In case you were wondering how teens in Mongolia used to roll in the nineties (and a few decades before that)…some used to cohort in apartment building stairwell cases to play guitar and sing songs dubbed the “Ortsnii Duu” aka “Stairwell Songs.” In fact, that’s how I learned to play guitar–banging chords from la to me to sol to do, belting out, “Writing my love letter on a sheet of paper made in USSR.”
Lyrics were awesomely raw and heartfelt, chord progressions totally rudimentary. There were no songbooks with lyrics and notes; yet, like an ancient oral tradition, Stairwell Songs were passed down in the streets of Ulaanbaatar from generation to the next.
Similarly, b-boying has been an urban (Bronx, to be exact) ritual bequeathed from one b-boy to another. But with growing popularity of dance shows on TV, TiVo, and peeps using youtube, passing down the knowledge of street moves has changed with technology.
Take MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, which took street dancing to a whole new level. On their site, moves are broken down, replayed, and taught. Not to mention gazillions of tutorials on youtube, like this one, where each element is deconstructed in slow motion. So, if next time you see me on a dance floor busting out freak nasty or sponge bob, do know that my youtube has been getting a lot of action.
Watch & learn…Winners of America’s Best Dance Crew, JabbawockeeZ: