FM’s Kristi L. Jobson reports back from her close encounter with washed-up, balding formerly famous people and the people who dance next to them:
For a girl who grew up oogling dancers on MTV’s “The Grind”, the news that Eric Nies was hosting the 2003 Harvard Dance Marathon was nothing short of fantastic. Featured in “The Grind’s Hip-Hop Aerobics” videos, Eric taught millions of viewers the Creep—and how to wear a smug, self-satisfied expression while you slippedy-slide to Coolio’s “Fantastic Voyage.” I’m sure that I’m not the only Harvard student who has spent precious time in front of their parents’ full length mirror imitating Eric’s moves, keeping in mind of course his constant, grave reminders to “drink a lotta water, ya gotta drink ya water.”
I trekked to The Matrix psyched to see Eric bust a move in person and secretly hopeful that I’d have the chance to do the Grind routine I’d dutifully learned at 13 alongside the very man whose video I rewound countless times. Once there, I be-bopped with my fellow marathoners while my eyes remained fixed on the door, awaiting Eric’s arrival. Would he be clad in Adidas pants? Shirt or no shirt? Bandana on head? As it turns out, Eric waltzed into The Matrix in a red hooded sweatshirt and baggy jeans, bringing to mind the scene in “Meet the Parents” when Ben Stiller had to borrow his little stoner brother’s clothes.
Hoping that the clothes truly didn’t make the man, I shyly approached Eric to see if he would do the Grind workout dance with me (I’d already pestered the DJ into spinning “Fantastic Voyage”). Incredibly enough, he told me he didn’t remember the dance! I reviewed it with him in the corner before we hit the floor.
Tragically, Eric seems to have lost his moves (along with a good amount of his hair). I guess I should give him points for trying—not to mention that it is rather socially conscious of him to attend college dance marathons across the country for the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Although he didn’t live up to my dreams and my memory, doing the Creep with Eric was still a pretty big rush. After all, I can always rewind my Grind Workout Video—again.