14-year-old Saudi boy arrested for dancing to the Macarena at traffic lights
Typically one of the last songs at a gay bar or your local student night, I think the Macarena has a reputation as being a despised relic of the 90s, along with Who Let The Dogs Out and 99 Luftballons.
It's richly undeserved. Although the melody is uninspired and the lyrics are a stream of incomprehensible Spanish (it's actually about a girl named Macarena who cheats on her boyfriend while he's in the Army), the song is burned into our collective aural memories, and that's in part down to the iconic (and contagious) dance.
I'm not going to describe the dance to you. You know the dance. I still whip out the Macarena on a regular basis, even when the actual song isn't playing. I find it's a great way to meet new people, but there are some places where the Macarena is unwelcome, and even frowned upon.
One such example would be your place of employment, or maybe a romantic rendezvous, depending on how poorly the date is going. On a scale of "wedding reception" to "funeral", one of the worst places you can probably do the Macarena, however, is in the middle of a busy intersection. This 14-year-old boy out in the Middle East showed us exactly why.
In the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, an as-yet-unnamed teenager bravely stepped out in front of traffic with rhythm in his bones, purpose coursing through his veins. He had but one noble goal, and his goal was to perform a dance that predated even his own birth, doggedly dancing the Macarena as a convoy of SUVs stood in confusion ahead of him.
It was a beautiful display of whimsy, rhythm, not to mention blithe disregard for personal safety, in the name of dance. The cars around him may not have been too pleased, but the internet was awash with praise for this Macarena-ing young man.
Sadly, even tragically, this young man did not get the applause and praise he deserved back in the real world. Not even a little bit.
Yeah... it turns out that Saudi Arabia has a bit of a precedent when it comes to dancing in public. Actor, singer and television Abdallah Al Shaharani pulled off a dab at a music festival in the city of Ta'if earlier this month, but was swiftly detained by law enforcement.
The dab is outlawed in Saudi by the National Committee for Drug Control, due to its apparent allusion to drugs and other illicit substances. Al Shaharani even had to apologise for the "spontaneous movement" in a statement on Twitter:
"I am most apologetic to our honourable government and my dear president for the spontaneous movement I made in the Ta'if Festival. Accept my apology."
It's not yet clear what happened to this young Macarena-er, but let's hope that our dancing teen doesn't get too harsh a punishment. If you got sent to prison for doing the Macarena dance, I'm not sure you'd last too long.