A tough week didn’t stop Barack Obama from dancing.
On Saturday, the president used some “bhangra” diplomacy, breaking into the traditional Indian dance with the first lady and students in Mumbai.
George W. Bush was also known to hit the floor in office, doing a tap dance for reporters in 2008 and boogying down with Mali musicians in 2007.
We asked professional dancers Jami Stigliano, owner of DivaDance in Manhattan; and Lou Brockman, a Dance Manhattan instructor who won ABC’s Dancing With The Moms,” to rate the presidential moves:
Obama = Rico Suave
Obama moves with a low key physical confidence and Mad Men elegance that shows he “isn’t trying too hard,” Brockman said.
Bush = Senor Wences
Bush’s high, hunched shoulders indicate tension and a lack of ease, Brockman said. “I looked at that tape of Bush tap dancing for the press and thought, ‘what is he doing?! He’s the president of the United States!’”
Obama is adept enough to stay on time and channel the music through his muscles in a personal way that makes rhythmic sense, Brockman said.
Bush’s problem is two right feet. His rote mirroring of the people around him and reversion to a gridlocked “step together, step together” default indicate an estrangement from rhythm, said Stigliano.
Winner: Michelle Obama. Michelle not only mastered the moves of the delighted Mumbai kids with a surprising swiftness, but improvised with a clearly contagious joie de vivre Besides, noted Brockman, “Obama has always given props to Michelle for being the better dancer. The fact he gives respect to her is really cool. That’s what a man does: give support to the woman so she looks good.”