Culture TED Conferences

“I was watching like no one was dancing”: Allison Hunt at TED2013

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

“If you’re middle-aged and North American, you probably learned to dance when you were in a gymnasium in junior high.” Allison Hunt didn’t get that training, because her mother was always chaperoning the dances, and worse than that: dancing. What could be more embarrassing to a teenager? She says: “You know the expression, dance like no one is watching? I was at the back of the gym watching like no one was dancing.”

In this short audience talk, Hunt talks about what happened after her recent hip replacement. She was recovering, and saw Brené Brown’s talk on vulnerability. Deciding that she needed to get past the embarrassment of the past, she took private hip-hop lessons. One on one. “I take my vulnerability very seriously.”

The good news: You don’t need to move your feet. It’s all upper-body. As her instructor said, “When you’re in a club on the dance floor, no one can see your feet.”

So she learned, and she shares four rules of hip-hop that helped her relax.

  1. No smiling in hip-hop.
  2. Remember you have hands. If you don’t, you will default into jazz-hands or the dreaded finger guns. Use fists, that’s more badass. That’s more, “I think ‘mother’ is half a word.”
  3. Music is vital. Don’t be caught dancing without it.
  4. The louder the music, the better you dance.