Cartoon Black History: Goofy
So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Best Dance Crew and the like didn’t always exist. There was a time people had to work hard to even get in the door. Needless to say it was even more work to be recognized with colored skin. This is how masters like Goofy got discovered.
Obviously Goofy isn’t his real name. His mother, who was a big fan of daytime talk shows, named him Geraldo Williams. Geraldo was starved for attention. He would do silly, sometimes detrimental things to himself in school to entertain others. His peers found it to just be sad and goofy. So that’s what they called him.
Though Goofy wasn’t a nickname he desired, it stuck. His school required diversity in the choices of electives. He had already had gym and weight training as classes. So, to graduate, he would have to take a dance class. Goofy was apprehensive as he had never danced in his life. But he greeted the challenge with a carefree attitude.
The class was full of students dedicated to dance. Goofy, on the other hand, approached it with the same lack of seriousness that got him his moniker. He burst through the doors performing a crude version of the Funky Chicken to a cacophony of groans.
Goofy may have been joking around, but his teacher noticed there was some technique to his terrible jig. Since the teacher saw potential in Goofy, he was treated no differently. He didn’t think he would survive the class as he was given steps to learn at a dizzying pace.
Nevertheless, Goofy realized that, while watching his classmates and with the confidence his teacher had in him, dance made him feel rejuvenated. Almost as if a new power was flowing through him. Since he was believed in so strongly, Goofy vowed to study all kinds of dance and make his teacher proud.
On the day of his solo dance final, Goofy brought a boombox. When he hit the play button, one of the two left feet his mates knew so well got real right! He did an intricate jive number from the Broadway musical Chicago. The class was stunned into silence.
But Goofy didn’t want to just display someone else’s choreography. So, to show his variety of new moves, he added a freestyle breakdance to the end of the piece. The congratulatory applause were deafening. He passed.
Low and behold, Goofy’s instructor wasn’t just teaching, but recruiting also. He was asked to join the teacher’s dance troop. Goofy became the star of what would be the most successful company of African American dancers in this nation’s history. By the way, that teacher’s name…