To Dab or not to Dab: That is the Question – Lukas Schneider ’20


By now most of you will have heard of the dance move the Dab. For those who aren’t aware, the Dab is a hip-hop-based dance move that looks similar to a person sneezing. The move was recently popularized by Cam Newton, who did an eight-second long Dab after scoring a touchdown. He has since become famous for doing the move every time he scores in a game. Since that rebound into popularity, the Dab has currently cemented itself as what could be known as the new “Whip” or “Nae Nae” within popular culture.

But why is it that these moves have become so popular in culture? Why do  we integrate them and applaud them and think they’re “cool” when really we’ll most likely throw away these “cool” dance moves when something else we think is “cool” comes along that’s more modern than the previous? I choose to call it the Dab Principle, simply because the Dab seems to be the most popular example of this concept as of today.
Frankly, the Dab Principle can be summed up like this: humans are really fickle creatures, and that is nowhere near as apparent as it is with electronics. Every time a developer, say Apple, Samsung, Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft, comes out with a new product upgrade, many will ditch their old ones and trade them in for the new product because we see it as better. The difference is that the Dab may not necessarily be an upgrade to the Whip and/or Nae Nae, and if anything is just equal to them.

So are we destined to a cycle of never-ending dance moves that we call the latest thing? The action we’ll cheer for when our favorite celebrities do it? That’s all the Dab Principle is, and why I call it out separately from the products above. Why? With all those products, phones, tablets, consoles, and computers, the newer product is almost always an upgraded version of the old. It may not necessarily be enough to warrant a purchase, but it usually changed something for the better. Meanwhile, there’s no real way to make a definitively better dance move for the ages, something that won’t die out when a new fad rolls in. So maybe we should spend more time thinking and appreciating things that can change for the better rather than the Dab itself. I leave that, up to you my readers.

P.S. I have never Dabbed.