2001, $3.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando
First Impression: Of all the moves one could possibly learn, these will be the hottest moves.
Second Impression: Such as my favorite move pictured here, “I’m a little teapot.”
The DVD starts with an infomercial-style biography listing Darrin Henson’s credits. I’m even more impressed by his ability to get clearance for all the footage he used. There’s a clip of him as a zoot-suited MTV dancer, flirting with Downtown Julie Brown. There’s b-roll of Britney Spears and N’Sync rehearsing for their music videos. “Yeah, I like Darrin’s choreography, it’s really thrashy,” Britney says, as someone hands her a water bottle.
This footage is intercut with a “candid” interview with Darrin, relaxing on a rooftop on Sesame Street. “Wow,” he humblebrags, with a carefully coached laugh, “did I really do all that?”
His goatee reminds me of Evil Abed’s stick-on felt facial hair from the Darkest Timeline. Darrin talks about coming up as a street kid who basically taught himself how to dance. “I didn’t choose dancing,” he says, with his perfect smile.
“It chose me,” I say to my TV screen.
“It. Chose. Me.” says Darrin.
I work through the four routines. This DVD is from 2001, back when it was cool for male backup dancers to tuck their XXL shirts into their voluminous pants. The ladies are dressed in velour nurse’s scrubs. I don’t remember those ever being in style. Darrin’s clothes fit properly, so he looks super hot.
As with all prolific artists, patterns emerge in Darrin’s work. There’s lots of pointing, neck choreography, and turning to face the right. He often repeats his mantra, that hard work and practice are necessary to master these moves and anything in life worth doing. It’s an important lesson, but when it comes to repeating the choreography, he kind of leaves us hanging. If we want to go over it again, he says, “just rewind the tape.”
I actually do hit a back button to repeat a section, but the biography/infomercial plays again. “If you didn’t know by now, I’m Darrin Henson,” he says, strolling out once more onto the rooftop of 123 Sesame Street.