PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

Cicada Craze

The emergence this month of 17-year cicada swarms is perfectly timed to coincide with my first new dance step in about 17 (or so) years, which I have developed with an eye toward creating an international craze. My several past attempts to create international crazes have all failed, but that may be because none involved a new dance step. Since I’m not much of a dancer myself, I thought I’d just describe how the Cicada Hustle is to be performed and let you take it from there:

Step 1: Mosey in place. It’s spring, 70 degrees. Trees have leafed out and flowers are in full bloom. This is exactly why you live in North Carolina! You’re parading happily along, until:

Step 2: Crunch-two-three-four. You’re stepping on something. With each crunchy step you pick your feet up high in order to see under them. Crunch-two-three-ewww!-crunch-two-three-ewww! You gasp, grossed-out.

Step 3: Ach-Ptooey! A cicada just flew into your mouth. Another into a nostril. Now an eye. Now an ear. This is where the Cicada Hustle makes use of outrageous facial expressions to separate it from famous dances of the past and (with luck) create the conditions for the craze to go all viral on your asses, as youths of today like to say. Comical gagging and frenzied slaps at one’s own face will be essential for this dance to be elevated to “international craze” status. At the end of this step you point frenetically somewhere in the distance: “Head inside! Head inside!”

Step 4: Cheerful Chef’s Booty Shake. You express the happy turn of events with a sort of shimmy-and-squirm bottom-wiggle, which continues as you reach up high to get oil from the cupboard, pouring generously; Shake and Shake the Salt and Pepper; Stir it up, Stir it up!                   

This last part is why the Cicada Hustle is going to become a craze. People like happy endings, and life-giving food like fried cicadas suggest bounty and happiness. Looking forward to linking this site to the first videos created (by you!) of this dance.

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