Puzzled Over

The Jumpty Dance

What do you get when you cross the freeform acrobatics of parkour, the rebellion of skateboarding, and the suspension of self-respect of most DDR freestyle routines?

You get jumping, or “jumpstyle”. And friends, it is not a crime.

I was inflicted with this plight by Chelsea Peretti. Not the plight of doing it, but the plight of not being able to look away from these magnificent videos.

One or two videos of this and you will have the same question I did. What is that catchy mix of gabba and hard house? It should be no surprise that it is yet another subdivision of electronic music, dubbed “jumpstyle” (ah ha!) or simply “jump”.

In a hotly contested Wikipedia entry, the dance associated with Jumpstyle is called Skiën:

Skiën means kicking one’s feet forward and backward on the bass-line, while the torso goes the opposite way (right foot forward, torso back), once in a while lifting one foot significantly higher than usual to indicate a break in the beat.

Skien is not to be confused with skanking, because skanking is done to ska and reggae, and this is done to electronic music. Don’t worry. It’s a common mistake.

This is not just a few kids screwing around. Oh no. This is a bone-fide craze.

* There are community sites.
* There are CDs. Jumping Is Not A Crime Vol. 1 hit the top 10 in both Belgium and the Netherlands. (Suspiciously, while jumping is not a crime, downloading it is a crime.)
* There are record labels.
* There are jump battles. Battles, people.
* There are parties, both in clubs and in homes.

This craze needs to come to NYC. Why? Because here, social dancing IS a crime.

Might as well jump, kids.