Segments in this Video

Club Head (02:31)


Archie Burnett introduces the "Check Your Body at the Door" project bringing club dancing into the spotlight. He uses dance to relieve stress and identifies himself as a religious club goer.

New York Club Scene (02:05)

A doorman welcomes dancers only. Burnett associates being frisked as a necessary sacrifice to gain club access. Dancers go to relieve stress and forget their problems.

Underground Scene (02:18)

Burnett discusses the media image of clubs as dangerous. Unlike mainstream counterparts, underground venues value authenticity and community over profits.

Club Dancers (01:42)

Meet members of Burnett's New York house community as they improvise moves against a white backdrop.

Double Life (02:12)

Brahms "Bravo" LaFortune finds dance in everyday movements, including walking down the street. He works for an architecture firm during the day and goes to clubs at night.

Movement and Music (01:48)

Club dancers describe what inspires them.

House Music Diva (01:56)

Recording artist Barbara Tucker has made a name in the underground club scene. She discusses her faith and love of dance.

Dance Styles (03:28)

Burnett explains syncopation in his dancing. Dancers discuss how they use music and rhythm to create trademark moves.

Unconventional Career (02:27)

Burnett cleans subway cars. He discusses his coworkers' reaction to his dancing, and recalls creating moves in his mother's living room.

Addicted to Dancing (03:44)

Iriena Herrera works for a nonprofit helping to prevent HIV among Latina women. She discusses dropping out of high school to go to clubs and overcoming a heroin addiction through dance.

Missing in Action (01:35)

Iriena is worried about Asia Moon; many of her clubbing friends have died of drug overdoses. Asia talks about using dance for self expression.

House vs. Hip Hop (01:44)

Club heads discuss the gangsta rap scene. After a dancer was shot, the community held a memorial at the Sound Factory.

Fast Footwork (03:23)

Educated in classical ballet, Brian discusses learning to improvise. He uses tap, break dancing, and salsa elements in his moves, and sees house music as peaceful, as opposed to combative hip-hop.

Club Family (01:34)

Bravo and Brian represent old and new school house music, respectively. Brian says dancing has kept him out of prison.

Family Values (02:16)

Bravo walks his daughter to school after dancing all night. Iriena introduces us to her grandmother. Her daughter wants to go dancing with her.

Parental Support (02:18)

"Vogue" dancer Willi Ninja talks about his relationship to his mother. Burnett hangs out at their house.

Vogue Dance (03:14)

Ninja is inspired by Asian cultural influences; he and Burnett watch a martial arts film. He explains the concept of translating fashion magazine images into movement.

TV Inspiration (01:31)

Club dancers cite entertainment shows, sports, theater, circus, and martial arts films as creative influences.

Dance Floor Circle (03:28)

Club dancers encourage each other to show off their best moves.

Club Dancing Stereotypes (02:20)

Ecco says ballet dancers look down on street dancing. Burnett discusses mixing house and hip-hop styles.

Living for Dance (03:06)

Burnett's wife Deborah comes second to dancing. Margie talks about the physical and emotional high of movement. Dancers improvise on the floor.

In the Zone (02:56)

Burnett discusses how time seems to stop on the dance floor, and explains how the club scene has helped him through hard times. Dancers describe feelings of euphoria.

Club Dancer Updates (04:13)

See what "Check your Body at the Door" participants are doing today.

Credits: Check Your Body at the Door: The Elusive, Artful World of Club Dancing (02:28)

Credits: Check Your Body at the Door: The Elusive, Artful World of Club Dancing

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Check Your Body at the Door: The Elusive, Artful World of Club Dancing

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Check Your Body at the Door is an exhaustive 20-year study of underground House dancing funded by the National Endowment of the Arts/ Dance Heritage Initiative and produced by dance critic and historian Sally Sommer, PhD. As a historical document, the film answers: What did House dancing look like? Who were the dancers? Why did they dance?

Length: 61 minutes

Item#: BVL75362

Copyright date: ©2011

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video customers.