Papelbon Dance

Sometimes dance and athletics combine into a beautiful synergy. In case you haven’t tuned into the baseball post-season, a new dance sensation is sweeping the land in the form of Red Sox closing pitcher Jonathan Papelbon.

I love the announcers’ comments on his dancing: “[look at the] use of his hands.” Imagine if Americans could converse at length about dance moves as much as they can talk about sports plays on talk radio…


Here’s a news spot about how the fans have caught on.

And finally, a hard-hitting investigative reporter tracks down a local dance teacher and gets the expert’s analysis of Papelbon’s dance lineage. (Warning, lack of tripod and microphone makes this a bit hard to watch or listen too, but such are the conditions of fast-breaking dance news.)

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7 Responses to Papelbon Dance

  1. tonya says:

    I guess the lesson is to tie dance in to something more popular, and already known. People are interested here because the “dancer” is a famous sports figure.

  2. Clare Byrne says:

    Thanks for sharing this, I love it. People are such adept students of movement.

  3. Anna Brady Nuse says:

    I agree, people understand movement and dance much more than they give themselves credit for. I loved how the announcers and fans were able to pick up on Papelbon’s movements so easily, and they felt confident to talk about it. Now if only more people could feel confident about going to a dance show and feeling like they “got it”. We’ve turned this basic form of artistic expression into this rarified field that people think they need a PhD in dance history and contemporary art to understand. That’s ridiculous.

  4. Adam Patterson says:

    This is a excellent example of how winning inspires creativity. Papelbon is a beast.

  5. Anna Brady Nuse says:

    The New York Times just wrote an article about Papelbon’s dancing today: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/sports/baseball/28papelbon.html?ex=1194148800&en=19ff8c6104631eb5&ei=5070&emc=eta1

    This is the best dance statistic I’ve read in a long time:
    “Papelbon is a superb pitcher, but he has also assured himself of being considered a dancer, too. A Google search of “Jonathan Papelbon” and “closer” yielded 365,000 results. A search with Papelbon’s name and “saves” produced 317,000 results. Finally, a search of his name and “dancer” netted a whopping 314,000 results. So there are nearly as many results connecting Papelbon to dancing as there are linking him to saves, and there are almost as many for him as a dancer, his hobby, as there are for him as a closer, his full-time gig.”

  6. jess graham says:

    How fun and liberating to see all these folks gettin down in the street. I’ve always thought basketball was a lot like ballet, and the pitching moves in baseball are dancer-like, but this takes my awareness of dance in sports to a whole new level.

  7. jane Nuse says:

    Alright Anna! Great to see the dance film world embrace the energy and enthusiasm of Jonathan Papelbon! He sure has Red Sox nation dancing along with him. Such great fun…baseball dance inspires hundreds of thousands who watched the Series this past week. Hmmmm….wonder if he hires out for weddings????
    Love you and your blog!!! Dance on!

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