Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Double Dream Hands Revolution

When you first start talking to composer/choreographer/teacher John Jacobson one thing becomes imminently clear — he’s a nice guy. You’ll also learn really quickly that he had no intention of becoming an Internet sensation. And yet, he has. If you haven’t seen (or done) the Double Dream Hands dance, made famous on YouTube, well frankly, you haven’t lived.

Jacobson never expected the video, which started as a music-learning tool for kids, would be pirated by an unknown enthusiast and uploaded to YouTube. In fact he learned of the move, when a friend emailed him to say the video had hits. Jacobson contacted his co-writer to let him know, “I called up the guy Mac Huff who wrote the song with me and I said, ‘Mac, do you know that 30,000 people looked at this thing?’ And he said, ‘Well call me when it’s 100,000.’ And that was like that night.”

Now he’s not only topped the 1,000,000 mark, a number of parody videos have popped up, too. Our favorites are the Beyonce “Single Ladies” mash-up and “Double Dream Paws,” but please don’t try that one at home. Jacobson’s surprised by some other versions. He explained, “The really surprising ones to me are the ones that are… college kids. College guys in their dorm rooms are all getting together and doing the double dream hands… and laughing hysterically and having a really good time… I think that’s all wonderful.”

Of course it pales in comparison to the 3,000,000 kids that watch the hundreds of other videos that John has made as teaching aids for students all over the world. But we have a feeling the "Double Dream Hands" machine is just building up steam.

And for those of you who are wondering, the real name of John’s song is “Planet Rock.” The term dream hands came during a discussion with kids one day when John was asked to describe one of his signature moves. He recounted, “I sort of wrap my hands around the back of my head. And… a kid asked me one time, ‘What do you call that move?’ And… I jokingly said, ‘Well that’s a dream hand because it’s like you’re taking a dream out of your head and throwing it up into heaven.’”

The phrase and the move stuck and the dream continues. So without further ado, we present the best of John Jacobson and “Double Dream Hands.”

"Double Dream Hands!"/"Single Ladies" Mash-Up

"Double Dream Hands" Bollywood

"Double Dream Paws"

"Double Dream Hands" Extreme

"Double Dream Hands" in the Dorm

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