds individual dancers who take turns stepping into the center to perform brief dance solos. 

Note . . .   

The soloists require a backdrop of subdued motion from the other dancers.  They mustn’t distract from what she is doing.

When soloing, each dancer strays further from the well-established moves that she might have been drawing on moments earlier when dancing amid the group.  Thus, the group dancing that precedes and follows the dance line provides essential context for this moment.   An evening of all dance line might drain the solos of their meaning.

Finally, consider that what these dancers are doing with their bodies is analogous to what they and we are doing in our minds as we listen.  We take what we hear and make something of our own out of it.  That’s why listening to music, reading a book, watching a dance performance, viewing a film, and all other forms of engaging the creative work of others is itself creative.

 Thank you for reading.