Best Dance Craze

"The Monastery"

We're not about to instigate a shitstorm by citing the source of this dance, which, for all we know, has been around in some incarnation or another for decades. Nor are we going to credit anyone in particular with inventing it, although we've heard countless theories about its origins. All we know is that it's been goddamn ubiquitous in St. Louis for the past year, and that's gotta count for something: From legions of little kids in the Annie Malone parade to scores of fly club-honeys in their best kicks, from roller-skating teens to middle-aged mamas at backyard barbecues, hip-hop fans of all ages were busting out various interpretations of these crazy-sexy-cool, vaguely comical neck-jutting, hip-popping moves. (For what it's worth, "chicken-head" is hip-hop slang for oral sex.)

The dance inspired two huge local club hits: "Urbody N Da Club Up," a gigantic underground smash for Da Hol' 9, whose frontman, 100.3 The Beat jock Big Sexy Kool DJ Kaos, presides at the Monastery nightclub every week; and "Breathe In, Breathe Out," an impossibly catchy party anthem from Ali (of the St. Lunatics), who jacked up the hype when he featured the dance in a video for the song. If someone's copping someone else's steez, we don't want to hear about it -- that shit is tired. Let's just celebrate the ephemeral charm of the regional dance craze and rejoice in the fact that so many St. Louisans were inspired to shake their asses this year.

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