Like all good employees, I do exactly as my boss tells me, even if that means following a lycra-clad gent through the Perth CBD on a Monday lunchtime, waving my arms and forming a human carwash around hapless passersby.
YES, this actually happened, upon the instructions of KidzaBuzz head honcho Bec. My friends, I wasn’t feeling Guru Dudu OR his silent disco. I have bronchitis, and I’m shy (really!), and hold illusions of being a cool mum. By putting on headphones and dancing around the city to a silent disco, I was stepping even further out of my comfort zone than the time I entered a rollerskating limbo competition.
Bec, on the other hand, was dancing and whooping even before Staying Alive kicked in on the headphones. She was INTO Guru Dudu. There’s a reason for this: number one, she’s a mum, so has to do that ‘shouting while wearing headphones thing’ by law. Second: Bec took part in Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tour last year. She was buzzing with excitement, which rubbed off on our kids, and rubbed off on her friend Beth, and failed to rub off on me; I kept my head down and prayed for the following 45 minutes to pass as quickly as possible, and to not see anyone I knew.
We started off – about 20 of us, ranging in age from very young to very old – near the art gallery, which was quite a busy thoroughfare at midday on a Monday. As we did Guru Dudu’s pelvis-rotating disco warm-ups I died a little, I’ll be honest, and it was nothing to do with my raspy chest.
As the name suggests, the disco’s silent, and piped through your headphones, along with Guru Dudu’s running commentary. To the casual observer, this must look weird. I was acutely aware of just how weird we must look to the casual observer, as we pointed to the ceiling and pointed to the floor and wiggled our hips and waggled our bums.
But then, as we moved through the cultural centre, waving our arms and clapping in time, something clicked. I suddenly GOT INTO IT. I think it was the kids that did it. Their faces were totally joyful and uninhibited. They moved and grooved and danced and pranced. And then I looked around and realised we were having the same effect on everyone in the city. People were laughing and taking photos and clapping along with us. We were the JOY BRINGERS! And it was only right that I should play my part.
Guru Dudu is amazing. If I had to worship anyone, it would be this dude. His commentary and instructions were genuinely hilarious, and before long I had tears rolling down my cheeks from belly laughing my way around the city. Guru Dudu gently told us to surround a group of picnickers in the urban orchard, and shower them in jazz hands, and I thought I was going to collapse from my giggles. Then we formed a human carwash, and scrubbed those city dwellers clean. And guess who was the most enthusiastic car washer of the bunch? YEP. Me. Once I let myself go, I couldn’t stop. I danced my inhibitions away.
We bopped through the library, doing dance-based interpretations of the people sleeping, and working on laptops, and sitting quietly. We waited at the entrance and cheered and whooped when people entered and exited, as though it was a red carpet. I cannot express to you how much fun this was.
And then Pharrell Williams’ Happy came piping through our headphones, and I got actual goosebumps, and you couldn’t hold me back. As we boogied though a quiet bookshop, empty but for a breastfeeding mamma, I made the decision to dance my way through every day life: through the checkout at Woolies, through the school run, through putting the bins out on a Thursday night. Dance, my friends! Dance because you can, and because Guru Dudu told you to.
By the end I was holding hands and high-fiving my newfound disco brothers and sisters, and praying to the altar of Guru Dudu, and booking tickets to take the rest of the family on the weekend. If you have legs, or wheels, or even prosthetics, you need to do Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tour. It will make you happier than Pharrell Williams song version, and everyone should be HAPPY!
Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tours are on at 10, 12 and 2 daily (except Wednesday) until Sunday October 11.