“I-I-I-I-I am everyday people” – Sly & The Family Stone

Vernacular. This term, condensed by sociolinguists like William Labov, defines vernacular varieties as casual varieties used spontaneously rather than self-consciously. Vernacular dance (movement)*. African American vernacular dance references the social dances that exist, thrive, and are recycled, repurposed, nourished and developed in ‘everyday’ spaces by ‘everyday’ people contrasting environments akin to dance studios wherein, historically, ideologies of dance creation, participation, and development are strikingly different. In everyday spaces everyday people dance through many seasons for many reasons; although they may not classify themselves or be classified by others a dancer. What rings true in the moment is that they’re dancing; participating in a corporeal speech act/exchange/discourse with and in the community/communities present. It is from these communities that Streetdance and Streetdancers are born.

*I have placed movement along side of dance to include codified non-verbal gestures used in African American vernacular communicative practices. Movements like ‘poppin’ your collar’ are transferred from vernacular speech acts to corporeal exchanges on the dancefloor. Often dancers ‘pop they collar’ to signify where they’re from (the Yay Area in this case) or simply to embellish the dance movements being produced.