You Make Me Feel Like Analyzing Dancing

I don’t know why, but I am fascinated by the dancing of Leo Sayer.  First of all, I have loved the song “You Make Feel Like Dancing” for a lonnnng time.  Some might not like it, and that’s fine.  Hell, I’m a little tired of it at this point after viewing all the videos below.

I watched a couple videos, and was struck by the actual awkward-yet-exuberant dancing of Leo Sayer.  It was jerky, odd, sweet, all of those.  Anyways, that’s the reason behind this post.


Countdown, an Australian music show (1976)

This video starts out with an impressive giant “LEO” backdrop.  But then Leo does this silly pantomime of bewilderedly hearing his backup singers.  It deflates the grandeur of the moment.  And besides, it’s not your backup singers, Leo!  It’s a tape you are lip-synching to!

He starts with a little strut down a lit walkway, which is kind of nice. Then he does more pantomime.  He checks his watch when he sings “quarter to 4 in the morning”.  He’s checking his watch!  He hugs himself when he says “hold me tight”.  Pantomiming, the most ancient form of dance.

He’s pretty full into the dancing. He commits to it.  You’ll find that in most of the videos, around the 2 minute mark, there’s just backup singers singing, and Leo doesn’t have anything to do BUT dance.  This is when he usually pulls out the stops.


The Midnight Special (1976)

Introduced by none other than Lou Rawls!  Mr. Rawls seems somewhat confused by the identity of the artist, giving the very awkward lead-in, “the one and only Leo… Sayer?”

But the music kicks in!  And this time it’s live, with a large backup band!  And there is a white vest involved!

Sayer is a little more reserved here during the first half, rooted to a single spot, mostly because it appears that space is limited on the stage.  He does a less demonstrative checking of his watch, but his holding himself tight is a little stronger than the previous video.

Around 2 minutes in, things kick into high gear.  He grabs the mic and shows it who’s boss.  Leo Sayer is who the boss is!  However, the dance break shortly thereafter is somewhat subdued.

The song ends with Sayer doing a mimed freeze-frame which is worth checking out.  Well, I checked it out, at least. You have something better to do?


The Captain & Tennille Show

Captain & Tennille present “one of the really great musical artists of our time”.

This is a lip-synched rendition.

There are backup dancers in this, on pedestals uneven with Mr. Sayer.  It’s difficult to tell, but it appears Leo Sayer is rather short, and the backup singers are rather tall. My feeling is that the pedestals were included to maybe obscure this fact?  Well, either way it makes the whole thing a little more visually interesting.

The focus is predominantly on the dancers, and as a result, Leo seems to be not working as hard. Except for a seemingly improvised pop-up he briefly does on one of the dancer’s pedestals, he’s pretty sedate.


TopPop (1976)

Leo seems a little unsure of himself here.  He seems to be thinking, “What the hell am I doing here?”  Maybe it’s due to all those menacing phallic props pointing at him.

He’s dressed quite conservatively, in a white button-up shirt and a navy blue blazer.  Perhaps this is another reason why he seems a little subdued.

He does do some pantomime — he “snaps” his fingers when he sings “snap your fingers”.  He checks his watch again at 3:45am.  He holds himself tight.  Also, he does this weird finger flutter when he is “shaking on a string, you know”.  I have no idea what the hell that’s supposed to mean.

He starts loosening up around 2 minutes, doing this kind of monkey-like, goofy drumming with his microphone. It’s inspired, in a way.


Top of the Pops (1976)

Okay, you think he’s going to be still for this one.  It’s a medium close-up of him singing straight into the camera, magnificent hair backlit, accompanied by two more Leos Sayer (that’s the proper pluralization, I believe) singing to each other in profile.

But HOLD ON.  1m20s in things start getting dance-funky.  There WILL be dancing.

He skips checking his watch, but holds himself tight.  It’s so odd, looking at all these videos.  He’s got dance tools in his toolbox, but one never knows if a tool will be utilized.


Supersonic (1977)


They are dropped shortly after the song begins.  Hey, who doesn’t love balloons?  An asshole, that’s who.

He seems to be enjoying himself.  He’s lip-synching, but so what. There’s a live audience, which he seems to bring some genuine happiness into his dancing.

And did I mention there are balloons?!


Music Video

Ouch.  Sleeveless white t-shirt!  That piece of fashion looked good on Freddie Mercury and no one else.

Now dig this… He doesn’t do the pantomime to checking his watch, but right after delivering that line, he appears to be CHEWING GUM.  Is this pantomime chewing gum, or real chewing gum?  I hope it’s not real.

The video stays pretty tight on him, so he doesn’t really get too crazy or animated in his dancing here.


Musica de los 70s (2004)

This is a live version, and Leo Sayer is much older.  He’s not spry as his 70’s self, but he looks great and seems to be enjoying himself.

He does some pantomime that I haven’t seen before. When he says “you’ve got a cute way of talking” he talks with his hand.  Shortly after, he pretends to have a dog on a leash.

