by Petula Caesar
Back in the 90s people used to dance. I mean, really dance. Dances had names, and there were a lot of them, and you had to know how to do at least most of them, because your social status was (in part) determined on how well you danced. The Running Man, The Roger Rabbit, The Elf, The Smurf, The Wop, The Snake, The Prep, The Kid ‘N Play, The Reebok, The MC Hammer, The Typewriter, etc. One of the best examples of the collection of dances one had to do to be socially relevant in the ’90s is MC Hammer’s very first music video, “Pump It Up”.
Video vixens in those days were often professional dancers. Dancing was so important that whole television shows existed that were just groups of young people in trendy clothes dancing, like “Soul Train”.
Baltimore’s version of Soul Train in the 90s was called “Shakedown”.
The show aired on WJZ-TV on Saturday nights at 11:30 p.m. in 1992, and featured about 80 Baltimore dancers ages 18-25, who were selected through auditions held at White Marsh Mall and Owings Mills Mall. Only the cutest, the flyest, and the best dancers were selected, so getting on the show was considered quite a coup. So today, let’s throw it back about two decades and check out “Shakedown!”