Like us, we are sure you’ve seen this phrase before. It’s imprinted on T-shirts, bumper stickers and posters. And every time we see it, it always makes us laugh! What if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about?
The hokey cokey (United Kingdom) or hokey pokey (United States, Canada, Ireland, and Australia), is a participation dance with a distinctive accompanying tune and lyric structure. It’s well-known in English-speaking countries. It’s of unclear origin, with two main traditions having evolved in different parts of the world. The only thing for sure, is that in the U.S. it became very popular in the 1950’s as THE party song.
For those who aren’t familiar how the dance is done, the participants stand in a circle. On “in” they put the appropriate body part in the circle, and on “out” they put it out of the circle. On “And you shake it all about”, the body part is shaken three times (on “shake”, “all”, and “-bout”, respectively). Simple, yet even for those who are coordinated, mistakes are made and laughs are shared.
It seems that when folks are participating, concentrating on the movements at hand, and listening to the voice of the singer/leader; they are able to feel a kind of gleeful abandon. No one is self-conscious, nor are they overly critical of others. When you bump into each other, make a mistake, or fall on your bottom side, everyone laughs along with you but not at you. In fact, it makes the dance/game even more fun if there are a few ‘mistakes.’ Where other activities of life demand a certain amount of proficiency, the Hokey Pokey is all about being in the moment and participating with your whole self.
When you think about it, this is how life should be. Living life to the fullest, following the leader, enjoying each and every moment, sharing laughter, assisting others, and looking forward to the next step. Simple really. Even a child of three gets this. Oh, to be childlike once again. Here’s wishing you a ‘hokey pokey’ life.
Blessings, K.R. and T.L.