Oh!  He does a different finger thing for the “shaking on a string” line!  He does a circular motion with his index finger.  You know, if you were to insensitively gesticulate that someone was crazy in the head.  But he’s not doing it to indicate someone his crazy — he’s winding or unwinding some form of string.  I think.

Adsussing – L’Oreal



It looks like someone has brazenly defaced one of the ads in Union Station.  Is nothing sacred?

Lea Michele With Facial Hair and A Questionable Tattoo


So, ShesAllWrite and I do this thing, where one of us picks an ad, and we both discuss it.  It’s called Adsussing.  You know.  Sussing!  Of ads!

Anywho, here’s our topic for this post — an ad featuring Julianne Moore in Chicago’s Union Station.


Julianne Moore


Michael (first impression):
Hello, Julianne Moore. You have nice hair. I’ll grant you that. Why are you addressing Chicago? And when you address Chicago, do you really say, “Hey Chicago”? That’s kind of rude, Julianne Moore.

I’m used to seeing celebrities endorse products, but I find it very unusual that this ad purports to actually quote the celebrity endorser. It’s just plain weird.

So, did Julianne Moore REALLY say this? Does Julianne Moore know she is being quoted by a French beauty company? I presume she knows her image is being used to sell “Color Vibrancy”. But does she know they are using some possibly-made-up quote of hers in their ad campaign?

Are there are other train stations across the US, or even the world, where Julianne Moore has geographically-specific advice? “Hey Houston, watch out for split ends and dust devils.”

I want some sort of verification that she said this quote. Otherwise it’s a filthy lie, and I want nothing to do with these wonderful hair care products.


Carla (first impression):
My hair has a life? Why didn’t anyone tell me? Not surprisingly, this ad for hair color is painfully superficial. When I think about life-changing things, my hair never enters the picture. I get that keeping her appearance up can make a woman feel great, but L’oreal is trying to suggest that it will make her feel great to the tune of changing her life. How can you change your hair’s life without changing your own? Your hair follows you everywhere!

I think an ad like this is effective on 99.9% of people. Lives, like processed hair, become dull. Who wouldn’t want to believe that a $10 box of color holds the key to a brilliant transformation? Me and the rest of the realists, that’s who.

It’s not that I don’t color my hair, I do–I have a few grey strands I’m not ready to rock yet. But I don’t ever pretend dying my hair will change anything other than the color of my hair. I actually find it to be a tedious chore–even when someone else does it. There are a million things I’d rather do than sit with a wad of dye on my head. If L’oreal wanted to advertise to people like me, this ad would look much different. It would call out how easy it is to use, how quick the processing time is and how little it smells. But L’oreal doesn’t care about the exceptions to the rules. They want to talk to the masses, and the masses believe in quick, easy fixes to all of life’s problems.

One other thing that bugs me about this ad is that Julianne Moore is airbrushed to Bejesus and back. She’s 52 years old, and this photo of her has been enhanced to make her look like she’s in her early 20s. This sets unrealistic expectations on everyone’s part, and women lose big time. Men will always be able to find (and possibly date) women in their early 20s, but women can’t get younger. I wish female celebrities would grow a pair of ovaries and show us what they really look like as they age. There’s no shame in aging, but you’d never know it by the advertising industry.


I am not so disappointed with Moore that she was airbrushed to hell and back, in that it’s the industry that creates these unrealistic images of women via all sorts of image manipulation. Wait, let me back up. Okay, she herself is taking the money for these ads, and unlike other ads (bottled water! a truck! microwave burritos!), selling beauty products while at the same time having every blemish digitally corrected does kind of make her a little responsible for these hokey standards of beauty being pushed.

Sheesh, I wasn’t even sure what this stupid ad was for. So it’s for hair coloring? I guess I focused so much on the stupid quote I didn’t get the ad’s stupid point. And I didn’t even notice that “CHANGE THE LIFE” line. I hope whoever thought of the “[BOLD!]CHANGE THE LIFE[/ENDBOLD!] OF YOUR HAIR” ad copy gets a case of mild diarrhea.

I neglected to mention that there were other celebrity women in this ad campaign at Union Station. They each had quotes attributed to them, but none of the quotes were Chicago-specific like Moore’s.

Lea MicheleJennifer Lopez

Eva Longoria


Whoops!  Now that I have looked at them, Eva Longoria totally has our number as a Windy City.  Bravo, Ms. Longoria!


Now that I’ve seen a few more of these ads in Union Station, I see that they are not for hair color, but for hair care products (shampoos, conditioners, styling aids) for a vast array of hair types. The fact that I couldn’t immediately discern this from the photo of the first ad Michael sent me is the worst thing about this ad campaign. With any form of display advertising, a brand has 3-5 seconds to tell the consumer what their product or service is, what it will do for them and how it will do this thing better than any other similar product or service. L’oreal failed big time on this front. Another fail is that there are too many varieties of L’oreal hair products in this campaign–the value proposition messages are too scattered. L’oreal would have been better off focusing the campaign on one product type, or collection from this line–the color-protecting collection, for instance. There are too many calls to action in this campaign, and the ads don’t communicate clearly or concisely, so as a consumer, I have no idea which of these products I am supposed to want or why. I give this campaign a solid F.