Thanks May Z for the great meeting of the minds!
The Age of Bike Dance
Wielding BMX bikes, a unicycle, a trike, colorful wheel parasols, and whips made from inner tubes, The Derailleurs take the stage to perform “dance on, with, and about bicycles.” Their moves include lifting girls mounted on bicycles, twirling wheel parasols in unison, BMX tricks, gliding across the stage on flaming bicycles, and mostly just moving to the music. The image put forth is a quirky mixture of fly girls meets a group of teenagers on stage at a middle school talent show.
They perform choreographed moves in unison, but their real essence lies in the varied dance styles that each girl brings to the group. Agent Double00* explains “everyone adds their own flavor to the group since we all come from different backgrounds. And everyone has their own bike trick that they like to do.” For example, Agent Double00's special trick is called “The Get Down, Get Up” which involves bringing the BMX to a stop, dropping the handles down, and pulling them back up again. Among their ranks lies a ballet dancer, a breakdancer/double-dutch aficionado, a sexy vixen, a unicyclist, and a bicycle acrobat, not to mention the fire dancers. With all these forces combined, they form the Derailleurs, the all female bike dance troupe hailing from the Bay Area around San Francisco.
This motley crew of girls appear on stage in their own unique individualized costumes, matching in color only. Like street gangs, most bike dance teams have their own colors; the Derailleurs have claimed turquoise and black. In their mismatched outfits the group takes on a misfit style eschewing the nature of the group. They really are just a random group of women with lots of sass, bubbling with enthusiasm, a love for bikes and a drive to dance, who have come together in this new form of bicycle enjoyment.
And they are one of a larger community of bike dance groups that span across international cities, from the B:C:Clettes in Vancouver, Canada to The Spokes from Manchester, UK. Of course it all started with the Sprockettes from Portland, Oregon in 2004 and it just keeps growing. Agent Chaos exclaimed at the end of our interview, “Japan is a good place to have a bike dance team start up” and she, like the other girls are excited to meet a new dance team from this side of the world.
*Bicycle dance team members generally adopt Agent names, like spies.