The Running Man Dance: Old School vs. New School

//The Running Man Dance: Old School vs. New School

This week I continue coverage of the viral Running-man challenge along with the immense response it has been getting. Despite all of the excitement (surrounding it) that it’s been drawing from pro athletes, firemen, police officers and regular people around the world, it has also received its share of backlash. As a top trending topic, it this ‘controversial’ dance has dominated headlines and airwaves. Let’s see what all the fuss is about.

While it may seem like everyone is doing it, not quite everyone has jumped on the Running-man challenge bandwagon. In fact, there are some who insist that this is merely a disappointing attempt by misguided Millennials at the real Running-man, a street dance dating back to the 1970’s when first performed in concert by a Fela Kuti back up dancer. Although it wasn’t really popularized until the 1980′s when pop stars Janet Jackson, MC Hammer, Bobby Brown, Milli Vanilli and others of that era made it a staple in their repertoire of movements. This outcry of sorts has lead to a crop of tutorial videos demonstrating the original 1990’s version and the importance of acknowledging its true originators from decades past. Some of these art and culture preservationists (as I like to call them), simply want to remind people of the true origins of trends that are thought to be new, that aren’t exactly so. While there are others who seek to differentiate the old from the new, as well as change the names all together. There are Running-man movements, if you will, that are demanding that people find a new name for this trending dance that they believe looks more like a prancing pony, ant stomp or other comical action like a T-Rex dancing (as depicted in a new, viral video)!

Check out some of these videos and comments from some of those at the forefront of the running-man preservation movement (yes, movement!), who demonstrate the real deal while pleading for youngsters to learn the history behind such trends, call it by a more fitting name, and leave the Running-man back in the 1990’s from whence it came!

If you’re at work, or somewhere else where you probably shouldn’t be surfing the web, warning, this next video is a laugh out loud, hold your belly type of clip! Notice Hathorn’s expressions as he struggles just to watch the modern version!

Running-man preservationist and self proclaimed “Old school guy” Reggie Hathorn hilariously compares versions while pleading to save surfers’ lives – and all with a straight face!

Some of the public outcry voiced by traditionalists:

“This moved me to make my own real running man preservation video. Lol”  EccentricM

“YES YES YES YES! The real running man so sick of these “kids” trying to reinvent the wheel.” Jai Haze

“I agree! It should be called the seizure man because that’s what it looks like! It most definitely is NOT the running man.” midrangetorque
“YESSSS!!!!!!!!! Nicely done!! Now thats what I am talking about. Its sad that this new generation of kids THINK that the dance they are doing for the “running man challenge” is the real running man. NOPE.” Angelina Acevedo
“When I first saw it, I was like what the hell is that? That is not the running man. Hell we used to do the real running man on roller skates back in the 1980’s.” BBBYpsi
“Kids disrespecting MC Hammer are just not 2 Legit and they needs ta quit.” Berto B
“+StickFiggasLLC Not only is that the real running man….. My brother you were killing it!!! You brought a smile and a tear of pride to former background dancers all over the world!” Ivory Davis

“What these kids are doing now a days looks like the river dance or jumping rope wrong. Lol! Great vid!” sldeyo

Running-man preservationist vents his frustration at the modern take on the running-man, then demonstrates the real deal along while Running-man pioneer MC Hammer plays on the TV screen!

 

While this is not an uncommon argument with other forms of dance (mambo vs. L.A. style salsa, traditional Argentine tango vs. tango nuevo or show tango), and even with traditional music styles vs. modern takes and re-makes, the sticker with this one is that the current version doesn’t even slightly resemble it’s predecessor; which is why many opponents argue that it should have a different name all together.

 

Let’s compare this with rebuttals from younger generations.

“Lol so many old people got offended, nice vid though.” Jimmy Butler Jr.
“I’m 21 and heard about this at work. I did the real running man and was told that it was wrong, then looked up the “real” challenge…. lol sadly this has become a trend just like the Harlem Shake trend.”  Cell Jr.

“Yes! My daughter has the audacity to still dispute this even after your video! God bless this generation.” MindzProductions
“Thank you I’m 15 but I KNOW this is the real running man and someone had the nerve to tell me I’m wrong. come on man.” Deshaun fortune
“From a 16 year old.. It’s not supposed to be the real thing. It was made like that to the song for a reason.. But I guess I could understand why people are mad .. People just need to stop blaming it on “drugs” .” Najayla Thomason
Meanwhile, despite the dissent, the count continues to grow for the number of new participants joining the challenge each day. From sports teams to police and fire departments, and various organizations around the world, everyone seems to want to be putting their own stamp on the Running-man and rising to the challenge.

Couple reacting to popular videos like the modern Running-man with fan comments begging them to watch and react to more! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OelxhgFi0OM

The original officer challenge that has since spread to hundreds of squads worldwide began with New Zealand police vs. NYPD.

Side by side, who won the battle?

Below, with old school vs. new school, who wins?

 

 

Old school – Will Smith does the original Running-man on early episode of cult classic TV series “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
versus

Australian Federal police – 30 sec clip with hilarious aggressive baton throw instead of mic drop.

When it comes to the old school version versus the new school, who do you think wins the battle? Compare clips and sound off!

By |2016-06-01T07:59:20+00:00May 31st, 2016|Dancing Around the World|0 Comments

About the Author:

Having fearlessly explored every continent, Nneka is multi-lingual and passionate about travel, culture and life. A SDSU alumni, she has worked in KTVU Fox's newsroom, interviewed notable figures and hosted programs for various media outlets. She has also written features for The San Leandro Times and LostGirlsWorld.com. Also a seasoned performer and fitness professional, Nneka holds several fitness certifications, has shared the stage with entertainment icons, and has appeared on various TV Shows. Follow her global adventures in the arts and beyond on IG @nnekaworldtrekker.